Westside swim team at OFSAA

March 26, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart – The Westside Secondary School swim team qualified for the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championships and produced some solid results during the competition.

The event was held in Brantford, Ont., on March 4 – 5, 2014.

As a combined team, the Westside competitors placed 25th in a field of 270.

The boy’s medley relay team with members Scott Berry – grade nine, Tristan Curry – grade nine, Klay Kulik – grade 12, and Brent Waddell – grade 12, finished in the number five spot in the provincial competition.

The girl’s medley team comprised of Samantha Mallon – grade ten, Shania Nicol – grade 12, Morgan Smith – grade 12, and Dana Waddell – grade ten, placed in the top 25.

In individual results, Brent Waddell place third in his two events – the 50 metre freestyle and the 100 metre freestyle.

Morgan Smith scored a fourth place in her two individual events.

Tristan Curry landed in the number seven spot in an individual event.

Klay Kulik and Samantha Mallon both made it to the top 16 in their individual events.

As a sports group, the swim club is a new addition to the school’s athletic line-up, with this being their second year as a competitive collegiate club.

The club was initiated when Brent Waddell and Klay Kulik, now grade 12 students and competitors with the Orangeville Otters swim club, expressed an interest in starting a swim team at the school.

“We helped start the team,” Brent explained. “We searched around the school for a teacher to supervise the team. We found Mr. De Fabrizio and he said he would coach and that’s how it all started.”

John De Fabrizio is on the faculty at Westside and also coaches some of the sports squads including the swim team.

Getting to OFSAA requires a lot of work

and determination.

“There’s two ways to qualify,” Brent said. “Either you win CWOSSA, (regional level competition) or you make the qualifying time in a specific race. The relay made the qualifying time and individual swimmers made that qualifying time – that’s the minimum standard.”

In the sporting world, competitive swimming is unique. Once you’re in the water, your whole body is in motion and and that required almost every single muscle to be involved.

Conditioning is key to winning.

Brent has been competing for ten years.

“I really like the training and just being able to have something to work toward. Basically my whole life is working dedicated to working toward school and training every day and trying to get my time lowered. I’m in the pool seven times a week. The average practice with the Otters is two hours. For the school team it’s two times each week – one hour each.”

For girls competitor Shania Nicol, swimming combines athletic ability with the social aspect of high school life.

“I’ve been on the swim team since it started,” Shania said. “I swam with the Otters before I entered grade nine, then I quit. When the school team started, I joined. I like it because you’re competitive at some points but other times you’re just being social.”

Grade nine student Tristan Curry is another competitor that got his start with the Otters club and brought his talent to the high school team. Going to OFSSA was a different experience – especially with so many other students involved.

“It was fun, but there was a lot more people than I’m used to at club meets,” He said. “The opening category was a lot fast than I expected it to be. But I finaled in the 200 m’s so it was okay.”

In OFSAA competition, swimmers are divided between students who compete at only the high school level and those who also compete at the outside club level.

“I you don’t swim on a club team, you swim against grades nine and ten, and elevens and twelves, but if your on a club team you have to swim against people that are in grades nine to 12 that are also on club teams,” Tristan explained.

The competition is arranged so swimmers take part in qualifying heats in the morning, with top place finishes moving on to the ‘A’ final held in the evening.

All team members agreed it was ‘an exiting’ experience to take part in the OFSAA championships.

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