A busy season for the Prince Albert Sharks swim club came to a successful end this past weekend.
Liam Murphy, Luthar Wilberg, Camryn Cooling and Joy Friesen made their way to Swift Current as they took part in the South Saskatchewan Open Water Classic, which also served as the provincial championship.
“It’s been 10 years since the provincial championships have been held in the open water discipline, so it was pretty much a new event for everybody,” coach Hazem Hussein said.
“With the Man/Sask provincial championships taking place in Saskatoon earlier this month, it’s been a bit busy when it comes to practices, but we were able to do some outdoor swims here at Kinsmen Park and we traveled to Saskatoon to swim at the Shaw Centre for this event.”
Friesen led the way for the team as she captured the gold medal in the 3000 metres event, which went along with a bronze medal that she won in 1500m freestyle race at the Masters national championship in Calgary in May.
“The 3000m race she competed in this past weekend was a warm-up as Joy is going to be going to San Francisco to complete in an open water competition there,” Hussein said.
“She’s had a strong season, especially with her result in Calgary as she was competing against 600 swimmers from all over North America.”
Luther and Murphy turned in strong showings in the junior category as they both finished in the top 10.
“It was the first time for all three of our junior swimmers to compete in the open water event, and I thought they did a really good job,” Hussein said.
“Our goal is to build up the exposure of this meet so that we can have more swimmers in this event in the future. We’d like to have our swimmers eventually go to national open water events, which is something I was fortunate to be a part of while coaching in Saskatoon a couple of years ago.”
Looking back on the entire season, Hussein was pleased with how the Sharks did at major meets, especially at the Man/Sask Championships.
“That meet is basically like a mini-nationals,” Hussein said. “Obviously you have the top swimmers from Manitoba and Saskatchewan there competing, but we also had swimmers from British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario on hand.
“It’s been a long season as we started in September, but when you see the number of swimmers on our team setting personal best times and making it into the finals, it has us excited for next season.”