For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, the Cochrane Piranhas hosted their swim meet from July 16-18 at the Spray Lakes Sawmills Family Sports Centre.
Over 200 swimmers attended the event according to club President James Lange.
"Is a little smaller than we’ve had in the past, but still pretty good and the club performed really well in general. It's all really good actually for the kids and for us just to have a normal meet again."
The meet was a competitive success for the Piranhas, with a provincial record even being set by one Aaron Xiao of the Piranhas says Lange.
"He's new to our team and he is a prodigy. He's incredible. He actually set a provincial record in the 100-metre fly. Provincial records are pretty special, you can watch swimming for years and not see someone set of provincial records. He actually set a few earlier this season as well, and then he set that one in 100 fly at our meet and he's just an incredible kid, he's 12 years old and he's just the fastest kid out there, faster than kids much older than him."
Xiao set the provincial record with a time of 1:06.12.
Xiao also holds the provincial records in the 50 and 100-metre backstroke. He holds the club records in the 50 and 100-metre freestyle, the 50-metre breaststroke and fly, the 100 and 200 I.M., and the 200-metre freestyle.
Along with the provincial record setters and heat winners, Lange is proud of the progress he's seeing throughout the club.
"We have a lot of new swimmers on our team. COVID unfortunately caused some of our oldest swimmers to drift away. So, our club is a lot younger than it's ever been, so you have these kids who really could barely swim three and a half months ago, you know, and then now they're out there doing their races and doing really well. So that's always really impressive to see too."
Lange credits the success of the meet to the Meet Organizer Lisa Preston, for making the whole event run smoothly.
"This was her first time being the meat manager for this one. She's new to the role and she did incredible. It's a huge logistical challenge, we have over 100 volunteers to put on a swim meet, it's incredibly labour intensive to put on a good swim meet with all the correct timing and everything."
Looking towards the future the Piranhas have one more meet before regionals, where Piranhas swimmers will look to qualify for provincials, where Lange says there are some medal hopefuls.
Along with Xiao, there's "Eli Fitzsimmons, he's the number one ranked 50-meter freestyler in the 13-14 boys category. We have a girl named Danica Fisher. She's an incredibly fast freestyler and she's also 14 as well. So, we have some kids, when they line up you're pretty much expecting them to be first or second kind of."
Along with the medal hopefuls, Lange is hoping that about 50% of his swimmers make it to provincials.
"We're as competitive as we've ever been. We're younger, so we don't have too many kids in the older age categories like the 15-16 year old's, but our teams as competitive as ever been and I think we could expect to send as many as 30 sources provincial this year, which would be a really good ratio. We have 60 swimmers in the club, so if we could get close to half of them going to provincials, that would be a really big accomplishment."