The Cochrane Water Ninjas lifesaving sport club had a strong showing at a Wetaskiwin meet, Jan 27 to 28.

The efforts of 23 swimmers were rewarded with a second-place finish overall, ahead of the host team and behind the Camrose team. The men's team placed third while the women finished second, just 25 points behind the first-place ranking.

ninjasLeft, Caebri Smith, beside Nathaniel McPike of the Water Ninjas. (photo submitted)

Jennifer Walker was the Ninja's top scorer with 120 points. On the men's side, Caebri Smith contributed 116 points. At the developmental level, John Crutchfield tops the Ninjas chart with 54 points, and opposite him, Alex Fisher scored 54 points in the Masters category.

On the women's side, Jennifer Walker was the top master scorer, Danica Fisher represented the performance stream with 110 points, and in the developmental age group, Brielle Josiak tops the chart with 30 points.  

"The coaching staff was very pleased with the overall team performance," says head coach Alexx Diep. "Many of the skills were clearly transferred from practice to competition, and we saw those correlates to great results."

The meet attracted 196 swimmers from eight teams. 

Further to the overall team success, a handful of swimmers achieved great milestones in breaking club and provincial records. Coach Diep says this speaks to their commitment to grow and improve themselves and the team. 

Setting new milestones were:

  • Rylee Bashow (14-15 y/o): new club record in the 100m rescue medley.
  • Jennifer Walker (30+): new club record in the 100m carry with fins, and 100m manikin tow with fins.
  • Oliver Johnson (14-15 y/o): new club and provincial record in the 100m manikin carry with fins.
  • Caebri Smith (14-15 y/o): new club and provincial record in the 100m manikin tow with fins, 100m super lifesaver, and 100m rescue medley.
  • Jack Dunse (16-19 y/o): new club record in the 50m manikin carry.

Up next for the Water Ninjas is the YMCA Royals Open Invitational on Feb 10 and 11 at the Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton. It also serves as the selection meet for the world championship being held on Australia's Gold Coast from Aug. 20 to Sept. 8.