THUNDER BAY -- This past weekend the Thunder Bay ThunderBolts Swim Club descended on the Lakehead University Swimming Pool to compete at the Narwhal Invitational Swim Meet. 90 Bolts swimmers raced up and down the pool, many for the first time this swim season.
“Having all the ThunderBolt swimmers under one roof, racing together and cheering each other was amazing,” said ThunderBolt Head Coach Tommaso Panizza. “We had a lot of great swims with a lot of new swimmers qualifying for bigger meets. We are continually improving and I look forward to competing against bigger clubs in the country,” added Panizza.
Two Bolts swam perfect swim meets. Matthew Foulds and Ethan Van Weeghel swam nine individual events and earned nine gold medals each scoring a whopping 450 point for the Bolts.
“I am really happy on how I did for the first meet of the season. I am really working hard and so are my teammates,” said 11-year-old Matthew Foulds. “I am looking forward to improving the next time I swim,” added Foulds.
Ethan Van Weeghel,10, was ecstatic about his weekend. “I am so happy. I beat all my best times and qualified for the Prairie Winter Invitation Swim Meet,” said Van Weeghel. “It was really cool and fun swimming with all the other swimmers,” he added.
“The Junior Development Swim Group had a fantastic meet!” stated Tiia Ovaska, assistant head coach for the ThunderBolt Swim Club. “We are definitely on the right track, our swimmers are committed to learning the skills and finding the speed to qualify for bigger meets like provincials,” she added.
New Bolts senior coach Andy Ritchie was jubilant about the Bolts’ performance. “Our swimmers clearly demonstrated what hard work and dedication can accomplish. I am very pleased with the progress made so far this season and look forward to the achievements that lie ahead,” said Ritchie.
Gold medal winners included Riley Agar, Maryam Anvar, Rudy Balabuk, Samantha Bergamo, Nikolas Black, Taylor Brown, Max Chisholm, Sam Chisholm, Jed Demillo, Jett Dodson, Evander Dunn, Luke Foulds, Isabel Harri, Molly Hunt, Hannah Johnsen, Kaitlyn Luu, Tori Niittynen-Dreifelds, Jamie Puhulski, Lindsay Puhalski, Sawyer Puumala, Zachary Scollie, Jillian Thompson, Mackenzie Thompson, Reid Thompson, William Weston.
Up next for the ThunderBolts is the Dash for Cash Swim Meet in Guelph followed by the Prairie Winter Invitational Swim Meet in Winnipeg.