For the ‘Bolts this was the first swim meet of the year and the first in two years. 34 ThunderBolts travelled to Winnipeg, in less than favorable weather conditions, to compete against swimmers from as far away as Regina and across the rest of the Prairies. The ThunderBolts did not disappoint.
“I was most impressed by our athlete’s resilience under less-than-ideal conditions,” stated Head ThunderBolt cocah John McLeod. “The athletes made the most of this opportunity and are continuing their push to Provincials in March. Our coaches did a great job of keeping the athletes focused on excelling and we had a great support in the stands from our Thunder Bay families,”added Mcleod.
Matthew Foulds, aged 13, of the Thunder Bay ThunderBolts excelled in Winnipeg. He dominated his age group and collected a total of 8 gold medals. He improved in all his races, swam best times and registered several top swim times in the country.
“I have been looking forward to racing for two years,” stated an exuberant Matthew Foulds. “I really felt like I wanted to compete. I am really pleased on how I did and I can’t wait to do more racing, I feel I can go even faster,” added Foulds.
Kaitlyn Luu of the ThunderBolts also had an outstanding weekend collecting 5 gold medals and setting a club record. “It was amazing being able to race again with all my ThunderBolt teammates, it really pushed me and helped to motivate me. We are a very close team,” stated Luu. “I am really satisfied on how I did, especially for not having had a big race opportunity in so long,” added Luu.
Other gold medal winners from the ThunderBolts were Rudy Balabuk, Sam Chisholm, Luke Foulds, Isabel Harri and Sawyer Puumula.
Other medal winners from the ThunderBolts were Nikolas Black, Jamie Puhalski, Evander Dunn, Zoe Aylward and Liam Rose Weston.
Marco Martino, age 9, the youngest ThunderBolt competing in Winnipeg summed it up the weekend,” “I think I did really well at the meet and my team mates did amazing too! I was very excited to finally race at a big meet and be with all of my swim friends. It was really great to feel all of the supportive energy from all of the teams.”
Finally, a proud Head Coach John Mcleod added, “I was pleased the ThunderBolts outperformed the larger clubs from Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We won a total of 39 medals, registered top ten swims in the country set 5 ThunderBolt club records, and we had swimmers qualify for the Canadian Swimming Trials.”