Waveriders tackle AA Championship

Two Waveriders met the times and found themselves down in Victoria to challenge themselves at the AA championship.

Two Waveriders met the times and found themselves down in Victoria to challenge themselves at the AA championship.

Natasha Hanson and Emerie Watson made the trip after working their way through the hoops and earning a spot.

“All in all, it was a great time and experience,” coach Jeritt Brink, who accompanied the girls, said.

“To be in what I think is Canada’s 2nd best pool and be able to embrace sport and the level of athlete’s there is great for our kids.”

Natasha Hanson, who had aged up less than a month before the AAs, placed sixth in the 200 individual medley, going into the finals ninth and found 2.25 seconds to jump her three spots.

Because she aged up just before the championship she faced a harder challenge, swimming mostly against girls that were older than her by months, which can mean a lot at that age.

She also swam  personal best in the 200 back by .11 seconds along with finding the alternate spot, just out of the finals in 200 back and the second alternate in 100 back.

Hanson said she was happy with her swim.

“It felt really good and flowed nicely,” she said.

While Emerie Watson finished outside of the finals in her events, she earned four personal best times in the championship. Notably, in the 100 freestyle she climbed nine places, from 25 to 19, and gained 1.9 seconds; in the 200 back, she hit a personal best, bettering her time by 4.3 seconds and moving from 19 to 15; she also improved her time by 3.18 seconds in her 200 free swim over the course of the championship.

Both girls stumbled at the beginning of the competition before finding their pace.

“It just felt off; it was the first swim. It was one of the sooner heats and it was just blah,” Hanson said of her first swim.

It didn’t throw the girls off though.

“I pulled it into the finals and when I got there, I was like ‘I have to do this, this is AAs; I’ve swam all year for this,’” Hanson added.

With the AAs  under her belt Hanson is looking forward to next year with a lot of fervour.

She’s planning on maximising her time in the water this summer so she can be ready when the winter season comes around again. She’s already hit her AA time for the short course next year and wants to chase her time all the way to the AAAs.

Jerrit is currently in Vancouver with Garnett Currie who is competing in the AAA provincial championship.