As competitive racing came back into effect at the end of 2021, the Red Deer Catalina Swim Club was eager to show the rest of the province how hard they had been working in the shadows of COVID. Earlier this month, Swim Alberta held its semi-annual Provincial Championships in Edmonton, where the best swimmers from the province would have the opportunity to compete against each other for a chance to be crowned the Best in Alberta.
This year the Red Deer Catalina Swim Club saw tremendous success, placing sixth overall in team scores accumulating the most points at the competition for Red Deer in recent history. This was no easy feat as the Catalina is categorized as a Medium-Sized Team with about seventy competitive swimmers, compared to larger clubs in the province reaching upwards of a few hundred swimmers.
Of the 70 competitive athletes, twenty-six, over one-third of the club, qualified for the Provincial Championships, again a feat accomplished before. Of these twenty-six swimmers, the Catalina earned twenty medals (3 Gold, 9 Silver, 8 Bronze) comprised by thirteen swimmers, led by three-time Provincial Champion Kingston Hitchcock. Kingston went on to win five individual events (200m Freestyle – Gold, 400m Individual Medley – Silver, 400m Freestyle – Gold, 100m Freestyle – Bronze, 800m Freestyle – Gold). Additionally, his stellar performances earned him the Aggregate High Point Award for the 13 & Under boy’s category, an award given to the athlete who scores the most total points in each age category. The thirteen medalists helped lead the team of twenty-six to Catalina’s fourth consecutive Medium Team Championship Banner, another accomplishment that has never been done before in the team’s history.
For Red Deer, the success didn’t stop on the podium. Catalina had two athletes (Abbi Bahler, Madison Weins) qualify for the 2022 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials at the Saanich Commonwealth Place in Victoria, British Columbia from April 5– 10 to add to their already two qualifiers. In addition to these two swimmers, five more (Grace Hitchcock, Cooper Waddle, Isaac Bahler, Noah Thomas, Dalton Powel) qualified for the 2022 Speedo Western Championships taking place at the Kinsmen Sports Center in Edmonton from April 21 – 24.