Morgan Johannson of the Red Deer Catalina competes in the 100m backstroke at the 67th annual Freeze or Fry Swim Meet at the Red Deer Recreation Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Watch: Swimmers brave the elements at annual Freeze or Fry swim meet

They say wait five minutes if you don’t like the weather in Alberta.

That could not have been truer this weekend, as it is most times on this specific weekend.

June 8 and 9 marked the 67th annual Freeze or Fry Swim Meet for the Red Deer Catalina Swim Club and as always, there was plenty of freezing and the occasional frying.

While Friday brought some snow, cold and plenty of rain at the Red Deer Recreation Centre, Saturday saw some sunny and warmer temperatures, mixed with a bit of rain.

Catalina assistant coach Roberta Roos said that’s pretty much par for the course and everyone ends up coming pretty well prepared.

“I like for the kids to get a great outdoor long course experience because we don’t get a chance to swim in a facility like this. It was a little chilly (Saturday) morning, but they’ve definitely had some great racing and hit some best times,” she said.

“This is a meet where the kids kind of come together. They have their tents and they hang out, it’s definitely a good community going on here.”

Managing the weather comes with the territory for Danica MacPherson, 12, who was participating in the meet for the third year. She’s got a simple approach to it all.

“Just pack a bunch of towels and hope for the best,” she said.

Teammate Jordan Waldo, 12, noted that while the cold is a bit of a distraction in the pool, she still hoped to put up some best times and improve on some standards she achieved earlier this season.

“I’m hoping to get more provincial times. I’m already going but it would be nice to get more. Maybe if I’m lucky some champ times,” she said.

“I’m not great with handling cold stuff, so it gets pretty cold. I don’t like putting on clothes when I’m wet so that makes it harder. Sometimes I dive in and the first thing I think is ‘oh my gosh this is cold’ rather than how to swim.”

Teams came from all across Alberta to compete at the annual meet.

For younger swimmers, the Freeze or Fry concludes their season, so it’s just an opportunity to come out and enjoy a unique experience.

As for the older competitors, it’s a chance to improve on some provincial standards and get ready for an important point in the season.

“For the younger kids, this is their last meet of the season so they get to see where they came from to now, a lot of improvement,” Roos said.

“For the older kids, it’s the meet just before provincials. One last opportunity to get in and get some racing experience. They usually swim their off events at this one.”



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Swimmers and fans alike were forced to bundle up at the 67th annual Freeze or Fry Swim Meet on Saturday at the Red Deer Recreation Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Red Deer Catalina teammates Logan Milman and Ben Bahler battle it out in the 50-metre butterfly at the 67th annual Freeze or Fry Swim Meet at the Red Deer Recreation Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Morgan Johannson of the Red Deer Catalina competes in the 100m backstroke at the 67th annual Freeze or Fry Swim Meet at the Red Deer Recreation Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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