The Woolwich Wave weren’t obliging hosts, putting up stiff competition last Saturday at the South Western Ontario Recreational Swimming Association (SWORSA) semifinals, held at the Woolwich Memorial Centre. The local team held their own in some 80 events against the rival Fergus Flippers and Kincardine Kippers.
Erin Schmidt, one of the team managers, said she is excited about this year’s team and its prospects.
“I think this could possibly be the first year that we actually have a chance at winning the championship,” she said. The girl swimmers in particular, who outnumber the boys on the team, are doing especially well, said Schmidt
“We’ll have to see how things go at the finals, but we have strong girl swimmers in pretty much all the categories that are in contention for medals, along with some of the boys’ categories.”
Fewer in number, the Woolwich team has in the past been outmatched by their two competitors. But this year, thanks to an increasing number of swimmers, that could very well change.
“We’re usually not in contention because we’ve been a smaller club compared to Fergus, in particular. But, yes, everybody is pretty excited that this year we might have a chance of winning,” said Schmidt.
“Basically we are in contention to take all the medals in the girls 8 and under, two of them in the 9 and 10 girls, and all of them in the 11s and 12s, and then one or two in the 13s and 14s. So it’s really pretty strong finishes by a lot of the girls in particular, and a couple of the boys’ categories are in contention for first and second place too.”
The swim team has been meeting regularly twice a week for almost the entire year to prepare themselves. Because SWORSA is a recreational association and not a fully competitive league, Schmidt says that the three participating teams mutually agreed to limit the amount of training they do to a max of two.
Schmidt is just one of the several parents and other volunteers that keep the program running, in conjunction with their fellow SWORSA participants in Fergus and Kincardine.
This was the third and last in a series of swim meets that took place in the last month at the three teams’ towns, Fergus, Kincardine and Elmira, before the finals.
As per tradition, the final will be held on neutral ground (or rather, a neutral pool) in Wilmot Township on August 12, and the top eight swimmers from each of the almost 80 events in the semifinals will move on to the participate in the finals.