Sault Surge swimmers take on the best in Canada


Local swimmers have returned home after two weeks of grueling competition at national-scale meets in Toronto and Quebec City. Paige Banton, Logan Belanger, Raili Kary, Ali Robertson, and Olivia Starzomski attended Speedo Eastern Championships in Quebec City last week, where swimmers from all the Eastern provinces and territories converged for a mid-season competition. Our hometown athletes fared well, with standout performances by Belanger and Robertson keeping morale high as the week wore on. Belanger swam a strong 100 breaststroke in Friday morning’s session, earning her a second swim at finals in the evening, where she owned the heat and finished with a new best time of 1:14.83.

Robertson, the only Surge swimmer to compete Sunday, made it worthwhile by winning her 50 freestyle heat from an outside lane with a new best time of 27.62, dropping 0.92 seconds off her previous personal record.

In Toronto, the swimmers vied for spots on the Junior and Senior World Championship teams as well as the Pan American Games teams. For Sault Surge, qualifying to attend the Canadian Swimming Trials was an honour in and of itself. They got to compete alongside world-class athletes like Kierra Smith, Yuri Kisil, and Penny Oleksiak, all of whom have represented Canada on the world stage. Banton and Kary both managed to earn a handful of best times in various events; Banton swam a particularly exciting 200 breaststroke, touching the wall under 2:40 for the first time in a 50m pool. Kary came away with new personal records in two “splash and dash” events, the 50 freestyle and 50 backstroke.

The swimming season is only half over, and there are plenty more competitions to come. Right now, Sault Surge is looking forward to regional and provincial championships happening in June, followed by Junior and Senior National Championships and July and August respectively.