Pack of Saanich Piranhas eyes more medals

Swimmers compete in championships in Nanaimo this week

Saanich Peninsula Piranhas division 1 200 metre freestyle and medley relay regional gold medallists

Twenty-seven local swimmers from the Saanich Peninsula Piranhas are off to the B.C. Summer Swimming Association Provincials this weekend.

The swimmers competed at the Vancouver Island regional meet Aug. 4-5 in Courtenay and out of 32 swimmers from the Piranhas who participated in the heats, 27 of them are headed to Nanaimo for provincials.

“I’m hoping to get the backstoke provincial record and hopefully a medal,” said Phil Vellacott, 13. “When I was up at regionals two weeks ago I broke the regional record in 100 [metre] backstroke, 100 freestyle and 50 freestyle, so I hope I can do it in Nanaimo.”

The records Vellacott broke at the regional meet dated back to the ’80s.

Also heading to Nanaimo with record-breaking times is a young relay team, including Sidney swimmer Vienna Wakefield, 7.

“I’m really excited to swim in my relay,” Vienna said. “I swim with three other girls in freestyle and I’m hoping we get first place. If we get first, we get a medal.”

Vienna and her teammates Sierra Edwards, Kaysha Bikadi and Ava Carius came first at the regional meet in Courtenay and also broke the regional record.

“In her division they won two relays, the 200 freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay,” said Vienna’s mother Stephanie. “The freestyle relay is where they broke the regional meet record by three seconds so that was really exciting for them.”

The B.C. Summer Swimming Association Provincials began Monday, Aug. 13 and wind up on Sunday, Aug. 19 at  the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre.

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