The Penticton Pikes are being pushed hard in the pool during training.
Coach Cole Midtdal’s goals is an increase in the number of swimmers who qualify for provincials and reach the podium compared to last year.
“I’m really trying to up the intensity at a quicker rate this year since they have something to build off of last year,” said Midtdal. “We’re still emphasizing technique at this point. We’re training a lot harder, a lot quicker this year to try and get them in shape a lot faster.”
Last August, the Pikes had eight members qualify for the provincial championship in Kamloops where they won nine medals.
Midtdal joked that at times his swimmers don’t like him because of how hard he works them.
“They are really tired by the end of the day. It really pays off at the meet,” said Midtdal. “In Revelstoke (June 6), we almost had 100 per cent best times for everyone. A lot of people took off a lot of time. A lot of improvement.”
It’s a very good start for the Pikes, who Midtdal said had a similar performance last year. The strong start is a result of the continued focus on the technical side. Midtdal sees starting the season with intensity as a building block.
“I think we can improve even more than we did last year. Be more competitive,” he said.
The Pikes took last weekend off except for one member, who missed the opening meet. The break is considered a good thing for the group since they will have an event every weekend in July.
Midtdal has a new assistant coach working with him this season, though the person is a familiar face to him: Celina Glabus. She was a swimming instructor in Okotoks, Alta.
“We’re long time friends, we swam together with the Foothills Stingrays,” he said. “I felt she would be a good addition. She brings a lot of enthusiasm. She’s great with the little guys.”
The Pikes will host a meet at the Penticton Community Centre on July 25.