SWIM MEET Swimmers with the Okanagan High Performance Team Kelowna Westside Integrated Club took part in the Far Westerns Championships in Moraga, Calif. in late July, returning with medals. (Photo submitted)

Okanagan swimmers compete in California

Swimmers from region return with gold medals

Fourteen swimmers from the Okanagan High Performance Team Kelowna Westside Integrated Club took part in the Far Westerns Championships in Moraga, Calif. from July 25 to 28.

For most of the swimmers, it was their first experience competing in an outdoor pool, but that didn’t stop them from having success in the international swim meet.

Axana Merckx, 18, won the top aggregate award with 49 points in the 17 to 18 age group, winning both the 200m and 400m individual medley events.

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Molly Hill, 17, also had strong performances in the 200m and 100m butterfly events bringing home a gold and silver respectively.

This was the final competition for both women who are graduating from K.W.I.C. and will be attending U.S. universities next year.

Other gold medal winners were Erin Epp, 15, in the 400m individual medley and Andrea Kraetzer, 15, in the 50m free.

Epp also added a bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke.

Summerland’s Taylor Smith, 16, turned in strong performances in the 100m and 200m backstroke winning silver in both events just missing out on the top of the podium.

Aiden Kirk, 12, also had an impressive swim meet qualifying for finals in four races and winning two bronze medals in the process.

The youngest K.W.I.C. athlete was Scott Watson, 10, who made it to the finals in the 100m freestyle, earning a top eight medal.

Far Western Championships is an 18 and Under Western U.S. Championship Swim Meet that attracts competitors from all of North America.

More than 1,400 swimmers took part in the competition, including 160 Canadians from 20 teams from Victoria to St. John’s, Nfld.

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