The Penticton Pikes are traveling to Colville, Wash., this weekend for their favourite swim meet of the season.
“It’s been a Pikes tradition now for a number of years and we all go camping,” said coach Cole Midtdal. “We all go have fun and there’s a big water fight where they all hunt down the coaches with a big water gun. It’s a lot of fun for the kids.”
Midtdal wants to see the group enjoy themselves since the training has been very difficult.
“He has been pushing us really hard. For the last couple of weeks before provincials it gets really hard,” said Pike Ben Say.
That’s to really get the fitness up a couple of notches. It’s great for team building. We are all working hard together.”
The hard work has paid off in recent meets in Kelowna, last weekend and Merritt the weekend before. Midtdal has seen a “real competitiveness” in his swimmers.
“They have been trying to race. Whenever you get up on the blocks, you can see that they are ready to go,” he said. “You can tell that they are confident in the training whenever they hop up on the blocks which is really good to see.”
Midtdal has seen Pikes be able to beat other swimmers in the last stages of a race.
“Ben Say has been putting a lot of work in. He has been kicking some butt,” said Midtdal.
He was also impressed with Ainsley Neilson, who competed in her first meet in Merritt after joining the club with her brother. Neilson trimmed 17 seconds in her 100-m freestyle.
“We’ve been seeing monumental improvements. It’s really awesome to see,” said Midtdal.
The club also has weekly themes to help the swimmers focus. This week is go above and beyond.
“Whenever we jump in the water we are trying to go above and beyond,” said Midtdal. “Pushing each other. Coming together better as a team.”