THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – This past week 5 Thunderbolt swimmers travelled to Toronto to compete against 627 of the best swimmers from across Canada and many from around the world in the 2019 Canadian Swimming Trials.
This was the fastest swim meet in the country and served as the trials for FINA World Championships, the Pan American Games, FISU Summer Universiade and the FINA World Junior Championships.
Lindsay Puhalski, Cameron Johnsen, Hannah Johnsen, Isabel Harri and Zoe Hunt with Head Coach Tomasso Panizza represented Thunder Bay at the top Swim Meet in Canada.
“The experience at the 2019 Canadian Swimming Trials has been incredible for me and all the Thunderbolt swimmers,” said head coach Panizza. “Sharing the pool and competing against the best swimmers in the world can be very intimidating. Our swimmers have worked hard, trained hard and they were ready. They were confident and ready to swim fast,” added the head coach.
Lindsay Puhalski and Cameron Johnsen lead the team with personal best times, club records and qualified for the finals in their respective events, 400 m Individual Medley and 50 m Breaststroke. This places them in the top 20 overall in the country.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to swim at Trials and swim alongside top swimmers in the world like Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck and Kylie Masse,” said a very excited Lindsay Puhalski. “It is pretty unreal getting to watch these athletes race against each other. We all worked so hard to be here, I am inspired to work even harder.”
In the finals of the 400-metre Individual Medley Puhalski finished with a time 4:54.74 which ranks her 2nd in the country for 16-year-olds. “I am really happy with my performance”, said an exhausted Lindsay Puhalski immediately after her race.
“It was exciting to gain valuable experience swimming against the fastest men in the country,” stated a happy Cameron Johnsen. “My performance has only motivated me to improve my standings in the future,” he added.
“For me as a coach this has been a great experience,” stated Panizza. “It allows me to assess where our swimmers are, what we can do better and set goals for the future. It also gives me a chance to talk with and learn from the best swim coaches in the country,” added an inspired head coach.