THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – This past weekend 15 Thunderbolt swimmers travelled to Toronto to Compete in the Markham Aquatic Club Invitational at the PAN AM Pool in Unionville.
The Thunderbolts had an excellent weekend competing against 28 other swim teams from across the province.
The Bolts had 3 gold medal winners: Luke and Matthew Foulds, aged 12 and 11 years old and Sam Chisholm aged 13.
At the top of the podium was Matthew Foulds in the 200 metre Breaststroke. He also won bronze in the 400 metre Freestyle.
“I am really happy about my 200 metre Breaststroke,” said Matthew Foulds. “As a young 11-year-old I wasn’t expecting to make the podium. The best part of the swim meet is having your friends cheering you on and cheering on your friends,” added Foulds.
Sam Chisholm had a monster gold medal swim in the 1500 metre Freestyle breaking the 18-minute mark.
“The weekend was great – there was such a high level of competition. I am happy about my 1500 metre Freestyle, but I was even happier about by 200 meter Butterfly,” said an excited Sam Chisholm. “I am so close to qualifying for the Canadian Junior Nationals”, added Chisholm.
Chisholm added 2 silver and 3 bronze medals to his medal count.
Luke Foulds won the 200 metre Freestyle and 200 metre Backstroke events. He also won 4 silver and one bronze medal.
“I was really happy with my placings in Markham, there was a lot of very tough competition. I was proud of my 200 metre Freestyle and Backstroke, winning gold and beating my personal best times,” said Luke Foulds. “I am really pleased with the rest of my swims too,” he added.
“I am very satisfied with the results this weekend. We won a lot of medals, swam a lot of best times and our swimmers qualified for a lot of second swims,” said Tomasso Panizza. “The results have proved the level of mental strength the Bolts have,” added the head coach.
Jamie Puhalski, aged 14 years old, was also a multi medal winner and was awarded the high point award for her age group. She won a total of 5 medals: 3 silver and 2 bronze.
“I was super happy with my 400 metre Freestyle,” said an exuberant Jamie Puhalski. “I wasn’t expecting to get a Junior National time; I was just trying to beat my personal best. There was lots of competition, so I was surprised on how I placed. I have been working hard and I am really happy with how I did. I had a great time swimming with all my teammates,” added Puhalski.
Kaitlyn Luu, aged 12 years old, rounded out the medal winners with two bronze medals.
Other athletes that made the trek to Markham were Emma Adamson, Maryam Anvar, Zoe Aylward, Rudy Balabuk, Nikolas Black, Max Chisholm, Jett Dobson, Brooke Hulina, Amy Knott, Emily Murphy, Jillian Thompson and Mackenzie Thompson.
“The Athletes have reached a good level of maturity and awareness of their capabilities. You can see their determination as they compete under stress and fatigue. This leads us into a new training cycle leading into the summer swim season. The Bolts will be travelling to Kenora in the next couple of weeks and then will be preparing for the Grand Prix Swim Meet here in Thunder Bay at the end of May,” added head Coach Tommaso Panizza