THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – This past weekend 16 athletes from the Thunder Bay ThunderBolts Swim Club traveled to Toronto to compete in the 2019 NYAC Cup Swim meet. Thirty teams competed from across the province. The ThunderBolts placed an impressive 11th place.
“It was important to set the tone for the new season at the Swim Meet,” stated Tommaso Panizza, ThunderBolt Head Swim Coach. “Every year we put a lot of work into finding a way to bridge the gap with the big clubs in Southern Ontario, the results this weekend are proof we are on the right track,” added Panizza.
Leading the charge for the ThunderBolts were Kaitlyn Luu and Hannah Johnsen. Both athletes won their individual high point awards for their respective age groups. Individual high point awards are given to those athletes who accumulate the highest number of points in their swims.
Kaitlyn Luu swam to an impressive 5 golds and 4 silver medals in the girl’s 11-12year age group. “I am really proud of how I competed this weekend. I did my best times in all my events, but I am most happy with my 400 m Individual Medley and 800 m Freestyle.” Said a jubilant Kaitlyn Luu. “The whole team did really well for the first meet of the year, and I am looking forward to all the upcoming meets this year.”
Hannah Johnsen, swimming in the 15-year-old girl’s age group, added 6 golds, a silver and a bronze to the ThunderBolt medal count. “I think I swam well for the first meet of the season,” said Hannah Johnsen. “I was happiest with my 50 m Backstroke. My goal was to break 30 seconds and I did it in the finals. This was a great first meet for the ‘Bolts and it was awesome seeing everyone do so well,” added Johnsen.
A number of ThunderBolt records fell on the weekend: Nickolas Black, 50 m Butterfly, Hannah Johnsen 50 m Back Stroke, Isabel Harri 100 m and 200 m Breast Stroke and Lindsay Pulhalski 200 m Individual Medley.
In total, the ThunderBolt collected 32 medals. Gold medal winners included Sam Chisholm, Isabel Harri, and Lindsay Puhalski. Other medal winners included Jamie Puhalski.
“The good results at this swim meet showed us one more time that we are working hard and heading in the right direction. I am very excited about this swim season and pursuing our goal of becoming a successful provincial and national level club,” added Coach Panizza.
Up next for the ThunderBolts is the NWO Narwhal Invitational November 23 and 24th followed by the Prairie Winter Invitational Swim Meet in Winnipeg in December.