Time to step away from the pool and re-charge the batteries in anticipation of the 2019-2020 season for members of the Nickel City Aquatics (NCA), who recently wrapped up the final two meets of the current campaign.
No less than five local swimmers represented the NCA at the Ontario Youth Junior Provincial Meet, with teammates Aislinn Munro (16) and Tristen Aikia-Lauzon (15) both registering personal best times in working their way through to the finals.
The latter would earn a bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke, bettering her heat time of 2:59.08 by almost four seconds, touching the wall in 2:55.28, roughly three quarters of a second faster than Klara Vrbanek of the Dorado Stars Swim Club.
Aikia-Lauzon nearly duplicated the feat in the 100m breaststroke final, her time of 1:21.79 just back of third place finisher Hanna Scholtzhauer of Guelph Marlin Aquatic Club (1:21.25).
Munro also bettered her previous PB's, garnering both a 5th place finish in the 200m butterfly (2:35.96 in prelims; 2:36.92 in the final) and 8th place in the 100m butterfly (1:09.36 in prelims; 1:08.93 in the final).
Both Aikia-Lauzon and Munro have already achieved their time standards required for the next level age grouping at which they will compete next year. Joining the pair in raising the bar was Niko Ovaska (15), who also eclipsed his former records in both the 100m butterfly (1:05.69 - 11th) and the 200m butterfly (2:30.99 - 12th).
Rounding out the NCA contingent were Keegan Lepage (age 14 - 200m breaststroke - 2:48.79 - 10th place) and Matt Clapham (age 15 - 100m freestyle - 1:01.22 - 14th place).
Meanwhile, donning the Valley East Waves colours was the tandem of Alexandre Landry and Coralie Bernier, with Landry claiming gold in the 100m breaststroke final, registering a time of 1:09.73, comfortably ahead of Jacob Rapp of Whitchurch-Stouffville Swim Club (1:10.59).
Finally, NCA veteran Tommaso Deni took part in his first ever provincial championship, hosted at the Toronto Pan-Am Sports Centre, making his way to the final in both the 200m freestyle (2:09.38 in prelims; 2:10.13 in the final) and the 100m butterfly (1:01.78 in prelims; 1:02.54 in final).
Rounding out his meet with the 200m butterfly (2:19.02), Deni managed to hit the qualifying standard for sixteen year olds in the two events in which he finalled.