The two groups may have had notably different goals, but the common thread with the Nickel City Aquatics swimmers last month was one of shared excellence. While many of the older athletes were busy lighting it up at the Youth Cup in Toronto, the younger delegation were off to North Bay, site of the second NEOR Developmental Meet of the season.
Podium placements in the GTA included Shane Clapham (gold, two silver, bronze), Olivia Harvey (three gold, four silver), Keegan Lepage (gold, two silver), Aislinn Munro (bronze) and Angelina Wang (bronze).
Lepage, Clapham and Harvey were also among the half-dozen of NCA reps who broke club records, joined by the likes of Tommaso Deni (boys 15-16), Tristen Aikia-Lauzon (girls 15-16) and Matteo Ceccon (boys 10 & under).
The meet was a particularly rewarding one for Harvey, who also reached her OJI time and ended a stretch of training where the race results were not necessarily indicative of the effort being put forth in practice.
"I went through a plateau," said the 16 year-old home-schooled athlete. "I had gotten to a max of what my body could give me. I tried to push that and push that, but it wasn't getting me very far."
"But then I started to do a lot more hard dryland, working out with weights, and it's helped me so much. I feel such a difference."
Thankfully, Harvey was able to tap into the experience of many a teammate over the years, not losing faith in the process. "I tried to look at other people who have gone through it (a plateau), and that gave me hope that one day, the same will happen to me," she said.
"I went through a period of three years of basically not getting my best times. I just pushed through it, kept working hard in practice, especially this year." All in all, it has the relative newcomer to Sudbury awfully excited for the second half of the 2019-2020 season.
"Now that I've seen that I can go this fast in short course season, I'm looking at junior national times, and I'm not that far off them," stated Harvey. "And I usually go faster in long course, so that's very exciting for me."
Plenty of excitement in North Bay as well, as no less than 16 different youngsters donning the NCA colours swam their way to top three finishes, a grouping that included Daniel Kulik, Kalle Gainer, Ava St Martin, Barbara Ceccon, Saryn Gainer, Emily Henry, Mikayla Vizza, Makinley Humphrey, Lauren Buchowski, Maddison Heaton, Bradley Desrochers, Sophie Heaton, Luka Janicijevic, Lucas Roberts, Lucia Salmaso and Charlotte Taillefer.
Desrochers, (Kalle) Gainer and both Heatons were also among the six locals who enjoyed a 100% best times meet, joined in this honour by Amelia Falcioni and Madison Veevers.