Last weekend in Truro, Nova Scotia the Halifax Trojans competed in the Junior Provincial Championships. Provincials is the short course championship for swimmers who are graduated the Nova Tech program but not yet qualified for the East Coast Championships. HTAC was represented by swimmers from Junior, Provincial Blue and the new Provincial White group, and we were represented very well.
In the points scoring, the Trojans finished 2nd overall with 3187 points against the Dartmouth Crusaders total of 3340. The gap of only 153 points made for some exciting races during finals and represents a very close overall finish. Our boys team was dominant, leading the way with 1751 points, more than 700 more points than the next closest boys team. Our girls finished third, behind a powerhouse Dartmouth group of girls who contributed 2314 to that teams overall score.
Leading the HTAC charge with 6 medals each were Ben Willertz (5 gold, 1 silver) and Gizelle Francis (1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze), but they got a lot of help in the form of 11 other Trojans’ swimmers who earned multiple medals each:
Julia Law (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze), Derek Ryan (2 gold, 1 bronze), Nicole Braha (2 gold, 1 bronze), Stefano DiQuinzio (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze), Evan Willertz (3 silver), Bruno Callahan-Cross (1 silver, 1 bronze), Nathan Mendel (1 gold, 1 silver), Liam Morrison (1 silver, 1 bronze), Mark Roache (1 gold, 1 silver), Lauren Williams (1 silver, 1 bronze) and Julianna Drake (2 gold) all had a meet to remember.
Other Trojan medalists at Junior Provincials were: Autumn Rooney Holman (bronze), Katie Clyburne (bronze), Erin Jollimore (silver), Emma Burke (silver), Sehr Raja (bronze), Quinn Densmore (bronze), Oliver Keith (bronze), Alex Selegean (silver) and Ryan Webber (gold).
Besides all the hardware and the wonderful 2nd place finish, meet highlights included HTAC qualifying 3 swimmers (Julia Law, Ryan Webber and Ben Willertz) through to East Coast Champs, a boys 13/14 relay team that posted dominant victories in both their races, a podium sweep in the 13/14 girls 50 fly, and some of the best cheering and team support that we’ve seen this year. When a Trojan stepped up on the block to race, there were half a dozen more at the end of the lane ready to cheer their hearts out. It was great to see such a high level of team spirit and support, which led to some incredibly fast racing.
Assistant head coach Ian Cunningham was asked about how the team performed in Truro:
“It was brilliant. Everyone was psyched and really excited about swimming fast. The number of finals swims in the 13/14 age group speaks for themselves, but what doesn’t show up in the stats is just how well the young kids performed. Our 12 and under swimmers were absolutely on fire, and that says a lot about the long term future of the club over the next several years.”
Indeed, the stats show that HTAC was the second youngest club at the meet in terms of average age of the swimmers, but to watch the level of intensity and the speed of our athletes you never would have known it. Congratulations to all swimmers who participated…you have done us proud.