Cyclone swimmers learning and growing as a team: coach

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

From January 27-29 the Fort Frances Cyclones Swim Club attended the Northwestern Ontario Long Course Championships.

While the team saw great podium finishes, head coach Debbie Murray says they don’t always gauge success by podium performances.

“For our swim club what’s important and what’s always emphasized is personal goals,” Murray said. “Not everybody gets a medal, not everybody gets a ribbon. That doesn’t mean they didn’t do a great job.”

Finishing strong and supporting other team members are also high on the list of priorities.

“They all did really, really well with personal challenges as far as supporting each other as a team on the deck, getting up to the blocks and finishing with everything they have. We’re very, very proud of them,” Murray said.

The event was a challenge for the swimmers given they are not used to swimming long-course events, meaning they swim in a 50 metre pool as opposed to the 25 metre pool at the Memorial Sports Complex.

“It was exciting as a team to bring some new competitors to an event,” Murray said. “We had brand new swimmers going, three of them who had never competed before. They were all challenged; their coaches gave them goals throughout the events. Some of them swam events they didn’t think they could do and they all did really well.”

Murray said the other coaches, Kevin McFayden, Christie Cousineau and first-time coach and Murray’s daughter, Kim Murray have done a great job helping the team prepare.

The team will head back to Thunder Bay for a short-course event and training session with the Thunder Bay Thunderbolts swim team.

“They’ll all want to swim their favourite events,” Murray said. “But we encourage them to explore and take advantage of developing their skills.”

The Cyclones Swim Team pictured after the competition are, front L to R: Marina Jarvis; Ava Cousineau and rear L-R: Matthew Strain; Madison LeBlanc; Madelyn Dent; Caroll Tolley and Erin Tolley. The coaches are proud of the team’s accomplishments, which range from gold medals to personal bests. – Allan Bradbury photo

Results from Northwestern Ontario Long Course Championships

Results for Cyclone Swim Club members:

Matthew Strain- 1st 50 meter breast, 2nd 100 meter back, 1st 100 meter breast, 2nd 50 meter fly

Marina Jarvis – 2nd- 100 meter free, 1st 50 meter fly, 3rd 50 meter free, 2nd 50 meter back

Madison LeBlanc- 1st 50 meter free, Beat personal best time on 50 meter fly and 100 meter free

Carroll Tolley- 3rd 50 meter breast, Beat best personal time on 200 meter free, 100 meter free and 50 fly

Madelyn Dent- Beat Personal Best times on 50 meter fly, 50 meter back, 100 meter breast

Erin Tolley- Beat best personal time on 100 metre free, 50 meter fly, 50 meter free and 50 meter back.

Ava Cousineau- Beat personal Best times on 50 Meter Free and 50 Meter Back