Taylor nabs high-point trophy

Lucas Punkari

While the rest of the Fort Frances Aquanauts were in Thunder Bay for the annual May Invitational meet, Donovan Taylor was on his own in Winnipeg over the weekend competing in the Golden Plains Invitational.
Though he was by himself, Taylor was very impressive over the course of the meet—earning three gold medals, one silver, and a bronze en route to capturing the high-point trophy in the boys’ 15-and-over age category.
“I thought I swam some strong races and the results that I had were very good,” Taylor said.
“I was holding my technique, my stroke rates, and my speed really well, and I wasn’t backing down under there,” he noted.
“Along with that, I also wasn’t dying off to the point where I looked like a blubbering fish towards the end of the races.”
On the down side, Taylor was unable to nab a senior national qualifying time at the meet, just missing out in the 200m I.M. race in which he had finished in first place.
“It was really disappointing to miss on that time by under a second, which always sucks,” he admitted.
“You’re left to think about where exactly you missed out on that time, and whether it was one little thing or one little breath that screwed you over.”
Although he also picked up gold medals in the 400m I.M. and the 200m butterfly, along with getting bronze in the 100m butterfly, Taylor was most impressed by his result in the 400m free, where he came away with a silver medal.
“I have no idea where that came from at all,” he laughed.
“We haven’t been really training that much for that race,” Taylor noted. “But I think with all of the aerobic training that we’ve been doing lately, I think that it really helped with that race.
“I wasn’t up there Wyatt Yarish [of Winnipeg], who ran a 4:09,” he conceded. “But with my 4:17, I was five seconds off of the senior national qualifying time.
“For someone who doesn’t do that swim on a regular basis, that’s pretty impressive,” he reasoned.
With his main goal this summer being to make senior national qualifying times, Taylor will look to earn his 200m I.M. qualifying time in Winnipeg on June 8, when he’ll compete at a one-day meet hosted by the Manitoba Bisons.
“I have one more kick at the cat to try and earn my senior national time there as that event will take place next month in Montreal,” he explained.
“I’m going to be working really hard here over the next two weeks to get ready for that meet,” he stressed.
After that event, Taylor is scheduled to competed at the Manitoba/Saskatchewan long-course provincial championships in Winnipeg on July 4-8, which he hopes will help him earn a spot with Indiana University’s travelling team at the start of his sophomore year in Bloomington, Ind.
“They’ll be going to California right at the start of the year, so I’m hoping to head off with them for that meet,” Taylor noted.
“I’ve been doing well in the long-course standings so far this year, and I think that my coaches down there are happy with that,” he added.
“But I need to make sure that after these events that I’m staying in the pool as much as possible because I don’t want to teeter off before I go back down to school.”