Two Aquanauts earn medals in Winnipeg

Aquanauts Karli McKinnon, 10, and Boyd Badiuk, nine, combined for three silver medals and a bronze in their age group at the 18th-annual Prairie Winter Invitational meet in Winnipeg last weekend.
McKinnon raced to second-place finishes in the 200m free and 50m free events while also taking third in the 100m free. Badiuk struck silver in the 100m fly.
“Karli had an excellent meet, and our juniors, which also included Amanda Allan, in the 12-and-under [division], all did very well,” enthused Aquanaut head coach Debbie Murray.
“We are starting to see our swimmers perform very well after several years of hard work,” she added.
About a dozen Aquanauts competed at the meet, which attracts some of the top swimmers in Canada and the northern U.S. aged eight to 20.
Murray said she didn’t expect many of her swimmers to finish in the medals given the talent level on hand. She also noted the qualifying times have become much faster over the years as swimmers use the meet to qualify for the junior nationals.
As such, having 12 swimmers qualify for the meet was an achievement in itself. And in fact, several Aquanauts clocked personal best times last weekend.
“A lot of our seniors did exceptionally well and even though they didn’t get medals, they all swam very well against some very good swimmers,” noted Murray.
“It’s a quality meet for exceptional swimmers and while it’s always been a fast meet, it’s now gotten even faster in recent years.
“Even though our athletes didn’t make finals, they all put in exceptional performances,” she enthused.
Murray pointed to the performance of Brendan Cumming as being particularly rewarding after he swam personal bests in both the 100m and 200m breast stroke events.
Other Aquanauts who went to Winnipeg included Andrea Boileau, Elissa Green, Kim Kirk, Sarah McTavish, Richard Allan, Steven Gushulak, Gavin Paull, and Jeff Plumridge.