Bluephins swim way to Eastern Canadian championships

Jason Malloy
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Charlottetown Bluephins, from left, are From left are Alison MacEachern, Nicholas Tweel and Sarah Williams.

Tweel, MacEachern and Williams to represent P.E.I. at the meet

Nicholas Tweel relied on his teammates to let him know he was heading to the Speedo Eastern Canadian swim championship in Windsor, Ont.

The 18-year-old Charlottetown resident had to break 31 seconds in the 50-metre breaststroke at the Feb. 2 meet in Moncton.

“As soon as I touched the wall I looked up at the clock to see if I had the time. I couldn’t see the clock because someone was standing right in front of me, but all my teammates were cheering,” Tweel explained on Monday. “I realized I had the time.”

It took a good start, turn and finish to meet the time standard by one one-hundredths of a second.

“I was literally as close as I could get to the time,” Tweel said.

“I was really happy, (but) I wasn’t surprised,” he added. “I knew I had it in me.”

Tweel joins teammates Alison MacEachern and Sarah Williams as part of the Bluephin contingent swimming at this week’s Eastern Canadian championships.

The top 10 times in each category will make the A final while the 11 to 20 fastest times go to the B final.

“We’ll be looking for having all three of these athletes get in there for a second swim,” coach William Calhoun said. “For these particular athletes the sky’s the limit if we can get them in for a second swim.”

The age categories are boys’ 16 and younger and 17 and older while the girls are 15 and younger and 16 and older. The Island swimmers will be competing against some athletes who are 25 years old and future Olympians.

“I focus on bettering my own personal times, instead of thinking about the other competition,” Tweel said.

MacEachern, who competed at the event a few years ago in the younger category, is looking forward to seeing how she fares against different swimmers.

“It’s nice to race against people you don’t know,” she said. “It’s nice to get a chance to race against some of the fastest swimmers in eastern Canada.”

MacEachern is hoping to make the time standard for senior nationals.

“I am less than a second off in four events,” she said.

The 17-year-old Charlottetown resident also wants to make a final swim to cap off her Bluephin career.

“This is the last time I’ll be able to go as a Charlottetown Bluephin,” MacEachern said, explaining she will be with a university team next year. “I want to make my last year a good year.”

Williams is hoping to break 2:20 in the 200-metre breaststroke and make a B final.

“It’s really exciting and especially to go with my friends,” she said.

The 16-year-old from Stratford has known the other two swimmers since starting in the sport six years ago and said the support is great.

 “We’re like family,” she said.

The four Bluephins, who all represented the province at the 2013 Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que., leave tonight for Windsor.

Alison MacEachern

Hometown – Charlottetown.

Age – 17. She turns 18 on Sunday.

Schedule - Thursday: 50m fly and 200m freestyle; Friday: 100m freestyle; Saturday: 100m fly and 50m breast; Sunday: 200m fly, 50m free and 200IM

Sarah Williams

Hometown – Stratford.

Age – 16.

Schedule - Thursday: 50m fly and 100m back: Saturday: 200m back;

Sunday: 200IM.

Nicholas Tweel

Hometown – Charlottetown.

Age – 18.

Schedule - Thursday: 200m breast;

Friday: 100m

Organizations: Canada Games

Geographic location: Windsor, Charlottetown, P.E.I. Moncton Eastern Canada Stratford Sherbrooke

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  • William Calhoun
    February 11, 2014 - 15:59

    So proud of these great Bluephin swimmers!