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Charlottetown Bluephins return home with slew of medals after record-breaking meet

The Charlottetown Bluephins relay team broke the five-year-old provincial record in the 400-metre freestyle relay in boys 15 and older in Saint John, N.B. From left are David Du, Blake Kingston, Pieter Vanleeuwen and Charlie Morse.
Submitted photo
The Charlottetown Bluephins relay team broke the five-year-old provincial record in the 400-metre freestyle relay in boys 15 and older in Saint John, N.B. From left are David Du, Blake Kingston, Pieter Vanleeuwen and Charlie Morse. Submitted photo
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The Charlottetown Bluephins won 20 gold medals, broke two provincial records and qualified another swimmer for the Eastern Canadian swimming championships during the recent invitational long course swim meet in Saint John, N.B.

David Du, Blake Kingston, Charlie Morse and Pieter Vanleeuwen won gold in 3:49.12 to win the 400-metre freestyle relay in the boys’ 15 and older division. Each swimmer covered a distance of 100 metre in 58 seconds or less.

Elena LeClair, a 13-year-old Stratford native, qualified for the Eastern Canadian championships with strong swims in the 200m backstroke and 400m individual medley (IM), breaking the two-year-old provincial record in the IM.

LeClair joins Charlie Morse, Courtney McBride and VanLeeuwen who have also qualified for the four- day swim event, which kicks off April 16 in Windsor, Ont.

Head coach Tom Ponting said he was very pleased with the results from the weekend competition. “The meet in Saint John was a great first long course competition,” he said. “We set numerous best times, won some tight races, achieved two provincial records and had a great time as a team.”

LeClair led the way for the Bluephins with four gold medals, finishing first in the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 200m IM and the 400m IM.

Tom (Xitong) Ban, Vanleeuwen and Holly Nickerson each brought home three gold medals.

Ban won the 50-, 100- and 200-metre breaststroke, Vanleeuwen claimed gold in the 50m breaststroke as well as the 50- and 400-metre freestyle and Nickerson took top spot in the 100- and 200-metre breaststroke plus the 100-metre freestyle. Morse also claimed first place in the 50m backstroke and 50m frrestyle.

Also winning gold medals were Hercules Cheng, David Du, Blake Kingston, Jessi MacKinnon, Lance Healey and Hunter Pierce.

The qualifying Bluephins will be travelling to Halifax for the Dave Fry AAA long course invitational meet from March 5-8 and the New Brunswick long course spring provincials in Saint John from March 20-22. A development swim meet will take place March 7 in Summerside.

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