By Greg Price
Taber Viper Swim Club concluded another successful summer swim season with its year-end awards.
Five different awards were given out, including co-Rookies of the Year in Petra Tymko and Kayleigh Klemen.
“With Kayleigh Klemen, this was her first year in swim club ever. Petra did juniors last year but wasn’t eligible for the award,” said Teri Cook, head coach of the Taber Viper Swim Club. “Kayleigh kind of came out of nowhere, we didn’t expect her to go to a lot of swim meets. But, she went to regionals and made it into the finals in the afternoon. Swimming in her group, she was first or second all the time. She was a real leader for her group. Petra stepped up to my group in swim practice and it’s actually a pretty big step and she did awesome.”
Darci Wright’s handful of medals at provincials earned her Performance of the Year.
“Performance of the Year is closest to an ASSA (Alberta Summer Swimming Association) record. Throughout the year with her attendance and dedication and her five medals at provincials, that was amazing,” said Cook. “She was consistently outstanding throughout the year. She is very good at keeping a cool head and staying focused on the goal at hand, but at the same time go out and have fun.”
For certain races, Olivia Bos was night and day in difference from the beginning of the season to the end which earned her Most Improved.
“At the beginning of the season, she was sort of on the bubble between two swimming groups. We put her in the more advanced group and she did amazing. She was right up there in the group pushing everyone else,” said Cook. “I don’t know what her breaststroke time started at, but she got to being under 40 seconds in her 50-metre breast which is absolutely amazing. Her time, mentality, stroke and technique improvement throughout the whole season was unbelievable.”
There was a repeat winner for the Viper of the Year accolade in Renae Saunders.
“Viper of the Year is an award for a leader of the team. Someone who helps the coaches out and is always there to help bring up the younger kids and cheer everyone on and always has a positive attitude,” said Cook. “Renae has been our Viper of the Year before and she deserves it every single time. She is an amazing role model. She helps us out so much.”
The Vipers also added a new award this year in the Hard Worker Award for Mikayla Kress, as the junior swimmer was not eligible for Rookie of the Year.
“She was at all but one of the swim meets as a six-year old. She absolutely loves swimming. She missed maybe four practices throughout the whole season,” said Cook. “She was our awesome little Viper.”