BY RAFFY BOUDJIKANIAN
It has been an eventful couple of weeks for the Pointe Claire Swim Club training team, as they dominated the recent provincial Aquam provincial competitions and some members even qualified for Olympic trials. "It was a good experience," said Tim Ruse, 23, who walked away from the competition with seven medals, including four golds for the 100 and 200-metre butterfly events, and the 50- and 100-metre backstrokes. Ruse already went to Olympic trials four years ago but did not make the cut back then. "The closer I get (to the April trials date), the more nervous I get," he said with a laugh, adding he feels much more confident about his performance this time. "I know he's going to do well," said Dominique Massie-Martel, 17, who is rooting for his teammate Ruse. Massie-Martel broke a provincial record at the Aquam trials, finishing the 100-metre freestyle in 50.29 seconds. Massie-Martel also participated in two team record-breaking moments, with the Pointe Claire Swim Club taking the 50-metre and 200-metre four-man relay championships. "The Pointe Claire Swim Club is the best club," he said, "and my coach Peter Carpenter is one of the best coaches." Massie-Martel said he had been working all year long to break the 100-metre record, and a huge sense of relief washed over him when he stepped out of the pool and found out he had done it. For now, Massie-Martel will focus on upcoming junior swimming championships in the summer.
Michael Tatigian, 18, who got bronze and silver medals in 200 and 50-metre swims, also earned a shot at the Olympics in the upcoming trials. "You just try not to think about your races too much," he said when asked about how he deals with the pressure of people watching as he competes. "You just kind of zone out."
All three of the young athletes said they train upwards of 20 hours a week.
Other athletes from the swim club who distinguished themselves at the Aquam cup include Gabrielle Murphy in the 11-12 year-old category, who got the gold in all seven events she participated in, and Karim Zayed, 17, who also qualified for Olympics. The club earned itself the highest point average at the cup with 976 points.
BY RAFFY BOUDJIKANIAN
Organizations: The Pointe Claire Swim Club
Geographic location: Pointe ClaireTop of page