The Camana Bay Aquatic Club has so far had a season filled with adversity.
The team has been without its home pool and has been swimming a modified schedule at the Lions Pool to accommodate.
And most recently, the team said goodbye to popular coach Chris Dart, who was hired as assistant swim coach at Brown University.
CBAC prides itself on mental toughness and showed as much last weekend at the Lions Pool as the team kicked off its competition schedule in style at the Friday Night Lights and Stingray Sprint meets.
The Friday Night Lights Meet focused on distance races and CBAC was led by Lauren Hew, who won the FINA High Point Award for her age group, finishing first in the 11-over girls 400 meters freestyle and also the 200m backstroke.
Holly Stradling was also a double winner, winning the 11-over girls 800m freestyle and 200m butterfly.
Matt Somerville (1st 11-over boys 400m free), Sabine Ellison (1st 11-over girls 200m breaststroke), Laura Shaw (3rd 11-over girls 800m free), and Ben Somerville (3rd 11-over boys 200m back) also had top three finishes for CBAC.
The team returned to the pool the following morning for the Stingray Sprint meet and, again, dazzled in the pool. Hew (15-over girls), along with Phinn Ellison (6-under boys) and Jack Hendriksen (7-8 boys) were overall High Point Award winners for their age groups.
Hew had a perfect meet, winning all five of her events. Ellison, competing for the first time since graduating from the CBAC Swim School, earned victories in the 25m backstroke and 25m freestyle while finishing in the top three for all events he competed in. Hendriksen was victorious in the 25m backstroke, 25m breaststroke, and 100m individual medley and finished in the top three for all of his meet events.
Also victorious was CBAC’s 8-under boys 100m freestyle relay of Ellison, Hendriksen as well as Rory Barrett (15-over boys 100m breaststroke and 100m butterfly), Finn Bishop (9-10 boys 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly, and 100m freestyle), Harry Bishop (7-8 boys 25m backstroke), Stefano Bonati (9-10 boys 200m IM), Macdonald (7-8 boys 25m butterfly and 25m freestyle), and Matt Somerville (13-14 boys 100m backstroke). Team president Jeff Wight said, “The start of our season has been challenging on a number of levels but our CBAC family has endured and seems stronger than ever.
“I am extremely proud of our swimmers, coaches, and parents and the effort they have all put into our club this season. I look forward to many more successes in and out of the pool.”
The coaching staff was also very pleased with how things have started out. “It’s been a tough start to the season so far given our pool situation and the departure of Chris Dart,” said coach Dave Bott. “But it really shows the toughness of our athletes to come out and step up their game. It’s going to be an exciting season for us.”
For more information, visit the team’s website at camanabayaquaticclub.com.