Eight Otters qualify for Provincial championships
No fewer than eight Merritt Otters’ swimmers have qualified for the BCSSA Provincials in Nanaimo from August 17-19 following the Okanagan Regional Championships in Kamloops this past weekend.
Bianca Cavaliere (Div. 1) and Taylor Carmichael (Div. 5) led the way for the Otters at the Brock Pool on Saturday and Sunday.
Cavaliere, 9, took first in her 50m freestyle and backstroke races as well as in the100m freestyle. She finished second in the 50m butterfly event. Her winning time of 1:21.00 in the 100 free ranks her number one in the province for summer swimmers.
Fifteen-year-old Carmichael’s victories came in the 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly events as well as in the 200m individual medley race. She is ranked number one in the province in no fewer than three of her four events: 50 fly (31.14), 100 fly (1:09.60) and 200 IM (2:36.06).
Also qualifying in four events was Merritt’s Reese Paterson (Div. 2), while Dylan Carmichael and Cassie O’Flaherty (Div. 3) along with Tyrel Narciso (Div. 5) qualified in one individual event apiece.
In addition, Otters Rahul Chhabra and Cameron Thompson will join Narciso and the younger Carmichael on the Div. 5 boys freestyle relay team in Nanaimo thanks to a first-place finish at Regionals.
Carmichael, Cava-liere, Paterson and O’Flaherty will be swimming on the regional relay teams in their respective divisions at Provincials.
All told, 16 of Merritt’s 35 swimmers in attendance at Regionals had one or more top-8 finishes in their races. The top three in each event automatically qualified for the Provincial Championships.
Otter relay teams picked up five top-3 finishes on the weekend.
Points-wise, the Merritt Otters placed fifth overall as a team.