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Georgetown swimmers shine at OFSAA, winning five medals

87s win junior girls, para divisions despite seeing 13-year run as provincial champions end

At the midway point of the 100m backstroke, Jackson Sauve was in a close race for the Ontario high school championship.

If there were any concern that Sauve had gone out too hard in the first 50 metres, they were quickly put to rest over the next 25m. By the time the Georgetown District High School swimmer pushed off for the final leg, he was a full body length ahead of his competition. 

The Grade 11 student would touch the wall in one minute, 5.99 seconds, a whopping 2.75 seconds ahead of his nearest rival to claim the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations gold medal. The margin of victory was the largest in all the senior boys’ individual events. 

“He works super hard,” said GDHS coach Krista Nicholls. “For a Grade 11 to be that dominant is incredible.”

Sauve’s gold medal highlighted GDHS’ second-place finish at the provincial championships. And though there was some disappointment that the school’s 13-year run as provincial champions came to an end, Nicholls was quick to remind the team that any other team in the province would be thrilled with the result.

Georgetown did claim the provincial titles in the junior girls and para divisions while finishing second in both junior and senior boys.

Prior to OFSAA, the 87s hit a remarkable milestone by winning their 25th consecutive Halton championship. That streak dates back to when Nicholls herself was a member of the team.

Leading the way at OFSAA in the junior girls division was Gabrielle Ing, who earned a silver medal in the junior girls 100m freestyle.

Nicholls said it didn’t take the Grade 9 student long to demonstrate her dedication, attending three or four practices a week even though only two were required. She swam a 1:15 in the 100m freestyle at the beginning of the season, had cut that to 1:11 heading into OFSAA and then claimed the silver medal with a time of 1:07.81, that left her just a quarter of a second behind the gold medallist.

Ing said the team’s reputation and past success was a motivating factor for her.

“I knew they were pretty successful and then when we went to meets, everyone wanted to beat us,” she said. “It made me want to do better and be a part of it.”

Ing also finished sixth at OFSAA in the 50m freestyle, but considers the 100m to be her strongest of the two events. And all extra practices she attended paid off. 

“It was difficult. I really had to push through some of them,” she said, “but it definitely helped my sprinting.”

Andrew Stanescu claimed Georgetown’s third individual medal with a bronze in the senior boys 100m individual medley. Stanescu was in his first season swimming in the high school division and earned his medal with a time of 1:04.81. He was also fifth in the 50m butterfly.

Stanescu and Sauve also teamed up with Noah Farragos and Drew Bonney for a bronze medal in the senior boys 200m medley relay with a time of 1:58.66.

The junior boys 200m freestyle relay team of Simon Patton, Bennett Cameron, Hunter Bonney and Trent Carlisle also won a bronze medal, finishing in 1:53.94, just .06 behind the silver medal team. 

“A lot of the high school swimmers that medal used to swim club,” Nicholls said. “None of them have a club background, nothing recent anyway.”

Jessica Siderius came away from OFSAA without a medal, but was a big contributor to the junior girls championship. She finished fourth in both the 100m IM and the 50m freestyle and was a member of the junior girls medley relay team with Ing, Lauren Campbell and Brook Marsella who also finished fourth.

Nicholls said Siderius was hurt by a late scheduling change that divided the boys and girls events to separate days. Siderius finished the 50m butterfly in 33.02, missing the podium by .07.

“The 50 fly was her sixth race in five hours,” Nicholls said. “She swam her heart out.” 

Though there were no individual medals for Georgetown in the para division, consistent results helped the 87s claim the division title.

Angelina Guttman was fifth in the 100m freestyle and sixth in the 50m freestyle. Jorja Padt was fifth in the 50m backstroke and 10th in the 100m freestyle. Keira Ward was sixth in the 50m backstroke and teammate Ziva Calder was right behind her in seventh.

Nicholls said Grade 11 students Katie Pinkerton, Avery Ansell, and Sarah Johnson did an outstanding job coaching the para team, attending all their practices, coordinating travel to and from meets.

“They are amazing with the swimmers - so dedicated, and so responsible,” Nicholls said.

Also making finals at OFSAA for Georgetown were Drew Bonney, who was fifth in both the senior boys 50m and 100m freestyle, Gabriel Parent, sixth in the junior boys 50m backstroke, Sauve, seventh in the senior boys 100m IM, Carlisle, seventh in the junior boys 100m freestyle and 10th in the 50m backstroke, and the junior girls 200m free relay (Rebecca Cameron, Abigail Stead, Campbell and Marsella) finished 10th.

Christ the King had three fifth-place finishes at OFSAA - Sierra Roy in the senior girls 100m breaststroke, Kate LeBlanc in the junior girls 50m butterfly and Malcolm Egan in the senior boys 100m breaststroke.

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Herb Garbutt

About the Author: Herb Garbutt

Herb Garbutt has lived in Halton HIlls for 30 years. During that time he has worked in Halton Region covering local news and sports, including 15+ years in Halton Hills
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