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GP Piranhas looking to build on nationals success

UPDATE: Jordan Greber has been selected for the Canadian Junior Pan Pacific Team.

Members of the Grande Prairie Piranhas Swim Club wrapped up their inaugural trip to the Canadian Swimming Trials in Victoria with a podium finish and two personal bests.

Jordan Greber was awarded a bronze medal in the under-18 category for her performance in the junior 100 metre backstroke competition, Ollie Dawson achieved his personal best time in the 200 metre breaststroke, while Marissa Laurin set a new mark for her fastest time in the 100 metre backstroke.

Director of Swimming Alex Dawson says it’s great to see the growth of swimming and the program in Grande Prairie.

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“I arrived in the summer of 2015 and we had a very small program at that point, with limited success. In my seventh season we’ve had exponential growth in all areas of our program,” he says.

Dawson credits the swimmers for their hard work preparing for these kinds of competitions.

“At this level, they are junior national level swimmers so you’re looking at about 16-20 hours a week of practice time, two to four hours a day and six days a week. They train for about 48 weeks every year, so it’s a pretty intense program but they’ve built up to that over the years,” he says.

Dawson says that even though the results are impressive, the swimmers are already preparing for their next competition.

“In ten days’ time, we will be going to the Western Nationals, a junior competition against the best teams in Western Canada. Jordan, Ollie, and Marissa will be there in addition to six other swimmers for us. As we move towards the summer, we have Junior Nationals and we are hoping that Jordan will be chosen for the Junior Pan Pacific Team representing Canada in Hawaii,” he says.

Dawson also emphasizes that getting the swimmers to this level is a team effort and involves a lot of people.

“It takes a lot of work. It’s not just myself and the swimmers. There’s a whole team behind that with parents, volunteers, boards, and Eastlink Centre management. All of those people pulling in the right direction help us get these kinds of results and who knows where we get from there. We’re very grateful,” he adds.

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