The Prince Rupert Rapids won a total of 22 medals at the North and Interior Winter Divisionals in Penticton, on Feb 25 to 27. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)

Prince Rupert Rapids win 22 medals – 9 gold, at North and Interior Winter Divisionals

Three swim club members to head to provincials

Twenty-two medals adorned the necks of Prince Rupert Rapid swimmers, with nine golds, after wins in the North and Interior Winter Divisional swim meet held in Penticton from Feb. 25 to 27

Heidi Bellis hauled in half-a-dozen gold medals, Josh Joubert brought home two and Chase McWilliams won one. Many other team members of the 11 Prince Rupert swimmers placed in the top positions of the event.

The Rapids placed fourth overall behind meet winners Kelowna Aquajets, runners-up KISU Swim Club of Penticton and third-placed Kamloops Classic Swimming teams. The Terrace Bluebacks Swim Club and Kitimat Marlin Swim Club placed 10th and 13th, respectively, out of the 16 competing teams.

The divisionals marked the first time the Rapids have competed out of the region since the summer of 2019, Chris Street, head coach, said.

“It was really incredible to be back in the heats and finals,” Street said.

Along with Joubert’s two first-place wins in the senior boys’ 50-metre freestyle and 50 m backstroke, he also collected eight other medals. The swimmer also added three more provincial qualifying times in the 200 m individual melody, 100 m freestyle and 50 m backstroke.

Bellis won the 13 to 14-year-old girls 800 m freestyle, 400 m freestyle, 400 m individual melody, 200 m butterfly, 200 m freestyle and 100 m freestyle. She added three more provincial qualifying times in the 200 m butterfly, 200 freestyle and 100 m freestyle.

McWilliams won the 13 to 14-year-old boy 50 m backstroke.

“He had a little out-of-body experience there … He swam out of his mind in the 50 m backstroke and won it,” Street said.

Next up for the Rapids will be a trip to Victoria to compete at the 2022 provincial tournament held March 10 to 13.

Bellis, Joubert and Kelly Choi will be the three athletes representing Prince Rupert alongside swimmers from across the province.

WATCH: Rapids swim team make a splash at regional meet

READ MORE: Prince Rupert Storm win BC Northwest Zone Championship

Norman Galimski | Journalist
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