Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by John Tonin

OFF THE BLOCK – Whitehorse Glacier Bears swimmers dive into the pool during the club's second set of time trials Saturday at the Canada Games Centre.

Image title

Photo by John Tonin

HEADING TOWARD THE WALL – Glacier Bear swimmer Oliver Cull does the breaststroke during the time trials.

Swimmers keep pace in time trials

The Whitehorse Glacier Bears held their second time trial of the swim season Saturday at the Canada Games Centre pool.

By John Tonin on November 10, 2020

The Whitehorse Glacier Bears held their second time trial of the swim season Saturday at the Canada Games Centre pool.

Head coach Carmen Escobar said the time trials the club is conducting are a way to emulate the swim meet atmosphere in preparation for possible events in the future.

"If this is the new scenario, we need to be prepared for that," said Escobar. "At the end of this month, Swim B.C. is going to release what is going to happen with provincials.

"In the meantime, we need to emulate possibilities that could happen. So we are doing three more time trials and to build scenarios so swimmers can handle different things – we will emulate the swim meet atmosphere."

Escobar said the first trial did not go as smoothly as the second because COVID-19 had kept swimmers out of the pool and officially training until September. Although it went better, Escobar said there is still room for improvement.

"The first time we ran a trial it felt like, 'Oh my God, we are racing,'" said Escobar. "They had to dive from the blocks and get into the mindset that we are racing right now.

"This second one the swimmers were more into it. We really tried to make it feel like a swim meet. It was a solid performance in some events and not so good in other events."

Escobar said the swimmers' fitness was there and that they looked "skilled and sharp under the water"– they were able to see how the swimmers looked beneath the surface thanks to an underwater camera. Now, it is about working toward regaining that competitive mindset.

"We need to work more on the racing mentality, really getting into it and not thinking if the time doesn't count it doesn't matter," she said. "It is hard to get back into the racing ambition. Getting back into the racing mode is going to be a tough task.

"Just give me 100 per cent. I don't care what that represents in speed. There was fight, they fought. But, I think they can fight harder."

She did say it was a tough race day. Although the swimmers have been practising four times a week three hours at a time, Escobar said that still doesn't compare to the effort exerted during a race.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the swimmers were put into groups to abide by the pandemic protocols. This meant the athletes were competing with little time between events.

Escobar said the results at the back end didn't benefit from this process performance-wise.

Still, when the Glacier Bears host their next time trials, Escobar said, she plans to keep it the same.

"I think I will do something like this next time to see where the stamina is," said Escobar. "You are putting way more effort into this than in training, but we need to get stronger to tolerate this."

Before either of the trials were completed, Escobar said she would use them as a way to gauge where the swimmers need improvement most. After the second trial, she believes she has found a training cycle that works.

"We have been experimenting in some cycles and I think I found one that is working," said Escobar. "They are fit, they are stronger and are more efficient in the water. Their strokes are coming together, so I think I will continue to develop that cycle and create more depth into that.

"In December, we will see further if this will help them excel. I think the time trials are motivating them to cross limits and to reach higher and further."

Escobar said the next time trials will hopefully be sanctioned with results being posted to Swim Canada, upping the pressure more.

Also competing Sunday, unlike the time trial in October, where the club's younger swimmers. Escobar said the future is looking bright.

"Our little ones, I was really pleased with their progression," said Escobar. "That is something we are working on as well. You can't just focus on the top swimmers, you need to make sure your club has a future.

"They did well in general events. Now, I could see we have more swimmers accomplishing the 100 free under two minutes and some in the low two minutes. That is a barrier we want to break so when they reach the next level, we have fast swimmers."

Comments (1)

Up 3 Down 0

Kelly Juhasz on Nov 11, 2020 at 1:54 pm

Way to go Glacier Bears! Keep up the good work.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.