Langley Olympians Swim Club members joined some of the world's top swimmers for a meet in South Vancouver last weekend.
The annual Mel Zajac, Jr. International Invitational took place May 25-27 at the UBC Aquatic Centre, and the international field attending the meet this year was among the best that has ever been assembled.
Langley Olympians Swim Club had a team of 10 take part, including Jake Tapp and Chelsey Salli, who were finalists at the Canadian Olympic Trials in Montreal.
Headliners include triple-Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Rice of Australia, joined by country-mates Leisel Jones, Kenrick Monk, and Ryan Napoleon.
Park Tae-Hwan of South Korea, the defending world and Olympic champion in the men's 400-metre freestyle, competed as well.
They were going up against many of Canada's Olympic Team members, including 2011 world championship silver medalist Brent Hayden, along with Martha Macabe and other swimmers from the Vancouver National Training Centre.
The meet was a long course event (50mm pool) and was open age group, so some of the young Langley swimmers were racing against much older, more experienced athletes.
Tapp, 23, came away with a gold in the men's 100m fly, silver in the 50m fly, and bronze in 200 IM and 100m backstroke.
Chelsey Salli, 20, placed fourth in the women's 50m breaststroke, seventh in the 200 breaststroke, and eighth in the 100m breaststroke. Salli also made the B final in 100m backstroke and 200m IM, and the C final in the 50m fly.
Justin Schramm, 14, set a new club record in the men's 200m fly in a time of 2: 14.44, as well as qualifying for the B final.
Siobhan Board, 14, made the C final in the women's 50m backstroke.
Michael MacDonald qualified for the C final in the men's 50m backstroke while Hillary Metcalfe, 14, made the B finals in the women's 200m IM and 200m breaststroke.
LOSC head coach Brian Metcalfe said of his swimmers, "This was a great learning experience for our younger swimmers, competing against elite level, best-in-the-world athletes. The kids all responded well with many of them making second swims against elite swimmers. To have 14-yearolds making B finals at this level is just awesome."
Olympians' registration is ongoing. Call 604-532-5257 or visit www.langleyolympians.com for more details.
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