Kerr says the event provides a great opportunity for both swimmers to qualify for major swim meets with elite teams.
“This is an event located in lower B.C. It’s the first long course meet where you can qualify to make different teams to go to different events,” he explains. “It’s a trials meet to see where you go and you swim and see where you place. If you make a certain ranking you can end up making some of these teams and go to bigger meets later on in the season.”
Benjamin Blackmon says both swimmers needed to complete their events at a previous meet under a certain time to be able to take part in the Pan Pacific Trials.
“The last meet we went to me and Skyeler both made our senior cut national times. For each event there is a time that you have to make like a qualifying time, so you have to go a certain time to get into this meet. We both made it last meet at Westerns so now we’re off to this bigger meet.
Both Kerr and Blackmon will be taking part in three events. Kerr will swim in the 100 metre freestyle, 100 metre butterfly, and the 200 metre butterfly while Blackmon will be swimming in the 100 metre breaststroke, 200 metre breaststroke, and the 200 individual medley.
Blackmon says that it will be fun to see where they stack up with swimmers from across the country as the last meet featured swimmers from only the western part of the country.
“We were just at Westerns so not everybody was there and now the whole country is going to be at this meet so we’re going to see everybody from the eastern side coming over so there’s going to be lots of competition there.”
Inconnu coach Jason Brockman says fellow coach Steve Sadonik deserves a lot of credit and he thinks the achievements of Kerr and Blackmon will help future Inconnu swimmers reach elite levels.
“It’s been since 2008 since we’ve had our last athlete that’s qualified at this level with Cassandra Baker. I wouldn’t necessarily take the credit for them being under my tutelage that brought them here. I’d definitely give the credit to Steve Sadonik who’s had them over the last two years and I think I’ve just been able to capitalize on their dedication, their motivation and just tweak a little bit of their race strategies. I think it’s a great opportunity and it should pave the way for the next couple years of athletes to be at this same level.
The two swimmers will be taking part in the meet next week through Saturday. Closer to home the Inconnu Swim Club will be having a swim meet of their own next weekend at the North Peace Leisure Pool.