July 25th, 2024

Mantas have successful season

By Lethbridge Herald on July 2, 2024.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Heraldf

he Lethbridge Mantas Lifesaving Club wrapped up their season recently with plenty of success that was had by its member swimmers at a national and provincial level.

Lifesaving sport teaches athletes about how to pick up sunken or drowning victims through manikins,  how to throw a rope to the drowning victims, running into obstacles and swimming beneath them and are able to tow the  manikins as well to fellow teammates in relays.

Young competitive Mantas including Lethbridge’s Nicole Burgess, Claresholm’s Brinn Cutler, and Taber’s Adison Hutzul and Morgan Bruce all competed at the Canadian Lifesaving Championships Pool Championships in Victoria recently to conclude the season.

The team broke their provincials record of 2:19.63  at nationals last month with a time of 2:18.56 in the 4x50m relay, had two relay medals and one individual medal from Hutzel.

“It was just  a really amazing moment to watch them grow because over the past year they’ve been training really, really hard for these competitions,” said Katie Vienneau, competitive team head coach.

“And the amount of skill that they’ve developed.  Whether it came from their technique with clipping the manikins, grabbing the manikins, like that hand technique or their swimming technique, like both of those developed a ton this year.”

This was the first national competition for all three of the girls and they all shaved double digits off most of their times.

“I would say it was a pretty  big mental accomplishment for them to go through it and be able to see success,” said Vienneau.

“But also see some failures because one of the relays did get (disqualified). So like learning how to deal with that at a national- level swim meet and being able to overcome that and hop in the water 10 minutes later to do their next swim.  It was really, really great to see how much their attitude and  their maturity has developed over the year too  while preparing for it.”

This was the second year since COVID that the Mantas took a team to nationals.

“It opens up a door that they just didn’t know was available earlier, said Vienneau.

“It provides some really, really great role models, and something for them to look forward to and look up to and something for them to train for, knowing that the sport doesn’t have to end when they get older. They can go to the national level and international level.”

Hutzel was also chosen to represent Team Canada at the Orange Cup in the Netherlands in December.

“For her individually, it’s a big stepping stone for her to get on the team possibly for future events as well,” said Vienneau.

“So this is just continually showing the club that we’re producing good athletes and just reinforcing to the entire team that this is something that’s possible,  this is something you can do if you stick with it and you work hard.”

Hutzel will be training with be privately with the Canadian head coach and Mantas in the fall.

The club runs under the U of L’s Horns Recreation and have a recreational and competitive swim clubs that focuses on water safety, first aid and lifesaving skills.

The age range is from six years to young adults.

Interested swimmers are required, depending on recreational or competitive, to swim 10 to 25 metres before considering joining.

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