Southwestern Ontario’s top swimmers dove into the pools at Brantford’s Wayne Gretzky Centre last weekend, showcasing their speed at the 35th annual Swim International meet.

The Swim International is a prestigious, invitation-only meet, which means that swimmers need to qualify to compete. In total, over 30 clubs ended up sending swimmers, making for an energized and packed crowd.

Swimmers came out with their best efforts, as evidenced by the 40 records that were broken during the meet, from November 12- 14.

Twenty-six of those broken records came from the hands and feet of Etobicoke.

“I’m ecstatic with how our team did,” Coach Thorbourn of Etobicoke said. “All the work each swimmer put in really paid off.”

Along with breaking 26 club records, Etobicoke was also the highest scoring club and took home the honour of highest scoring male and female swimmers.

The home Brantford team also had a successful weekend. Although they were only the 14th highest scoring club, they managed to win 10 medals.

Brantford Aquatics champion of the weekend was Liam Gibson, 10, who brought home six medals; a first in the 200 freestyle; four seconds in 200 backstroke, 100 butterfly, 400 freestyle, and 50 butterfly; and a third in 200 individual medley.

Tanner Robinson, 12, won two individual medals; two thirds in 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke; as well as a bronze in free relay, which he swam with Conner Gibson, Sebastian Paulins and Andrew Vallee. Sixteen-year-old, Marc Muise also brought home silver in the 100 freestyle.

Other Brantford swimmers who placed in the top five were; Connor Gibson who came in fifth in the 200 backstroke; Marc Muise, fifth in the 100 backstroke; Sebastian Paulins, fourth in 400 freestyle; Tanner Robinson, fifth 400 freestyle; and Andrew Vallee, fifth 50 freestyle, fourth 200 freestyle, and fifth 100 breaststroke.

Before each night’s finals, the officials were walked in with a bagpiper, followed by the singing of “Oh Canada.” It allowed the spectators and teams to show their appreciation for the time they put into preparing.

“I thought it was a beautiful thing,” said Joyce Hawes, a parent from Scarborough Swim Club. “It’s always a positive thing when we can show how much thanks we have for the people who help with each meet.”

Not all swim-moms were as pleased with the outcome of the meet, however. One Brantford parent claims the time officials were too slow hitting in the times, and that her daughter’s times were affected by slow fingers.

She goes on to say that she is “ashamed” in the outcome of the meet and that it was not the best Brantford Aquatic Club could’ve put forth.

Despite some small problems, the overall outcome of the meet was successful, with all clubs putting forth their best effort and these young swimmers showing off the Michael Phelps inside all of them.