Categories
swimming

Canada West at the U of L 2022

I popped over to the university this evening to watch the 2022 Canada West Swim Meet. I’ve been looking forward to this meet since I learned about it months ago. The University is hosting an alumni weekend for all former Pronghorns.

I’ll be the first to admit that watching a swim meet when you don’t know the swimmers can be a bit boring but today I was not disappointed. Within the first few races I watched, Lethbridge local Apollo Hess broke a Canadian record in the short-course 50 Breast with a time of 26.63.

Lethbridge's Apollo Hess shaved .02 seconds off his own Canadian Record in the 50 meter breaststroke (short course) at the Canada West Championships.
Lethbridge’s Apollo Hess shaved .02 seconds off his own Canadian Record in the 50 meter breaststroke (short course) at the Canada West Championships.

The rest of the alumni weekend is looking good too with tickets to the men’s and women’s basketball games as well an alumni party at the Zoo (the university pub). They’re having a draw for a couple of different prizes including a $500 WestJet voucher for one lucky Pronghorn. Wish me luck.

Categories
life swimming

Swimming Again

Over the summer I’ve gotten back into swimming. What’s been motivating me most is that I’m actually getting pretty fast again1.

I’m not as fast as when I was swimming for the Pronghorns but I’m feeling good about my progress. My best time this year is a kilometre in 16 minutes and 30 seconds (average speed of 24.75s per length). I’ve been using my Apple Watch to keep track of lengths and while I love that it tracks splits and distance, it seems to need a flip turn in order to register each complete 25m length.

I’m already below my goal of each 50m in 50 seconds but my ultimate goal is a kilometre in 16 minutes flat.

Update: I’ve got my time down to 16:20


  1. Or at least what I consider pretty fast for a 43 year old who was never particularly good at distance swimming. ↩︎
Categories
Hockey

Iginla Likes the Cold

Apparently nobody recognized the former NHL superstar during this “every man” weather report from Fox 25 asking what folks thought of the crazy amount of snow that had fallen.

“I like the snow, I like the winter, but not necessarily this,” said Jarome Iginla. “May be a little too much.”

“Pretty tough, we’re from Canada, so it’s not too crazy,” Iginla said. “I mean we got some winter tires. Used to this growing up so, it’s not great, I’ll tell you, you get some tough stretches, but if you don’t go too fast it’s doable.”

Jerome Iginla talking to news reporter about the weather.

Yep, it was that Jerome Iginla. If you don’t recognize him, Iginla is a well-known superstar hockey player. He played many years for the Calgary Flames and even played a season for the Boston Bruins. He was recently elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

(via One Foot Tsunami)

Categories
Hockey

Zamboni Driver Wins Hockey Game

This is like something out of a Disney movie. The main goalie gets injured. The back-up goalie gets injured. Who’s going to go in net? Hey, 42 year old Zamboni driver, get over here we need you to play in the NHL.

Ok, so he is their back-up, back-up emergency goalie but still worth checking out the video:

(via Miss Celenia)

Categories
basketball news

Kobe Bryant – Death of a Superstar

While the full details are not yet known, ESPN appears to have an early scoop on what happened in that fatal flight.

The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant that crashed Sunday was in a climbing turn at about 2,400 feet before it turned into a dive, a source told ESPN. According to flight-tracking data, the copter was in a 4,000-feet-per-minute descent when it crashed

Categories
friends life Sport

Malletball

Yesterday afternoon in the park, we helped celebrate our friend Thomas’s birthday with a potluck and games. I played some chess, had my hand injured in a slack-line tightening incident (I’m fine), didn’t come in dead last at croquet, and ate some of the best devilled eggs and broccoli salad I’ve ever had. By all accounts, it was already a great afternoon, but then something amazing happened.

Thomas pulled out a volleyball and together with five others of us armed with croquet mallets, we spontaneously created the new lawn game and soon to be sensation, “Malletball”.

It was amazing how simple and yet complex the game was from the start. We cordoned off a small section of the park, using croquet gates to mark goal posts. We felt that it would be too difficult to score if one could just block with his body, but what would be the punishment if you did block? I came up with the idea that it should be a point for the other team if the ball touches you and Thomas added then that it would be five points for a goal. So quick; so perfect.

Probably the most amazing part was that despite swinging mallets at each other nobody got hurt. As long as Matthew’s smashed thumb doesn’t count as somebody. There were a few near misses. One time I raised my mallet up over my head to stop a flying ball, the end of the mallet unscrewed and came tumbling down nearly grazing my head… resulting in the birth of the no high-sticking rule.

Some other interesting developments, Thomas invented a way to juggle the ball in the air, I created a fairly inspiring “behind the back” maneuver, not to mention the ways we learned to flip the ball up to a teammate to try and hit it at an unsuspecting opponent. (Though it is easier said than done).

The teams were very even. We decided to finish at 100 points, and the final tally was 100 – 94. I can’t wait to try it again, perhaps with hockey nets next time.

Malletball

Categories
Sport

64 inch high jump

Yesterday my brother in-law filmed me clearing a 64 inch high jump bar.

Hit play or watch on YouTube.

Categories
Sport

Summer Games

After more than a year of planning, the 2012 Alberta Summer Games are finally here.

It’s been stressful but the community has really come together to make these games great. It’s been a pleasure to be chairing the ceremonies committee and our Opening Ceremonies tomorrow night at the Enmax Centre are going to be great!

Categories
swimming

Swimmers Go for Olympic Dreams at Canadian 2012 Trials

My friend and former roommate Richard Hortness is heading off to Montreal for the Olympic trials. He’s no longer living in Lethbridge but we wish him well. The Lethbridge club team has quite a few former swimmers also going to the meet, some of whom I’ve helped coach and/or shared the pool with. Here’s the news release from lethbridgeswimming.com:

Every four years, the Olympic Games stop the world. For a moment in time, the population across the globe, share in athletic glories, defeats, and Olympic stories. For 12 Lethbridge Swimmers, the dream of becoming an Olympian will be put to test in reality show called the Canadian Olympic 2012 Swimming Trials. The Trials will take place next week in Montreal, at the historic 1976 Montreal Olympic Pool. The pool is situated in Olympic Stadium, originally built for the 1976 Olympics and formerly home of the Montreal Expos.

For the Lethbridge contingent, the road to the Olympic Games began a decade ago. From initially jumping in the pool to learn four basic strokes fly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle, each athlete has worked to improve strength, endurance, speed, has refined stroke technique, has learned how to apply sport psychology, learned how to balance social and academics with athletics, and has paced up and down the pool several million kms. These athletes have raced on the national and international levels and have participated in training camps around the world, just to gain experience for this moment.

Through the process of diligent training, day to day, month to month, year to year these athletes have put themselves into contention. Competing at the Olympic Trials is comparable to making the NHL playoffs.

“The time is now,” says Head Coach Brad Mori. We have 12 qualified to compete at the Trials; Ryan Thornley, Kyle Troskot, Leah Troskot, Jeffrey Nicol, Rachel Nicol, Jessica Kelly, Kristy Gabruck, Mat Loyola, Matthew Mastromatteo, Tiha Konyves, David Errington, and Zack McAllister.

This is the largest contingent to ever represent Lethbridge at the Canadian Olympic Trials. “I think we are doing a good job of keeping kids engaged in the sport long enough for them to mature physically and mentally, they are able to realize their potential, and go about their day to day business more professionally. Swimmers are now hitting their prime in their mid to late twenties. Generally, the days of sending teenagers, with hormones and inconsistencies, to the Olympics Games is done. We are sending intelligent men and women, with a full set of tools.”

For Kyle Troskot, Zack McAllister, Jeffrey Nicol, and Rachel Nicol they will go into the meet with having experienced the Canadian Olympic Trials in 2008. “This is a different meet with different pressures than most competitions. For many swimmers their dream and career goal is on the line.” “It was the most exciting competition of my career” says Mori, who was a 1996 Olympic Trials Finalist and also competed at the 2000 Trials. “Having been in this moment 4 years ago, with the press and the hype, these kids will have the advantage of experience.”

Our top contenders will be Kyle Troskot, Rachel Nicol, and Zack McAllister. Both Kyle and Rachel are away at university this year, Kyle is at Texas A&M (2nd year) and Rachel as at Southern Methodist University (1st year). Zack is in his first year at University of Lethbridge and training with the Pronghorns. Both Kyle and Rachel will be fresh of performances at the NCAA championship. The fastest meet in the world should also provide added experience for the Olympic Trials next week. McAllister has had a great season, having competed at the Pan American Games in Mexico this past fall.

Pronghorns, Ryan Thornley, Jeffrey Nicol, and Jessica Kelly will be looking to crack the top 8 “A final”. “If you have a lane, you have a chance. Anything can happen. Every 4 years you see kids come out of the wood works, you see veterans come out of retirement for one last chance to make the team.”

To make the Canadian Team, swimmers must win or place second in the event and swim a time faster than the FINA “A” two per country time standard. Rachel Nicol has posted this standard previously, Kyle is itching closer. Zack will be competing for a spot on the Paralympic Team. “Unfortunately for Zack, we are still waiting on a classification appeal, and might not know if he has qualified until after the ruling has been made.”

The meet will run from March 27th to April 1st. Rogers Sportsnet will be covering the action live nightly from 7-8:00 pm Eastern time.

Update: Richard made the team! He’ll be competing for Canada in the 4×100 relay. As for the Lethbridge swimmers, there was a total of 39 personal best times with four swimmers making it into the finals—three placed in top eight.

Categories
life Sport

Pinch’o’Crow Rendezvous 2011

Kayaking
Photo by Janson Smith

I went to Castle River Rodeo Campground again this year with my good friend Andy for the long weekend kayaking festival. This was my 6th year participating in the event and once again it was a really good time.

Kayaking
Photo by Janson Smith

Organizer, Chuck Lee, and his crew of volunteers put on a great event each year with all sorts of river runs and clinics available for paddlers of all levels. Andy and I hit up the “Upper-Upper Old Man” and also the section known as “The Gap”. We also ran the Castle River Falls and the Castle Canyon run. Here’s a video from near the headwaters of the Old Man River shot on the GoPro HD Hero 960 that I was given for Christmas. (Which I love by the way).

Near Castle River Head Water

Each year they have a boat stacking competition — we were eliminated in the semi-finals — which is too bad because the winning team each got a brand new helmet. Here we are in a round where we did NOT get eliminated.

kayaking stacking competition
Photo by Janson Smith

This year I helped start a new tradition that they’re now calling H2O Limbo. Just Liquid Sports provided the prizes in three contests — one for men, women, and kids and I came in second in the mens which earned me a new pair of neoprene gloves! (Thanks Rob) The guy who beat me must have been about 65 years old and could limbo better than just about any guy I’ve ever seen.

kayaking
Photo by Janson Smith

Some dude ran Lundbreck Falls again this year — I did not. Luckily there were no injuries at the falls. Here’s the photo I snapped:

Lundbreck Falls Run
Photo by Jeff Milner

And the video from my iPhone (thanks Andy):

Lundbreck Falls 2011

There is a photo of me running the same falls in 2008.