SWA competes at Winter Festival

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South Western Aquatics' Erica Klosler was happy with a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Festival short course swim meet in Brantford.

'Festivals' in Ontario are considered provincials for 13-and-under swimmers and Klosler, 11, was swimming in her third Festival at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, Feb. 14-16.

The Tillsonburg swimmer, seeded second in 100m fly, finished third overall touching the wall at 1:17.83 in her final swim Saturday. Not her best time, but she had good reason.

"That was after I sprained my ankle," explained Klosler Thursday evening at the Tillsonburg Community Centre Kinsmen pool.

She wasn't sure, but thinks it might have happened during her 400m IM earlier Saturday, which was an eighth-place finish and best time.

"I don't really know how I did it. I didn't feel it because of the adrenaline and stuff. It wasn't that bad after I got out after the 400 IM, but it wasn't the best. I could feel it a bit, not much, but because of the adrenaline I wasn't really paying attention."

There was swelling the next day and she had to pull out of her last race. She visited a doctor in London Sunday and it was confirmed sprained.

"On Sunday it hurt to kick," she said.

"I believe it was something before the swimming meet," said SWA coach Roman Ramirez, noting swimmers can be injured on starting blocks or turns, and not really notice it, but added it is extremely rare. "In four years I haven't seen it happen before."

Tillsonburg's Amy Meharg, 10, also medalled at her first Festival with a bronze in the 400m free.

"I had a really good start, then I lost track. This girl was way far ahead of me, so I had to keep looking to see if she touched."

With a burst of speed in her final two 25-metre laps, Meharg was able to earn a personal best time, missing silver by about one second.

"My coach (Ara Ramirez), she kept telling me to get faster and faster, so I was thinking it was the last 50. On my last 25, I saw the girl had touched."

Meharg finished seventh in her 200m free.

"It was my second swim that day and I was really tired."

Long course training is now underway and Meharg would like to make a return trip to Festivals.

"My stroke has improved a lot. Last year my best stroke was fly, but I started training more for free, so I got really fast in free. Our next meet isn't till April, so I'm just going to train hard for long course Festival and see if I can get another medal.

Aiden Chisholm, from Woodstock, nearly hit Top 10 in his longest events at Festival, 11th in the 800m free and 12th in 400m free.

"Saturday was a little bit shaky, but I kind of pulled myself together on Sunday," said Chisholm who qualified for Festival in the 400m and 800m. "I just tried to focus on myself and improve my times.

"Normally my best would be the 800, but this weekend I did the best in the 400 on Sunday. I think I was off to a bit of a slow start (in 800m) and I couldn't really recover. The first 200 (metres) or so, the pace was a little bit slow."

Like Meharg, Chisholm said SWA is training hard for the long course meets.

"I want to do even better in long course," said Chisholm. "I'm hoping to get another Festival (time) in a different stroke, and I want to get my provinicial pre-req in 200 IM."

Aiden Chisholm, 13

15th 200 Free (2:20.73)

11th 800 Free (9:54.99)

24th 100 Free (1:05.47)

12th 400 Free (4:51.92)

Amy Meharg, 10

19th 50 Free (34.88)

7th 200 Free (2:42.69)

3rd 400 Free (5:34.67)

10th 100 Free (1:15.09)

Erica Klosler, 11

23rd 50 Free (32.72)

8th 400 IM (6:06.54)

3rd 100 Fly (1:17.83)

13th 200 Fly (3:10.38)

42nd 100 Free (1:21.93)

Hailey Granger, 13

6th 400 IM (5:35.37)

8th 200 Free (2:21.59)

7th 100 Fly (1:10.80)

4th 200 Fly (2:37.55)

23rd 100 Free (1:07.47)

8th 200 IM (2:39.27)

Brandon Shearing, 10

17th 200 Free (2:48.18)

13th 100 Fly (1:36.63)

10th 200 Back (3:01.15)

8th 200 IM (3:05.22)

8th 400 Free (5:42.80)

16th 100 Back (1:28.59)

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