The Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) swim team
made a splash during the 2001 Long Course National Championships in
Seattle Aug. 16 to 19 by setting 15 provincial records.
Beynon of HMCS Calgary, LS Hayley John of HMCS Huron, LCol John McManus of
443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron and Lt(N) Tony Zezza of Fleet School swam
against some of the best swimmers from around the world.
that we were ready and that we would do well, but nowhere in my wildest
dreams did I think we'd set 15 provincial records," said team captain
Lt(N) Tony Zezza.
The highlight of the competition was SLt Beynon’s
gold-medal win in the 200-metre backstroke.
"She just outreached
the competition," said Lt(N) Zezza.
SLt Beynon set six provincial
records in the 25 to 29 age category, and shattered the 200-metre
backstroke record of 2:49.88 with a time of 2:37.65.
LS John nearly
matched her teammate with five records for the 20 to 24 age group,
including Canadian national records in the 50 and 100-metre
"I was fairly satisfied," she said. "I trained hard and
it paid off."
Lt(N) Zezza had stronger words for the two swimmers'
accomplishments, saying, "SLt Beynon and LS John not only can compete at
the international stage, but are the best in the world at their respective
SLt Beynon already
took two gold medals at this year's Canadian Masters Championships, and LS
John won two bronze medals at the Conseil Internationale du Sport
Militaire Swimming Championship in St. Petersburg, Russia in early
In Seattle, the four swimmers combined their strengths for
the relays, topping the B.C. record for the 200-metre mixed freestyle
relay. They were less than a second away from claiming the record for the
mixed medley relay.
Lt(N) Zezza set three records of his own in the
50 and 100-metre freestyle and the 50-metre butterfly.
for this swim meet," said Lt(N) Zezza.
They were up against more
than 1,000 competitors from Mexico, South America, Europe and Morocco, as
well as Canada and the United States. All were preparing and ranking
themselves for the World Masters Championships in New Zealand next spring,
said Lt(N) Zezza.
LCol McManus also
came from abroad, arriving at the Seattle airport just an hour and a half
before his first race. He flew directly to the competition from Penang,
Malaysia where he was on board HMCS Winnipeg replacing one of his crew
commanders from the Helicopter Detachment.
Two days of travelling
and a serious case of jet lag left him feeling like it was 8 p.m. when he
jumped in the pool Friday morning.
"I was completely disoriented as
far as times and days go," he said.
LCol McManus also couldn't
train for the three weeks he was at sea with Winnipeg.
He didn't do
as well as he'd hoped because of the time away from training and the jet
lag, but that didn't dampen his experience of seeing a level of
competition he's never seen in Canada.
"The atmosphere was electric
just because they were setting world records every third or fourth final
event," he said.