Sydney Kenke and Madeline Hill will both be competing against top swimmers from around the world at the Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet. Jessica Dempsey/Cranbrook Townsman

Cranbrook Tritons prepare for international swim meet

Two local swimmers will compete against the best at the Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet

Two Cranbrook Tritons are heading to the Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet to compete against some of the best swimmers around.

The meet is set to take place May 24-26 at the University of British Columbia where swimmers from Canada, the United States and around the world will compete.

Triton swimmers Madeline Hill, 19, and Sydney Kenke, 17, will both be participating at the annual event.

“I’m really excited,” said Hill. “We have been training pretty hard so I think we will do pretty good.”

Kenke also agreed the meet will be a fun time.

“It will be fun to race against other elite athletes and watch some Olympians race as well,” she said.

Not only are there Olympians that take part in the meet, but national team athletes will also compete. In the past, there have been notable swimmers such as Penny Oleksiak and Ryan Lochte.

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Other than doing well at the meet, the goal for both of these athletes is to also beat their personal best times.

“Hopefully we can beat our times, get better times and maybe national times. If not, it will be a good experience,” said Hill.

The two swimmers have been working hard with their coach Dave Chisholm to prepare for the international swim meet. They have been practicing close to 10 times a week.

“Right now we are sort of tapering off so we are rested for the meet, but we have been training fairly hard,” said Hill.

Kenke and Hill have been swimming for nearly seven years and there are no signs of them stopping anytime soon.

“I like that it’s an individual sport and I like the competitive atmosphere,” said Hill.

Staying active and healthy is also an aspect of the sport they enjoy.

This is the second time that Kenke will be participating in the international swim meet, and she says she’s looking forward to it.

“I did okay,” she said about last year’s performance. “I made finals, and that was super exciting.”

The drive these two swimmers have while in the water is something they think will make them stand out.

“We are able to push ourselves,” added Kenke.

Hill and Kenke will both continue swimming competitively next year, as they have made the University of Victoria’s swim team.

This is the 56th annual Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet, which was originally founded in 1963 as Canada Cup. The meet has grown and become the largest of its kind in Western Canada. In 1998 it changed its name after Mel Zajac Sr. sponsored the meet in memory of his sons Mel and Marty.

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