Local swimmer Jennifer Depippo’s quest to represent Canada at the Paralympic Games continues, with recent competition at the Can-Am Games in Bismarck, North Dakota.
The 2015 Can-Am Open was held from Dec. 10-12. It also served as the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Open, giving American swimmers to earn qualification slots for their country in preparation for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Depippo said that despite the “Can-Am” moniker, the event had a real global flavour, with swimmers from Russia, China, Japan, Australia, Cuba, Puerto Rico and St. Croix also competing.
“The level of competition was really good,” Depippo said upon her return. “It was a real eyeopener for me.”
Depippo said that for the North Dakota meet, her international classication was bumped up from a Level 8 to a Level 9.
“That’s a tougher, more competitive level — a bigger test,” she said. “But I’m prepared to take that on.
“I knew that I could do it, and I proved that I could do it.”
Depippo’s results were as follows:
• 400 metre freestyle — 6min. 30sec.
• 100 metre backstroke — 1min., 50.6 sec.
• 50 metre freestyle — 39.05sec
• 100 freestyle — 1min. 23.46 sec.
• 100 breaststroke — 2 min. 0.41 sec.
“Overall, these were my best times at any meet,” Depippo said. “I am really happy with my results.
“I knocked two seconds off my backstroke time, another second off my 100-metre free, almost 15 seconds off my 400-metre free, and eight seconds off my breaststroke.”
Next up for Depippo is the BC Provincials, to be held in Victoria in March, 2016. After that, she’s likely heading to Toronto for Team Canada Paralympic qualifying.
Depippo would like to thank her local sponsors: Frank Sandor from Sandor Rental, Geoff Berry from Geoff’s Contracting, Jim Fiorentino from the Fiorentino Brothers, New Dawn Developments, Chris Thom at Rocky Montain Diesel, Derick Spring at Northstar GM, Ben Coles from Promotory Press, AM music, and the Cranbrook Colonels Oldtimers Hockey Club.