Fifteen-year-old Nicholas Bennett is one of 13 swimmers set to compete for Canada at the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games this summer. — Swimming Canada photo

Parksville’s Bennett makes Canadian Parapan swim team

Swimmer impresses at trials in Toronto

Ravensong Breaker Nicholas Bennett earned a spot in the Canadian swimming team that will compete at the 2019 Parapan American Games that will be held in Lima, Peru Aug. 23 to Sept. 1.

The 15-year-old Parksville swimmer, who is coached by Byron Trajan, was selected to the team after doing well at the Canadian Swimming Trials in Toronto in April.

Bennet was awarded the Male Para Swim of the Meet for his performance in the 200-metre freestyle, in which he won the gold medal. It was one of three events in which he broke the national record in his classification (S14), along with the 100 free and 200 individual medley.

Bennett finished the meet with a gold, three silver medals in the 100 fly, 100 breast, and 200 IM, and a bronze in the 100 back.

Para events were swum as multi-class races with swimmers from all classifications competing in the same event with the para swimmer closest to their respective classification’s world record being awarded the gold medal.

Bennett is currently with Canada’s developmental team which is now training at camp in Spain.

For most of the swimmers in the team, this will be their first Games experience and also for many it will be the first step towards competing at the 2020 or 2024 Paralympic Games.

The Canadian team will be led in Lima by Michel Berube, Swimming Canada’s NextGen and Pathways coach, Para swimming

Meanwhile in another meet, Bennett was joined in Edmonton by Jakob Mbobela, 15, and Lochlan Rogers, 14, at the Western Canadian Championships that was held last month.

Bennett finished first in the Para category in 50 free, 100 free, 400 free, 100 fly, 100 breast and 200 IM. Mbobela finished 10th in 100 free, 16th in 50 free, 24th in 200 IM and 31st in 200 free.

Rogers finished 34th in 200 free, 20th in 100 back, 25th in 100 free, 33rd in 100 breast, 14th in 200 back, 35th in 200 IM, and sixth in 50 free.

We had 12 swimmers at the annual Wavemaker Invitational in Victoria, April 26-28 and eight swimmers at the Comox 10 and Under swim meet May 4-5.

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