Senior swimmer leads White Rock Wave with world record at provincial championships

Betty Brussel, 95, sets new world mark in 200-m breaststroke at Victoria meet

White Rock Wave swimmer Betty Brussel competes in a freestyle swim at provincial championships earlier this month in Victoria. (Contributed photo)

Add a few more pages to the record books of the White Rock Wave.

Early this month, nine members of the Semiahmoo Peninsula-based masters swim club travelled to Victoria for BC Masters Provincial Championships, where they scooped plenty of medals and one swimmer – 95-year-old Betty Brussel – set new B.C., Canadian and world records.

Brussel returned home with record-breaking times – either provincial or national – in each of her seven events, including four freestyle distances; the 100-m backstroke; and both the 100- and 200-breaststroke. Her time in the 200-m breaststroke also set a new world masters record in the 95- to 99-year-old women’s division.

The feat is Brussel’s second world record in recent months. At a competition in Chilliwack on March 2, Brussel set a new world record in the 50-m breaststroke, beating the old standard by six seconds.

Brussel’s seven gold medals at the Victoria meet – which was held April 12-14 – were far from the lone highlight for the Wave, which as a team placed seventh overall out of 36 teams.

Craig Slater, 58, won gold in the 50-, 100- and 200-m backstroke events, snagged a silver medal in the 100-m individual medley, and won bronze in the 50-m butterfly. He also had two fourth-place swims – in the 50- and 100-m breaststroke.

Michael Collins, 44, won a gold medal in the 200-m backstroke and a bronze in the 100-m IM, while also adding a fourth-place finish in the 50-m freestyle; Carlos Sanchez, 44, was first in the 100-m freestyle and second in a slew of events – 50-m freestyle, 50-, 100- and 200-m breaststroke as well as the 100-m IM; and Brian Scarth, 51, won a gold medal in the 50-m freestyle, silver in the 50-m butterfly and bronze in three more events – 100- and 200-m freestyle and 50-m breaststroke.

Also during the three-day competition – which included swimmers from Canada and four U.S. States, including Hawaii – Ross Nicholson, 56, won gold in the 100-m IM and silver in the 200-m butterfly and 200-m freestyle; Wanda Morris, 58, had personal-best times in all six of her events while picking up a bronze medal in the 50-m backstroke; Gail Evans, 72, was first in the 400-m freestyle, third in the 50-m backstroke and 50-m breaststroke and fourth in the 100-m free; and Skip Ray, 78, rounded out the White Rock medal haul with a handful of first-place swims – in the 50- and 100-m freestyle, 50-m butterfly, 50-m breaststroke, and 100-m IM. He also won silver in the 50-m butterfly and was fourth in two others.

The Wave also picked up another big win out of the water, too, as the club was selected to host the 2020 masters provincial championships. Though planning for the event is still in the early stages, the event will be held at South Surrey’s Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre, Wave coach Carole Gair confirmed to Peace Arch News Monday.



sports@peacearchnews.com

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