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‘They can’t believe he’s only 12’: Kentville swimmer makes waves at recent swim meet, eyeing provincials in Windsor

Robin Domingo with the Kentville Marlins is close to setting a provincial record.
Robin Domingo with the Kentville Marlins is close to setting a provincial record.

KENTVILLE, NS - Kentville Marlins swim coach Ethan Payne has had parents from other clubs wanting to see Robin Domingo’s birth certificate.

“They can’t believe he’s only 12,” he says. “He works hard and he has natural ability. He has a bright future on the team.”

Domingo was an entire three second ahead of his nearest rival in the boys’ 11-12 50-yard butterfly, finishing the race in 29.47 seconds.

Domingo was two full seconds ahead in the 50-yard backstroke. In the 200-yard individual medley, he captured first place with a time of 2.34 minutes, while the second place finisher set a time of 2.41 minutes.

Kentville’s Luc VanFeggelen came fifth with a time of 3.19 minutes. Twelve-year-old VanFeggelen, says Payne, keeps the spirits of the 20-25 member team up.

Emma Jane Hockley swims with the Marlins Aug. 5.

Fourteen-year-old Emma Jane Hockley came second in the 50-yard breaststroke, while Haley Cross, 16, was second in the 50-yard breaststroke and fifth in the 50-yard butterfly.

Payne called Cross a huge leader amongst the team members. He said she comes to every practice and wants to succeed.

Hockley, he added, is “always good, very strong.”

Emma Reeves competes for the Marlins in a summer swim meet hosted in Kentville Aug. 5.

Emma Reeves, who is also 14, is another contender when the team heads to provincials in Windsor in just a few weeks. Reeves was fourth in the 100 yard freestyle, but Payne calls her a “very good swimmer who is driven.”

Fran Domingo, 16, came fourth in the 100-yard backstroke.

“She’s one of the older swimmer and she helps keep the morale up during the long days at swim meets,” said Payne.

Traci Pilarina, 10, came fifth in the 25-yard butterfly event. According to Payne, she’s a real participant in her second year with the team.

“She wants to challenge for the podium in her age group. She really wants to do well.”

Elliot Pashley, who is just 10, captured second place in the mixed 25-yard backstroke Participation event.

“He’s so motivated,” says Payne. “So is his brother, Jonah, 10. They’re the future of the team.”

The Kentville Marlins hosted a summer swim club meet at the Kentville pool Aug. 5.


Provincials in Windsor

The provincial swim meet is less than two weeks away. It is being co-hosted by the Cole Harbour Hurricanes and the Windsor team, at the Hants Aquatic Centre in Windsor, Aug. 18-20.

Windsor’s coach Hayden Adams is looking forward to it.

“I believe this has been a very important season for the team, as we have seen substantial growth from last year, both numerically and regarding the abilities of our swimmers,” he said.

The weekend meet hosted by the Kentville Marlins, he says, was a perfect example of that growth.

Adams, who is in his third year coaching, termed it “a great meet for our team. Everyone raced well, despite the environment of a 25-yard-pool being unfamiliar to our swimmers, as they train in a 25-meter pool.”

The team had at least one personal best performance from each swimmer in attendance, Adams noted. Spearheading the team were Isabelle Lebrasseur and Cassidy Lutes, who both earned first place finishes during the meet.

A swimmer with the Kentville Marlins dives into the pool at Memorial Park during competition.

The Bluefins also attended the meet hosted by the Bedford Beavers the following day. There was some uncertainty going into this meet, as the weather was calling for thundershowers all day, he noted.

“While there was no sign of thunder, there was some very heavy rain and low temperatures that certainly had an effect on the swimmers from every team,” he said.

But the Windsor swimmers saw some success, with Freddy Rideout, in the 11-12 age boys category, who qualified for provincials for the first time by meeting the qualifying standard in the 400-meter freestyle.

“Qualifying for provincials entails that a swimmer is allowed five individual races at the provincial meet,” Adams explained.

Anyone who competes at a swim meet before Aug. 1, Adams noted, is eligible for the provincial meet, but they are only allowed to swim two individual races. Rideout is among five Windsor Bluefins who are fully qualified for the meet, alongside Amy Johnston, Isabelle Lebrasseur, Cassidy Lutes, and Briana Sexton.

“I think we are looking quite strong for the provincial swim meet. The team is the largest it has been since 2014, with a total of 24 swimmers registered,” he said.

“The fact that provincials are in our home pool is a huge advantage. This is because the swimmers train with the landmarks that will be key to their races at provincials, such as the backstroke flags, and the lines on the bottom of the pool.”

Until provincials, he added, his team will be working hard.

“I am just excited to see what the team can do in their home pool in a few weeks. We are going to be hard at work until then preparing to swim our fastest."

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