Nanaimo Riptides swimmer Claire Boudrot works on her freestyle at practice Tuesday afternoon at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. The Riptides are preparing to host their annual Spring Sprint invitational meet Saturday (May 28) and Sunday at the NAC.

Nanaimo Riptides swimmer Claire Boudrot works on her freestyle at practice Tuesday afternoon at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. The Riptides are preparing to host their annual Spring Sprint invitational meet Saturday (May 28) and Sunday at the NAC.

Swimmers sprint for personal bests

The Nanaimo Riptides will race other swimmers and also race the clock this weekend.

The swim team is hosting its annual Spring Sprint meet this Saturday (May 28) and Sunday at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre.

Hundreds of people are expected to be poolside for the action, with swimmers and their families coming from all around Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. The Riptides will try to fuel the loudest cheers at their home pool.

“They’ve been working hard the last two months,” said Darcy Irwin, assistant coach. “They’re getting closer. There’s a bunch of them that are going for provincial-level times at this meet. There’s probably five or six that missed it by about a second so they’ve been pretty focused on getting those times.”

If there’s any place to deliver, it’s at the NAC. The Riptides have swum enough laps there to know the pool’s “cues”, said Irwin.

“It’s subtle markings on the bottom, a filter, or the grouting is bigger in one spot,” he said. “You learn to pick them up and that’s sort of the cue of where you need to be fast under water.”

SWIM SHORTS … All ages of Riptides swimmers will be competing at this weekend’s meet. Saturday’s heats and finals go between 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday’s action is from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The fastest race, the 50-metre freestyle, is scheduled for first thing Saturday morning.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com