The largest turnout in many years of swimmers of Estonian descent came together last Saturday October 29th at the McMurchy Pool, Kiwanis Centre for Sports Excellence in Brampton, Ontario. We had 25 active Esto-Canadian and Esto-American swimmers of all ages and abilities race in friendly competition against the Latvian and Lithuanian-Canadian teams. It was a long afternoon but there were many highlights.
Congratulations to this year’s Esto Swim Team members:
Aleksa Gold, Cole Hopp, August Jalakas, Julius Jalakas, Matti Jalakas, Natalie Jalakas, Edward Jupe, Henry Jupe, Margaret Jupe, Laas Kolga, Lief Kolga, Aleksander Mell, Loucas Mell, Matti Piil MacLachlan, Heili Poolsaar, Erik Sadul, Liina Sadul, Christopher Tensuda, Emma Timusk, Andrew Vasila, Katie Vasila, Helle Wichman, Indrek Wichman, Mari Wichman and Sven Wichman.
With such a range of age and talent, we witnessed some amazing races. There was a lot of cheering for the youngest swimmers such as Laas and Lief Kolga and Christopher Tensuda. There was also a lot encouraging cries for the masters, such as Indrek Wichman who drove his family of swimmers from Michigan in order to participate.
For some of the younger swimmers, such as Heili Poolsaar, Cole Hopp and Christopher Tensuda, this was their first swim competition and they did very well. It took a lot of courage for them to get up on the starting blocks, put on their goggles and race for the first time. They all did very well and are to be recognized and congratulated for their efforts. For some of the other more experienced competitive swimmers, this was another notch in their swimbelts. We witnessed great speed and agility in the pool by some of these very strong swimmers, some of whom compete for their schools and for their competitive swim clubs.
Remarkably, the Estonian swimmers placed first in 42 of the 62 events. Also, two out of the four records broken that day were by our swimmers.
We had three current record holders on our team: Aleksa Gold, Matti Piil MacLachlan and Sven Wichman. At this meet Matti also set a record with a time of 30.75 seconds in the 13-14 year old Boys 50 Free. Latvian swimmer Brandon Lawrence, aged 35, set records in the Masters Men category in the 50 Free and 200 Free events. As well, Lithuanian swimmer Veronica Taraska set two records for Masters Women.
We would like to thank all of the parents and grandparents who came, brought their children, cheered and contributed so much to this event. We would also like to thank and acknowledge the generous sponsorship the Eesti Sihtkapital for paying the entry fees of all of the Estonian swimmers and supplying the team with Estonian flag swim caps.
Modris Lorbergs was the Chief Organizer of the Baltic Swim Meet. He co-ordinated the races, completed the swimmers’ entries for all three groups, supplied the ribbons, found the volunteers, desk staff and was the Master of Ceremonies. Pr. Mai Kreem fulfilled her iconic role at the desk, monitoring the entries and records, many of which still exist from when she coached the team in past decades. Thank you so much Modris and pr. Kreem. As many said that afternoon, pr. Kreem is in inspiration to us all.
Our event could not have been possible without the leadership of Alison Timusk.
Thank you to Alison, her husband Marty for being the photographer, and Emma for being our Ambassador of Goodwill.
Thank you to all of the volunteer Timers, Scorekeepers, Food and Beverage suppliers and to all those who made this event possible.
Next year’s Baltic Swim Meet is tentatively scheduled for October 27th, 2012. We invite anyone interested in planning and helping out to please contact Viivi Rita Piil at or 416 385-8069.
Baltic Swim Meet 2011