By: Faustine Leung and Flynne Gossling

March was a very hectic yet unbelievable month for the RTC! After some amazing performances at the French Open, we had a quick turnaround and headed to Calgary for National Qualifiers shortly after. There, we had some really great swims and results, including a clean gold medal sweep in all of our team events!

Our stay in Calgary started off with a trip to Banff. Some of us took the gondola ride up to the top of the mountain, where the views were just breathtaking. The rest of the day consisted of some shopping and going to the hot springs.

Following our lovely day off, we had two days of tough training. Never in my life did I think we would swim all 14 of our routines in just under 30 minutes! Nonetheless, as brutal as the practices were on our bodies, the team was able to keep a positive attitude the entire time. It was a bonding experience to say the least 😉

The competition consisted of five jam-packed days. Some of us had to swim EIGHT events!!

On the first day, we watched our tech soloists perform excellent swims, where Emily placed fourth in Senior and Flynne and Maura placed third and fourth respectively in Junior. We also got to witness the first male soloist at a Canadian Qualifier, which was pretty cool!

The second day held many tech events, starting off with Senior tech duet where Alana and Kristin finished in second and Flynne and Catherine in fourth. Our three Junior tech duets all had incredible swims especially for not having practiced them in over a week, as they didn’t compete this routine at the French Open! #adaptability! Olivia and Jaiden placed third, Maura and Emma placed fourth, and Scarlett and Maddie placed sixth. To end off this amazing day, our Senior tech team captured the gold!

The third day was VERY busy. Our free soloists, Emily and Flynne, began the day quite early and had beautiful swims, placing third in Senior and Junior, respectively. The evening competition started off with a bang, as our fun Burlesque themed highlight team swam to first place! Following this, was our Cinderella combo that had a spectacular, crowd-pleasing swim and also finished in first! Later that evening, our coaches and IST team had an out-of-this-world surprise for us: a shout-out from Canada’s figure skating sweethearts (and gold medalists), Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir!!!!!!!!!!!! We were all speechless and overjoyed, and it was arguably the best surprise ever.

The fourth day held the free duet competitions. In Junior, Jaiden and Maura finished in first and Emma and Scarlett in fifth and in Senior, Catherine and Emily finished in second. The Junior tech team ended the day with an great swim to first place!

On the last day of Qualifier, our Junior and Senior free teams beautifully swam our “We The North” routine, and won!

Qualifiers went amazingly, and the team was able to stay united and positive the entire time, which can be difficult considering we were gone for so long. After spending so much time together in March, it’s safe to say that we learned so much about each other and created a stronger bond between all of us. It was truly an unforgettable experience!