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Fort Macleod athlete wins 11 medals at provincials

dallas walker

Dallas Walker of Fort Macleod won 11 medals and set two provincial records at the Alberta and North West Territories Open Pool Lifesaving Championships at Edmonton.

Dallas Walker’s dedication to training for lifesaving sport paid off last month at a provincial competition.
The Fort Macleod athlete put in more time in the gym getting ready for the event and it paid off with an impressive haul of 11 medals and two provincial records.
“When people ask me how the meet went I light up,” Walker said. “I am proud of myself and thankful that I have pushed myself to succeed. It is a feeling of content and desire or hunger to excel even more at nationals.”
Lifesaving sport is composed of a series of events based on activities that are part of a life guard’s work.
Walker earned a gold medal in the 100-metre carry with fins event with a time of 108.67 at the Alberta and North West Territories Open Pool Lifesaving Championships at Edmonton.
Walker and partner Alex Sura also won gold in the line throw event with a time of 17.75 seconds.
The Fort Macleod athlete earned silver medals in 100-metre rescue medley with a time of 1.29.82; the 200-metre obstacle event with a time of 2.39.89; the 50-metre manikin carry with a time of 44.72; the 200-metre super lifesaver event with a time of 303.94; and the 100-metre tow with fins with a time of 1.11.03.
The Max Bell Mantas relay team, of which Walker is a member, won silver in all three races: rescue medley, manikin relay and obstacle relay.
The Mantas also won silver in the simulated emergency rescue competition.
In winning the medals, Walker set two provincial records.
Her time of 1.29.82 in the 100-m rescue medley eclipsed the record of 130.00. Walker shaved 3.24 seconds off her personal best 133.06.
Walker’s time of 108.67 set a record in the 100-metre carry with fins event, topping the previous record of 108.96. She shaved 2.92 seconds off her personal best 1.11.59.
Walker attributes her success to extra time in the gym since September, when she returned home from an international meet in France.
“I took time off away from the pool and focused on strength training in the gym,” Walker explained. “In January I went back to the pool and started to swim more, however the majority of my training was spent in the gym, weight training and doing sprints on the treadmill.”
“My strength and cardiovascular endurance played a large role in my ability to take time off of my events.”
In the two years since she took up lifesaver sport, Walker has developed the ability to shift into what she calls “game mode” leading up to big competitions.
“People tell me I almost have tunnel vision when a competition approaches because that is all I can talk about,” Walker said. “Competitions excite me and I look forward to see what I can accomplish each and every time.”
Walker’s growing experience in the sport has helped her performance. She is learning to approach each meet with confidence, knowing she has trained hard to perform well.
Walker also noted the provincial meet is smaller in scope than a national or international event, and there is a positive environment for the athletes.
“Although I put the stress on myself to compete well, I did not have the extra stress and nerves I tend to have in a larger competition,” Walker said.
That doesn’t mean the long-time swimmer and lifeguard wasn‘t focused on the task at hand.
“I most definitely was thinking about medals,” Walker said. “My goals were to beat my standings that I had last year. I wanted to personally excel.”
“Breaking records is something I never thought about. It came as a surprise. I was so pleased with my ranking that someone had to tell me that I broke the records. I am definitely wanting to break more now.”
Walker will get the chance in the not-too-distant future, with the pool nationals at Branford, Ont. on June 13-14 and the surf nationals at Nova Scotia on Aug. 28-30 approaching fast.
In addition to her work in the gym and the pool getting ready for the competitions, Walker will also work to raise some sponsorship to pay the costs associated with the pool and surf nationals.
Each trip will cost Walker $750 for transportation and meet fees.
Anyone who would like to sponsor Walker can call Dallas at 403-894-7186. Tax receipts are available for donations.
Walker is planning for a strong performance at nationals to earn a spot on the Canadian team that will compete in the worlds in Netherlands 2016.