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Parent wins six gold at nationals

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Athletes sometimes are described as being in the groove. If so, Alex Parent carved a whole valley out of the flatlands of Saskatchewan last week.

The Fort Frances Aquanaut was unstoppable in the Swimmers With Athletic Disabilities (SWAD) division of the junior national swimming championships in Regina, piling up six gold medals in the boys’ open division.

Competing against swimmers as much as three years older than him, the 13-year-old Parent stroked his way to victories in the 50-m freestyle (30.66), 100-m freestyle (1:05.54), 400-m freestyle (5:05.69), 100-m backstroke (1:18.82), 100-m butterfly (1:19.43), and 200-m I.M. (2:52.12).

Aquanauts head coach Roman Ramirez said Monday his young prodigy’s performance didn’t go unnoticed by those at the highest level of competitive swimming in this country.

“Tom Haney, who is assistant coach with the Canadian national swim team, told me they want to see Alex at the SWAD Canadian Open in July,” said Ramirez, who added another strong result for Parent there could see him added to the national squad.

In related news, Parent will join fellow Aquanauts Heather and Rachel Dutton, Nicole Lowey, and Boyd Badiuk at the junior provincial meet in Nepean (Ottawa) this weekend.

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