By Steve Hubrecht 

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A local teen was on a ‘silver’ streak when he recently ended up with a podium finish at the Swim BC Winter Divisionals in Penticton.

David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) Grade 10 student Jackson Turner finished second, earning the silver medal in the 50-metre breaststroke event in the Okanagan which brought together more than 1,000 young swimmers from across the northern and Interior parts of B.C.

The 15-year-old Jackson has participated in several other divisional swim meets in B.C., as well as the B.C. Winter Games back in 2022, and last year in the Manitoba and Saskatchewan open provincials, but this is the first time he’s come home with a medal.

“I did not expect to get a medal. I would have been happy just to shave a bit of time off my personal best,” Jackson told the Pioneer.

The young athlete was modest about his achievements, saying simply that he felt “a lot of excitement in general” when he realized he’d finished second.

Jackson’s elated mom wasn’t at the swim meet in Penticton, but she was tracking the results in near-live time through an app on her phone.

“Of course, I was pretty excited,” she bubbled, before pausing to wipe away a tear of joy. “It’s pretty cool to see your kid fulfill his goals in such a big way.”

Jackson joined the Columbia Valley Swim Club when he was six years old, participated in his first local swim meet when he was seven, and began travelling to bigger swim meets when he was eight.

The Columbia Valley Swim Club is normally based in the cool pool at Radium Hot Springs. The cool pool, however, has been closed for ongoing renovations for more than a year now. In the meantime, Jackson has been swimming at the pools at Copper Point Resort and at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. He has also been temporarily attached to the swim club in Cranbrook, travelling down there as well to train.

Jackson loves the individuality of swimming. “There is a team aspect, but how you do at each meet is down to what you are capable of on a given day,” he said. “I like that.”

The breaststroke is Jackson’s favourite stroke and he competes in the 50-metre, 100-metre and 200-metre breaststroke events. He prefers sprint distances instead of longer distances, so he also competes in 50-metre and 100-metre events in “almost every stroke except the backstroke. I don’t like the backstroke.”

The nature of the swim meets Jackson competes in varies — some of the larger divisional and provincial meets have anywhere from 1,600 to 2,400 swimmers competing. The regional meets held in the Kootenay region tend to have 200 to 250 participants. But all are fun, said Jackson.

His next big swim meets are the Swim BC Summer Divisionals in Vernon, followed by another trip to the Manitoba and Saskatchewan open provincials.