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Records fall, grins all around at Hard Off the Block swim meet

Chelsea Rideout, left, and Eli Moulton, right, of the CBS Bluefins both walked away from the Hard Off the Block Invitational Swim Meet with bragging rights. Rideout broke two club records while Moulton came out on top of the 50-meter eliminator event in the ages 13-14 boys category. Photo by Damien Coombs

By Chad Feehan / Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Some 250 swimmers from the metro and central regions gathered at the CBS Recreation Centre in late February for the CBS Bluefins annual Hard Off the Block invitational swim meet.
One young swimmer, nine year old Chelsea Rideout of Foxtrap, broke a club swimming record that’s been standing since 1996, and another from 1998.
Rideout’s time for the 10&Under 100 Fly was 1:36:14, beating out Marcie Smith’s 1996 record of 1:38:17.
As for the 10&Under 50 Freestyle, she just narrowly beat Amelia Smith’s 2018 record of 33.58 by a mere two seconds.
Rideout wasn’t expecting to break a record three times her age. Even though she’s only been swimming competitively for two years, she credits the amount of time she’s spent in the water as part of her success.
“I didn’t know I was even close to any of the club records but I was really excited that I did break the record,” she said.
Rideout’s mother Ashley was, as expected, a very proud mom that day.
“We’re super proud of her, she loves swimming,” Ashley said. “She works really hard and practices so it’s nice to see her hard work paying off. I didn’t think she’d be breaking records this young, but I mean, good for her.”
In fact, Chelsea just may have caught the itch for record breaking. She’s got her eye on the 10&Under 100 Freestyle record but said she may need to improve her dives and turns to do it.
“I’m pretty close to beating that record,” she said.
Fourteen-year-old Eli Moulton of Manuels also won big at the meet, coming out on top of the ages 13 and 14 50-meter eliminator round. His next competition will be in Corner Brook sometime in March, where he will hopefully best his 50-meter freestyle record after working on his strength. He attributes his improved technique to the guidance of coach Jason Warford.
“I’ll just keep practicing and I’ll get faster anyway because of the strength,” he said.
CBS Bluefins president Mike Ball said the turnout was the largest it’s been since before the pandemic, and solidly up 50 per cent from last year. Some 250 swimmers in a four lane pool, he allowed, made for a pretty energetic weekend.
“The swimmers look forward to it every year,” he said. “Swimming is such a fantastic sport. It connects the kids with their friends of all ages, and it connects swimmers of all ages.”
The winners of the rest of the competition were as follows:


10 and under, Kateryna Korestska, St. John’s Legends

11-12, Gillian Smith, St, John’s Legends

13-14, Ava Decker, Mount Pearl Marlins

15 and over, Amelia Smith, Mount Pearl Marlins


10 and under, Carter Button, Mount Pearl Marlins

11-12, Teagan Kearney, St. John’s Legends

13-14, Eli Moulton, CBS Bluefins

15 and over, Evan Fang, St. John’s Legends

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