Nelson, a 13-year-old member of the Corner Brook Rapids, posted a qualifying time at the 2017 provincial swim championships to punch her ticket to her first Eastern Canadian Swim Championships — set for April 20-23 in Etobicoke, Ont.
Her coach Tracy Hogan has watched her blossom into one of the most dedicated swimmers under her tutelage so she’s not surprised Nelson was able to find her way to the next level.
“(Aideen) is working hard and totally committed so she really went for it and accomplished it,” Hogan said.
Nelson, who has only been swimming on the competitive side for four years, spends no less than 13 hours every week honing her skillset. She has been putting in some extra work over the past little while because she had her sights set on earning a spot on the province’s 2017 Canada Games swim team bound for Winnipeg this summer.
At provincials, she was eight one hundreds off a second off from earning a spot on the Games team, but she was named an alternate because of her fine showing.
That means if somebody can’t go for some reason then she will move up in the vacant spot.
But, there was still plenty of reason to celebrate.
“My coach told me I made it and I was really excited because I had been working so hard for the past three years to make this Games team,” said Nelson.
She’s the only member of the Rapids heading to Etobicoke and it’s the first time in a decade the club had somebody qualify for the event.
Nelson said she’s pretty proud of her accomplishment, knowing she had to work hard to make it happen.
She’s looking forward to having a good time and making new friends. She has no crazy expectations knowing full well the level of competition will be pretty impressive with the best in Eastern Canada ready to challenge her for a trip to the podium.
“When I go to big swim meets like this I really don’t think about the competition,” she said. “I just focus on trying to do the best I can and then I’ll be happy.”