Canyons Aquatic Club recently hosted its 16th Annual Cranberry Classic, an invitational swim meet that has become one of the largest swim meets run within the Southern California Swimming region.
Taking place at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center on the weekend of Nov. 17-19, Canyons and the city of Santa Clarita welcomed more than 1,100 athletes for the competition. Teams from all areas of Southern California and from as far north as the Bay Area were in attendance as athletes raced in the pool for the fastest times.
“We have come a long way from our very first Cranberry Classic that hosted just 250 swimmers,” Canyons Board President Scott Blietz said in a news release. “Cranberry Classic has become our longest-running annual meet, and has really been the stepping stone that has led our team into the successful hosting of larger, national-level swim meets like USA Swimming Futures Championships, and Southern California Swimming’s June Age Group Championships, which we are looking forward to hosting once again in June 2024.”
In addition to bringing a wide range of youth swimmers together on deck to compete, Canyons also utilized Cranberry Classic as an opportunity for support and giving to Hope in a Suitcase, a volunteer-driven nonprofit group benefitting Los Angeles County foster children.
By running a donation drive within their swim club, and extending a donation invitation to all athletes participating at Cranberry Classic, Canyons was able to collect and donate over 300 articles of brand new clothing to provide to children and teens in the foster care system.
Canyons Head Coach Kyle Hastings could not be prouder of the team’s efforts. “Being part of the Santa Clarita community for the past 45 years, we recognize the importance of giving back,” he said in the release. “Supporting local initiatives and fostering a sense of community engagement not only aligns with our club’s values, but also strengthens the bonds between our athletes, families and the broader community. We always aim to create a positive and impactful legacy that extends beyond the pool.”
Canyons continued its winter competition season this months, sending athletes to Speedo Winter Junior National Championships in Illinois, Winter Age Group Championships in San Clemente, and the TYR Las Vegas Super Finals Invite. The club will welcome 2024 by hosting the Speedo Southwestern Invite at the Castaic Aquatic Center in January.
For information on supporting or donating to Hope in a Suitcase, visit www.hopeinasuitcase.org.