Swimmers impress at AA championship

Xelian Louw, Reece Haberstock and Elijah Kliever of the KISU swim club are heading to the  AAA provincial championship.

To earn a berth in the AAA championship, swimmers first had to qualify for the AA championship, held in Surrey earlier this month, by earning the best times possible. KISU coach Paul Lytle said it was the last chance for his swimmers to qualify for the AAA championship. Louw and Haberstock earned five AAA times each. Louw, 12, finished first in the 50-metre freestyle, 100-m freestyle, 200-m backstroke, 100-m backstroke and 400 individual medley, while Haberstock, 13, had three firsts in the 200-m backstroke, 400 IM and 200-m fly, and two second-place finishes in 100-m backstroke and 400-m freestyle. Lytle was blown away by their performances and said what they did “is unheard of.”

“Normally people go there and they might get one AAA and they are happy about that,” he said. “I was getting quite a lot of compliments from other coaches about how well they had been swimming.”

Haberstock said he felt good about his performance since the competition was difficult.

“They were pretty close races,” said Haberstock. “Lots of good swimmers.”

Now he has more confidence, especially with more training heading into the AAA championship later this month.

Louw said he was nervous heading into the championship and learned there were fast swimmers.

“After my first race I knew in the finals I had to step it up a bit,” said Louw. “It’s always nice to look over at the other boy in the next lane to see if you’re faster than him.”

It’s the first time that Louw has won medals as he said he wasn’t much of a swimmer before.

“It’s always fun standing on the podium there with a medal,” he said. “I want to feel it again.”

Lytle pin-pointed their success to buying into the program. They have stepped up their training. Lytle mentioned that he asked his swimmers why the other kids have gotten better.

“They said they work hard, listen well and they do it, no complaining,” he said.

Elijah Kliever, 11, placed second in the 200-m backstroke earning a AAA time, while 12-year-old Belize Souch-Tremblay was third in the 400 IM. Kliever earned his AAA time the hard way according to Lytle. He accomplished the feat on the final event of the final day.

“It was quite exciting for his family,” said Lytle.

Mackenzie Wallich, 12, earned a AA time in the 200-m breaststroke and is qualified automatically for AA right up to 15 years old, while Haberstock has his AAA time to 14 years old.

Lytle said normally swimmers  have to do it every year.

The AA championship held in Surrey had over 400 swimmers with about 20 to 30 swimmers in each age group.

The AAA provincial championship is being held in Victoria from Feb. 28 to March 3 in Victoria. KISU will be hosting its Cherry Blossom Meet March 8 to 10.


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