Jaren LeFranc wouldn’t change anything about his performances at the Western Canada Summer Games.
While in Wood Buffalo, near Fort McMurray, Alta., Aug. 7-16, LeFranc set personal best times in all his events, placing fourth in the 100- and 200-metre breast stroke and helped Team BC earn silver in the 4×50-m medley relay.
“Pretty good considering the guys who I’m going up against are the best in Western Canada,” said LeFranc. “Even fourth place is pretty good, especially because the top four were probably miles ahead of the rest of the field.”
LeFranc said the meet was pretty close going against familiar faces. One of the things he liked about the experience was the atmosphere. All the swimmers are friends and rivalries were developed, especially between B.C. and Alberta.
“The Alberta guys would definitely chirp us a little bit,” he said. “It’s a good rivalry.”
“I thought Jaren did very well. It was short course, so it was a different format from what we’ve had at age group nationals,” said Team B.C. male coach Tina Hoeben. “It was great to see new best times from him. I think it’s another level. He was no longer competing for KISU. He was competing for British Columbia. That’s kind of a cool experience to be a part of as well.”
LeFranc feels he has gained more experience in multi-sport events and higher level competition. Along with the Western Canada Summer Games, he has also competed in two age group nationals.
“Next year will be fun too with Olympic trials. That’s what we’re looking towards now,” said LeFranc, who made qualifying times for Olympic trials in the 200-m breast stroke.
“What I’m going to take away from it is the friendships that I made,” he said. “That’s what I’m going to remember the most. In the athletes village we had a couple fun experiences with the other teams.”
LeFranc remembers being shy with his Team BC teammates before meeting them. Now he’s friends with them.
For Hoeben, it was a huge privilege to coach athletes of that calibre.
“It was good learning for me. Great experience,” said the KISU coach. “I’m quite excited to have been a part of it.
In total, Team BC topped the medal count with 134 gold, 86 silver and 61 bronze.