KISU swimmers selected for provincial development squads

Penticton's KISU swim club had five swimmers chosen for Swim B.C. programs.



KISU has made a splash in the pool before competing in their first meet of the season.

Acacia Benn is the first female from the club to be selected for the Swim BC prospects swimmers.

“It’s kind of cool to be the first girl to make this,” said Benn, who last year was selected for Team B.C. for Prospects West and watched Olympic trials in Toronto.

Benn is joined by Tyler Wall.

“Having one swimmer on this team is an accomplishment, but KISU has two,” said coach Tina Hoeben.

Selection is based on rankings in the country for the swimmers top three events and the top 20 girls and top 20 boys with the highest rankings were chosen.

While at the prospects camp Benn will focus on her dives, kicks and getting faster. Benn looks forward to seeing the other swimmers and how they train and hopes to see old friends from the Prospects West camp she attended.

Tyler Wall also joins brother Riley, as well as  Jaren LeFranc and Sam Lasinski who have been named to the Swim BC youth/junior and senior development programs.

“It is quite an accomplishment for each of these swimmers to make the team and for KISU to have four of them on the team,” said Hoeben.

To make the team, swimmers must place in the Top 10 in Canada in the age group born 1999 or younger.

Tyler said getting selected is a big deal.

“I’m one of the fastest for 18 and under and I’m only 14,” said Tyler. “It feels good to be part of the group.”

Tyler had confidence before, but that has been boosted by the selection. He plans to use the development program to work on his strokes, specifically his backstroke.

It’s the first time that Lasinski has been chosen, which is the highest level for his age group.

“It’s good,” said Lasinski. “Especially, this is my grad year. To be part of this team and I have known a lot of these guys who are on this team from the Lower Mainland. We have been racing each other since we have been 10 years old.

It’s a sign that I’m doing stuff right.”

Lasinski said after peaking early in Grade 7, from Grade 8 to 10, he dropped a bit, then returned to his strong form in Grade 11. He said to see that pay off is nice.

It’s LeFranc’s third selection and he is always honoured to be chosen and excited to get the email from Hoeben.

“Especially this year how we got four people on the team,” said LeFranc. “It’s just the way our club is growing. A lot more depth and really proud of how many people we can get on that team.”

Read more: Swimmer joins B.C.’s Best

Heading into Grade 12, he wants to enjoy his final year of age group high school swimming.

“Use this as a stepping stone to hopefully make a junior national team this year,” he  said.

LeFranc has learned a lot from being part of the teams.

“A lot of mentor coaches and just swimming with kids that are just as good or better than you makes you a better swimmer,” he said.

Hoeben received recognition of her own by winning the Youth Coach of the Year at the BC Swim Coaches Conference two weeks ago.

Hoeben said it was a big surprise for her to win, saying its an award that usually goes to coaches at larger clubs or clubs with larger population bases.

“I have to say that I get to keep the trophy, but really the credit goes to the swimmers that I have in the water,” she said. “They are the ones that buy into the program that I write up. They are inspiring me to become a better coach everyday.”

Hoeben also credited the support she receives from the club executive board and parents.

KISU has their first competition of the season at home in the Triple Pentathlon Oct. 14 to 16, which includes their Jamboree on Sunday. Hoeben said it will be good and is always exciting.

“It’s a good point to work on goals for the season,” she said. “It’s a testing ground. It’s a tough meet.”