Strong performances helped the KISU swim club win its Cherry Blossom meet last weekend.
“It was fabulous,” said KISU coach Tina Hoeben, adding that they had teams from the Okanagan and Kootenay region totaling over 300 swimmers. “It’s always fun.”
Cherry Blossom targets the fastest swimmers, though Hoeben said because of events that have taken place recently, some teams kept their best swimmers at home.
“We won the meet because we had the biggest numbers,” she said, adding that other teams choosing to keep their best at home doesn’t take away from what KISU accomplished. “Our swimmers swam hard to do that. They did swim their hearts out.”
The weekend meet consisted of a jamboree for novice swimmers and younger. There was also a masters meet.
Among the KISU swimmer earning strong results were Eric Doroshuk, who earned his first AA time as a 14-year-old and Tyler Wall earned his first AAA time. In the jamboree, four swimmers completed the 200 individual medley in under four minutes.
Doroshuk, who competed in 12 events during the three days, was pleased to earn a AA time in the 1,500 metre distance. That result earned him a spot for a Victoria meet in late May. Doroshuk also earned best times in all but two of his events.
“I’m happy with how I swam,” said Doroshuk, who is now focused on improving his endurance to earn more AA standard times. “I earned eight other A time standards. I’ve been trying for the AA all year.”
In Victoria March 1 and 2, Hoeben was pleased to see her swimmers put on some “great performances.”
The AAA provincial was for the best 18 and under swimmers. Among those who swam well was Samuel Lasinski, who competed in three consecutive finals and earned best times. In the process, Lasinski brought home a silver medal in the 200 IM and 200-m breast stroke, bronze in the 100-metre back stroke, 200-m back stroke and 100-m breast stroke. Hoeben said that Payton Nakoney made a few finals. On their website, it said Nakoney missed out on a bronze by 13 seconds. Xelian Louw, Acadia Benn and Reece Haberstock also performed well.
Hoeben said that Benn had a fabulous swim. She made the final for the 400 IM and placed sixth in the 200-m freestyle.
“I knew I was gong to do well for me,” said Benn. “I was excited, pumped up that I had done AAA. A lot of them were really fast.”
Benn said she was a bit surprised because she knew she was going to be up against a lot of fast athletes.
During the opening day, Benn smashed through her 800 event. Lasinski placed in the 200-m breast stroke. Para swimmers Andrew Cooke and Avery Newton used the event as preparation for the Pan Am Games being held in Minneapolis in April.
Newton won gold in the 100-m fly and bronze in 100-m free style and 100-m back stroke, and bronze medals in the 200-m freestyle and 100-m back stroke.
“It was a great prepatory meet for them,” said Hoeben.
During the provincial championship Hoeben wanted to see her swimmers go as fast as possible.
“It was big test,” she said. “Sometimes it’s a pretty tough shedule. If they swim three events in the morning it’s a fairly busy morning and a relay and on top of that. They come back in the afternoon. If they have made finals, they re-swim those events again for top eight.”
Hoeben was pleased with their training.
“At this points it’s a lot about getting more experience in,” she said.