Lakers repeat as champs

Pen High Lakers swim team wins its third straight Okanagan Valley championship



Record-setting performances by members of the Pen High Lakers swim team earned them an Okanagan Valley championship in Revelstoke last weekend.

The boys and girls relay teams broke six records and the mixed team, one. Individually, Jaren LeFranc broke a record from 1995 in the 100 metre breast stroke and Riley Wall did away with a 1999 record in the 100-m freestyle. Those performances helped the Lakers clinch the title for the third straight year with 499 points. Revelstoke was in second with 261 points and Salmon Arm third with 165. The championship featured 20 teams.

“I think certainly the highlight of our team was the relays. We did exceptionally well,” said Lakers dryland coach and teacher sponsor Dave Nackoney. “At the swim level, those relays are worth double the points of individual. Doing well in relays is really beneficial.”

Relay teams breaking records are as follows:

Girls 200 Medley Relay – Anna Spence, AnnMarie Lang-Hodge, Payton Nackoney and Myah Nackoney.

Boys 200 Medley Relay – Sam Lasinski, Riley Kascak, Xelian Louw, Simon Paisley.

Girls 400 Free Relay – Payton Nackoney, Haley Berrisford, Kristen Vandeweghe and Mackenzie Wallich.

Boys 400 Free Relay – broke the previous record by eight seconds.  Both the A and B teams broke the record.

A Team – Riley Kascak, LeFranc, Sam Lasinski, Wall.

B Team – Xelian Louw, Simon Paisley, Wynn Nordlund, Tyler Wall.

Mixed 200 Free Relay – Riley Wall, Tyler Wall, Payton Nackoney and Myah Nackoney.

Girls 200 Free Relay – Payton Nackoney, Myah Nackoney, AnnMarie Lang-Hodge and Anna Spence.

Boys 200 Free Relay – again, both the A and B team broke the previous record.

A Team – Wall, Samuel Matthew, LeFranc and Simon Paisley.

B Team – Riley Kascak, Xelian Louw, Sam Lasinski and Tyler Wall.

“I thought our boys swam really well. I thought our girls could have swam a little bit better, especially in the individual races,” he said. “We didn’t have any of our girls qualify in individual races”

Nackoney added that the more areas a team can qualify, the more chances for points.

“It was a very fast meet. There was some really good swimmers there,” he said. “Certainly the best talent in valleys I’ve seen in four years of attending them.”

LeFranc set a new record by completing the 100-m breast stroke in one minute, seven seconds and .62 tenths of a second. Wall completed his record-breaking swim in 53.90 seconds.

“Jaren is one of the best swimmers in the province,” said Nackoney, of LeFranc, who in the summer competed with Team B.C. in the Western Canada Summer Games. “Nothing surprises me with what he does. He keeps getting better.”

Even with the performance LeFranc put in, Nackoney knows he can do better.

“He probably will do better,” he added. “There is a good chance he will win at the provincial level.”

Nackoney said Riley Wall is a gifted swimmer.

“He’s exceptionally fast,” he said. “When you take a look at our boys, it’s about as good as you get. They are still young (with only two Grade 12s.)”

The Lakers team is as follows: Avery Barnett, Haley Berrisford, Dan Everton, Riley Kascak, AnnMarie Lange-Hodge, Sam Lasinski, LeFranc, Xelian Louw, Sam Matthew, Braiden Meynen, Myah and Payton Nackoney, James Naude, Wynn Nordlund, Simon Paisley, Ian Peters, Logan Rabe, Ben Say, Belize Souch-Tremblay, Anna Spence, Riley Thompson, Kristen Vandeweghe, Riley and Tyler Wall, Mackenzie Wallich and Joy Wang.

Now the group prepares for provincials in Kamloops Nov. 13-14. Last year the Lakers earned silver and are aiming for gold this time. It won’t be easy as Vancouver’s St. George’s school has won it 16 straight years, said Nackoney.

“They are very good. They are always good,” he said. “We feel we have a shot at beating them and winning. Last year we swam well and they still beat us significantly. We will have to be on our a game.”

Nackoney said there will be about 1,100 swimmers competing in Kamloops.