Lakers swim team defend Okanagan Valley title

The Pen High Lakers swim team used record-setting performances to retain their Okanagan Valley championship.

JAREN LEFRANC checks out his result during the KISU swim club Pentathlon meet. LeFranc broke two Pen High Laker swim team records

JAREN LEFRANC checks out his result during the KISU swim club Pentathlon meet. LeFranc broke two Pen High Laker swim team records

It’s a four-peat of Okanagan Valley swim championships for the Pen High Lakers.

“It was good,” said Lakers coach Tina Hoeben. “I definitely think our eyes are on a higher goal. Provincials is the true test.”

READ MORE: Lakers repeat as champs

The Lakers topped the standings in Revelstoke last weekend by a wide margin (614 points to Salmon Arm’s 257) with the help of several record-setting performances by Riley Wall, Tyler Wall and Jaren LeFranc, as well as the relay teams.

Riley Wall set records in the 50- and 100-metre freestyle. Wall broke the 50-m record from 1999 by 0.18 seconds finishing in 24.20 seconds and in the 100-m distance, he topped his own mark of 53.9 by clocking in at 52.26 seconds. His brother Tyler broke the 100-m backstroke mark from 1992 — 1:01.76 by clocking 59.54. LeFranc topped his own mark in the 100-m breast stroke of 1:07.62, clocking a time of 1:06.34. In the 200 individual medley, LeFranc broke the 1995 time of 2:14.81 with a time of 2:10.24. Hoeben said those were really strong swims.

“I’m optimistic that for Jaren and Riley, they are graduating, but I think that their records will stand for a while after they are through,” she said.

Hoeben said the Lakers needed as many people possible to qualify for provincials. That will give them a greater chance of success. They will be taking a team of 24 and she added they will have their work cut out for them. The Lakers have placed second the past two years.

“They are going to have to do amazing. Swim their guts out,” said Hoeben. “I do think we have a shot at it. I think we have the potential to be stronger at provincials.”

READ MORE: Swimmers close the gap

On the relay side, Acacia Benn, Kristen Vandeweghe, Alia Waters and MacKenzie Wallich bested the Lakers mark in the 400-m freestyle last year of 4:19 with a total of 4:09:78. In the 200-m distance of the same event, Myah Nackoney,  Vandeweghe, Benn and Anna Spence also bested a Laker mark of 1:57.36 with a time of 1:55.92. In the boys 200-m freestyle,  Sam Lasinski, Avery Barnett, Xelian Louw and Riley Wall bested a Laker time of 1:43.08 with a total of 1:42.81.

“Those were great performances,” continued Hoeben about the relay teams. “We didn’t stack our relays there. We tried to get two, sometimes three relays qualified to go to provincials. We evened them out a bit. I think that those teams or teams in those events at provincials will end up going faster because we will stack them for provincials.”

KVR, Princess Margaret and Skaha Lake also performed well. Provincials are in Kamloops Nov. 18 to 19.