Depth helped the Pen High Lakers swim team earn its first ever silver medal at provincials.
The Lakers returned from Richmond finishing second with 486 points, behind Vancouver’s St. George’s Saints, who topped the standings with 597.
“They had some great swims,” said Lakers coach Tina Hoeben, who wanted to see a top five finish from her group. “Our competition wasn’t as strong as we expected. It was really tight. It was a tight race right down to the last event.”
Hoeben credited the other swimmers for earning top-16 results as it was just as important.
“Everyone had to be out there swimming their best,” she said. “It really impressed me how everyone stepped forward and was enthusiastic, supportive and passionate about what they were doing.”
St. George’s, a private school for boys, has a pool for its program and according to Hoeben, they gather the top swimmers from various clubs in the region. Eight of their 21 swimmers are in Grade 12.
“They were definitely tough competitors,” said Hoeben. “Maybe next year we can move up. Our kids were definitely thrilled to be second.”
Jaren LeFranc and Sam Lasinski each earned silver medals in the 100 metre breast stroke and 100-200-m individual medley respectively. Hoeben said that LeFranc is a tough competitor and didn’t have a strong start to his race.
“He was determined to come in there. At one point he was in fourth, he pulled it off,” said Hoeben. “That was a great swim.”
Lasinski nearly had a best time in the 200 IM.
“It was an awesome swim as well,” said Hoeben. “It was a solid second place.”
Both also played a big part in the boys relay teams earning silver in the 200-m relay.
“They swam really well. They are a team to watch in the next couple years,” said Hoeben, adding that they faced primarily Grade 12 swimmers.
Lasinski also teamed up with Riley Wall, Simon Paisley and Xelian Louw to earn bronze in the 200-m free relay. The girls team of Myra Veidt, Ann Marie Lang-Hodge, Myah Nackoney and Payton Nackoney took bronze in the 200-m free relay.
“The last two years they have been fourth,” said Hoeben. “It was nice to see them break that curse of being fourth.”
The provincial championship featured more than 1,100 swimmers and Lakers coach/teacher sponsor David Nackoney said second “is a truly fantastic result.”
“A huge thank you to Tina Hoeben our community coach who invested a huge amount of time to have our kids ready for this event,” he said.
The Lakers are: Avery Barnett, Haley Berrisford, Eric Doroshuck, Dan Everton, Dilmeet Gill, Riley Kascak, Matthew Koster, Ann Marie Lang-Hodge, Lasinski, LeFranc, Nikita Logie, Louw, Bradan Meynen, Liam Mulhull, Myah Nackoney, Payton Nackoney, James Naude, Wynn Norland, Theo Oliver, Paisley, Terrance Paisley, Ian Peters, Logan Rabe, Reilly Rowland, Selina Spence, Belize, Souch-Trembley, Anna Spence, Noah Spence, Georgia Stel, Jackson Stel, Kristen Vandeweghe, Myra Veidt, Wall, Mackenzie Wallich, Joy Wang and Keaton Woods.