The Pen High Lakers swim team dominated as they won the Okanagan Valley championship for the second year in a row.
“They did a fantastic job,” said coach Tina Hoeben, who also coached the Princess Margaret Mustangs. “They were really strong, super enthusiastic and excited. The real job is coming up. The goal is to place top five, which is an ambitious goal.”
The Lakers captured the title in Revelstoke on the weekend with 609 points. The hosts finished a distant second with 281 points, while Okanagan Mission rounded out the top three with 243 points.
Riley Wall, Simon Paisley, Xelian Louw and Samuel Lasinski broke a 22-year-old record set by Vernon’s Fulton High in 1992 by two seconds in the 200 metre free relay. Lasinski, Jaren LeFranc, Wall and Louw also broke a record in the 200-m medley by eight seconds. The boys collected 350 of the team’s points.
“I think our boys in particular setting two valley records, one that stood for 22 years is very impressive,” said Lakers co-teacher sponsor Dave Nackoney, who said the future is bright for the team because the records were set by Grade 10 students and the girls are mostly in Grade 9.
The Mustangs placed 13th out of 19 teams and Hoeben said they performed well while not having the same depth as the Lakers. Kenzie Haberstock, ChaeLynn Williams, Jamie Ferguson and Haley Grunow qualified for provincials as a team. Reece Haberstock also qualified on the boys’ side.
Next up are provincials in Richmond on Nov. 14-15.
The following students make up the Lakers swim team: 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, Simon 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.
For the Mustangs, Ferguson is the lone swimmer who will go to provincials competing in the 100-m freestyle. Other commitments prevent the other swimmers from attending.
McNicoll Park School and Skaha Lake were also represented at the valleys. Tyler Wall of McNicoll Park qualified for provincials in the 50 and 100-m freestyle.
“It’s impressive in that he is the only Grade 8,” said Hoeben of Wall, who placed 17th overall. Emmy Caruso represented Skaha Lake and qualified in the 100-m breast stroke.