Rapids Race Big at LMR Champs

by Vlad Volchkov

This past weekend, the Rapids kicked off our championship meet season with LMR Champs at Watermania. LMR Champs was an opportunity for our swimmers to test how much they have learned so far this season, while also providing a last-chance opportunity to qualify for Tier I and Tier II Provincial Championships. The Rapids athletes took these opportunities seriously. Over the two-day meet, Rapids swimmers produced a total of 92 top-eight finishes in individual events. Out of those 92, 38 were top-three podium finishes. Way to go Rapids!

Starting with the 200m backstroke on Saturday, Heath Lim-Sanderson and Lauren Leung brought home the gold with Avery Ritchie and Joaquin Villasenor getting the bronze. In the 50 fly that followed, Avery once again placed 3rd with Jason Yang grabbing his first medal of the weekend with a bronze. The Rapids snagged a few more medals in the 200 IM, the 50 Backstroke and the 100 Freestyle. Tony Sun and Lauren Leung placed 1st and 3rd respectively in the IM, with Elaine Song getting the bronze medal in the 50 Backstroke.

Lauren Leung continued her medal haul by winning the girls 100m Freestyle event, with Jason Yang showing a solid performance to win the bronze. The Rapids completed the individual events of the day with five more podium finishes in the 200 Fly and the 100 Breaststroke. Alexa Coote and Shane Sagar grabbed the silver and bronze medals in the 200 fly.

In the 100 Breaststroke, the Rapids had a great finish with Angela Zhuo placing second and qualifying for her first Tier II standard of the weekend. Mindy Shi and Maio Hui both placed third with Hui qualifying for Tier I in the event.

On the second day, the cold temperature on deck had no effect on the Rapids swimmers as they came back to the pool ready to continue their quest for gold. Avery Ritchie started the day off with a win in the 400 freestyle and another Tier I time. In the 200 Breaststroke, Angela Zhuo continued to showcase her breaststroke prowess by winning gold and getting her second Tier II swim. Grace Cui placed 2nd grabbing her second Tier I time and Daniel Jin dropped over 10 seconds to move up five places and get the bronze.

The Rapids were strong in the 50 Freestyle with Allie Janowicz and Jason Yang placing 3rd, Lauren Leung placing 2nd, and Taran Reed winning his age group by over half a second. The boys had a great showing in the 100m backstroke with a top-three finisher in nearly every age group. Shane Sagar got the gold, Liam Pearce and Heath-Lim Sanderson placed second with Heath setting another Tier I time of the weekend, his first being in the 200 Backstroke.

For the girls, Alexa Coote and Lauren Leung placed 1st and 3rd respectively as well as both setting a Tier II time. Tony Sun and Daniel Jin added another medal to their collection by placing 3rd in the 100 Butterfly, and Sophia Raffai gets her first medal of the weekend by placing 2nd. Avery Ritchie finishes her weekend with a fast 50m Breaststroke swim, earning her 2nd place. Liam Pearce sets another personal best as well as winning the silver medal in the 200m Freestyle. With the final 1st place finish in the 200m Freestyle, Lauren Leung completes her quest of medaling in every one of her individual events.

In the team event, the 4x50 Medley Relay, the boys team of Marcus Nguyen, Tony Sun, Shane Sagar and Liam Pearce place 2nd. The girls team, composed of Elaine Song, Mindy Shi, Avery Ritchie, and Caroline Yang, place 3rd.

Over the course of the two days, the Rapids coaches were very impressed with the skills we saw from our swimmers and their ability to step-up and race hard for every individual event. The cold air on deck provided a lesson in self-management that the athletes reacted to appropriately and didn’t let it affect their races and the result. We hope to continue this path of excellence into long course season and beyond. It was a great swim meet to coach, watch, and cheer on our athletes.

Thanks, as always, to our fantastic group of parent volunteers that made a successful meet possible!