March 1, 2019
SWIM BC WINTER AGE GROUP CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP
This past weekend, our VPSC swimmers went downtown to the Vancouver Aquatic Center for three days of Age-Group Championship swimming. Our team finished 2nd overall in both the combined team scores and the men’s scores, with our girls team finishing in 4th overall.
The group had qualifiers from Youth Provincial, Junior Regional, and Junior Provincial. For some, it was their 3rd time competing at this meet and were now “veterans” of the Age-Group Championship format, which included a majority of the swims being Timed-Finals (all except the 200 Free and 200 IM). For some it was their first time at a Provincial level meet and it was amazing to watch these young swimmers give it their all, and gain valuable experience for the years to come.
For this meet, we picked some informal “team awards”:
Most Valuable Swimmer(s): Shared between Lily Zhang and Briana Chiu.
Finishing 4th overall in the girl’s team scores with these two swimmers earning the lion’s share of the points was an incredible achievement. These two girls were a HUGE part of us placing 2nd in the combined team scores. Briana set multiple 11 year old meet-records (400IM, 100Fly, 200IM, 200Fly), and with Lily having a consistently-excellent meet schedule, these girls were in top form all weekend.
“Hard-Hat” Award (“Tough-guy/girl” award): Alexandros Panos
Alexandros had a consistently excellent meet, always taking control of his races from the start. One moment that earns Alexandros this award is how he bounced back from a DQ in 200 IM to get a 12 second personal best in 400 free in his next event. Alex earned a 6 second improvement in his 200 IM before being DQ’d, and to bounce back and dominate his 400 free heat like he did was very fun to watch.
Most Improved: Noah Deschambault
One thing that earns Noah this award is his acceptance of doing any event with utter commitment. His addition of Backstroke into his meet program was an awesome thing to watch as a coach. He had a huge best time in 100 Back, but bettered that time in his 100 split for the 200 Back, which he barely missed the podium on… Way to go Noah!
Spirit Award: Ivan Sun and Ian Mo
Ivan had a consistently excellent meet as well and earned plenty of points for the team, but his relay performances and individual efforts were very inspiring to the team. Of particular note, his silver-medal performance in the 200 Free was an example of how to approach a championship final. He listened to his coach’s corrections from the morning swim and took the swim out with reckless abandon trying to beat his Kelowna rival. Ultimately, Ivan was spent on the last 25 but he earned a massive boost in experience.
Ian Mo was equally as inspiring in his meet program. In case you did not know, Ian had a very serious ankle fracture in October and did not re-start his training until mid-December. For him to compete at the meet and achieve near-100% best times was so fun to watch. One race in particular to remember was his 100 Fly, with it being the first race in the program he led his heat with a 6 second best time, and set the tone for how he was going to compete all weekend.
Unsung Hero(es) Award: 200 Backstroke Boys
With the program coming to a close, we were 60 points behind CDSC for 2nd and far behind Hyack in the team scores. Our 200 Backstroke boys earned 106 points for the team and sling-shotted us ahead of CDSC and near to Hyack. Thanks to Ivan, Noah, Ian Cho, Hiro, Albert, Iden, and Theo we were back in the race for 2nd and gave us a massive swing in momentum for the Sunday PM session. I would also like to mention that Ian Mo, Alex Panos and Henry Ho all achieved Best-Times and achieved Top-16 rankings, being very close to the points.
Also, I want to give a special shout-out to all our first-time competitors at the meet:
It was an amazing effort from ALL the swimmers and I hope to carry this spirit through the rest of the season.
Thank you, parents and swimmers!