The Kelowna Ogopogo Summer Swim club was a force to be reckoned with this past weekend in Penticton. The Ogos competed at the Okanagan Regional Championships against numerous other teams from around the valley and sent a large contingency of over 70 youth swimmers to the meet.
“We came into the meet strong and confident” said Ogopogo coach Lucas Stringer, referencing the last three meets where the Ogos pulled off an overall team win.
“I feel like we have been picking up momentum all season long, ranking slightly better at each meet. For the regional swim meet, we set high standards for the kids, individually and as a group,” explained Stringer. “I can honestly say that they managed to exceed my expectations. They excelled in multiple ways.”
From a ranking standpoint, the OSC put up some impressive statistics. For the first time this season, the club succeeded in taking the over-all male and female points awards.
“That was a big accomplishment for the boys’ team. They have been finishing second or third at most of the meets so far this season,” said Stringer. “Moving up from third place to first was a great testament to the impressive swims that the boys had at the pool”.
The girls were no slouches either. At the last three swim meets, the girls managed to eke out a win in their category; at the regional meet, they won by nearly double the points of the second place team.
“As a team, this is probably our most important meet of the year. It is the culmination of months of hard work, and the end of the competitive season for most of the team. Finishing off the regular season with such a strong showing is really too perfect,” said coach Greg ___
In summer swimming, the season ends for most at the regionals swim meet. Only swimmers who medal top three in an individual event, or place top two on a relay qualify to compete at the provincial swim meet two weeks later. This year, the provincial swim meet is being hosted at the Spani Swim Pool in Coquitlam from Aug. 16 to 18. Roughly 30 Ogopogos qualified for provincials in 80 individual events and numerous medley and free relays in almost every age division.
Notably, multiple Ogos finished the meet with a medal in each of their individual events:
Flyn Huber, Andrea Kraetzer Logan Lalonde Ealin Ran, Emalie Schueler, sisters Kyra McNulty and Kiana McNulty all won multiple medals.
To cap off the weekend, multiple Ogopogos smashed club and regional Records. Kennedy Dickie and Kyra McNulty both set individual marks while the male and female freestyle relay teams broke regional records.
“I’m so proud of these kids” said Stringer. “There will be more great swims from them this next weekend in Coquitlam”.