Smith sets new Canadian record among huge medal haul at Western Canada Games

Eight medals, several records as Liquid Lightning swimmer continues to excel

Kierra Smith and her coach Emil Dimitrov after Smith won eight medals at the Western Canadian Summer Games in Kamloops.

Kierra Smith and her coach Emil Dimitrov after Smith won eight medals at the Western Canadian Summer Games in Kamloops.

Kierra Smith sounded pretty tired on Monday morning.

Perhaps it was the extra work in bringing home eight medals from the Western Canadian Summer Games in Kamloops.

Smith, 17, dominated the swimming events at the games, winning seven gold medals and one silver, and setting a new Canadian and B.C. Age Group record for girls 15 to 17, in the 200 metre breaststroke.

The Liquid Lightning Swim Club member also established new B.C. records in the 100m breaststroke and 200m Individual Medley and was less than a second off provincial records in the 200m flystroke and 400m IM.

“It was a really good meet for me and for the entire B.C. swim team,” said Smith after helping to close out the Western Canada Summer Games as a flag bearer for the closing ceremonies on Sunday.

“My goal going in was to get as many provincial records as I could,” she said. “I just was going out to have fun and it turned out really well.”

Smith is now off for a week before taking up her training and beginning preparations to take part in the Pan American Games in Mexico this October and another international meet in Oregon in November.

Before those meets Smith will visit top American universities like UCLA, San Diego State, Ohio State and Minnesota as she decides where to take her considerable swimming skills after high school.

“I really do appreciate all the offers from universities,” she said. “This is going to be the hardest choice that I make. It’s going to be my choice. It will have an impact on my future so it’s going to be hard but I’m really excited.”

Smith will return to Immaculata for her Grade 12 year this fall. She credits her parents as well as Liquid Lightning coach Emil Dimitrov for her success.

“My parents supported me so much this entire year: They did everything for me,” she said. “My coach trained me really well. He mentally prepared me for everything that came and couldn’t have done a better job of getting me ready for these meets.”

Kelowna Capital News