Stronger strokes for Terrace Bluebacks

Bluebacks show growing maturity at regionals, and Avery Back earned a silver medal, and will head to provincials with Renzo Zanardo in Feb.

Terrace Blueback Avery Back with her silver medal from regionals in Prince George Jan. 22-24.

Terrace Blueback swimmer Avery Back struck six new personal bests, earned a silver medal and a provincial qualification at regional championships in Prince George Jan. 22-24.

Renzo Zanardo also earned first in the 50 Fl and then qualified for provincials at a Last Chance swim meet at the Terrace pool last Saturday, Jan. 30.

“I was really happy with myself, I got all best times,” Back said of her swimming at regionals.

“Being in competition with good competitors really helps. They push you because you want to beat them and then you usually get a best time,” she said.

Talking about swimming, Back said she likes how it is about points and beating your own personal records, rather than winning or losing.

“It’s kind of hard to verse your friends,” she said. “We usually think about it as versing ourselves to get better times.”

Back said that it is really fun to be at competitions with the team and cheer each other on, and her favourite part of the swim meet was “not even really [qualifying for] provincials or getting a medal.”

“I like when [coach] Mike comes up and he’ll say what you did well on,” she said. “And it’s nice when your team mates compliment you, because it makes you feel good… And then you say ‘good job’ to them [after their races]. It’s really nice.”

Assistant coach Thomas Christensen was the assistant coach at the Terrace Bluebacks Swim Club for the last five years and is taking on more responsibility.

“We’ve been building the club from the younger ages up to where they are starting to really compete against other clubs,” said Christensen. “We’ve told these guys that we are not quite the best yet, but we are coming.”

Christensen said they have been building up experience though various swim meets and he sees a maturity growing in the Terrace club.

“You could really see that, with all the team work and helping them get lined up for their races,” he said. “Even the ones who just started swimming this year, you could see them being mentored by the more experienced swimmers who have been in the club for a couple years.”

Christensen said coaches have focused on technique because of the technical nature of swimming, but their other key emphasis has been work ethic.

“It is just trying to build that hard work and work ethic for these guys, and they are starting to show it. We’ve challenged them with some harder sets and they’ve risen to the occasion and really surprised us with how well they have done,” he said.

Two Terrace swimmers, Avery Back and Renzo Zanardo will compete in provincials in Penticton Feb. 12-14 with the Points North team, including swimmers from here, Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Smithers.

Looking back at regionals, the Terrace team of 26 swimmers earned 489 points together.

Nine of the Terrace swimmers earned new personal bests in all seven categories they competed in: Avery Back, Madelin Berschaminski, Caelyn Christensen, Braden Clunas, Rowan Coosemans, Brook Hansen, Bella Lang, Kenlee Plunkard, Pasha Schooner.

Top individual points were earned by Avery Back with 43, Jake Kluss with 34, and Caelyn Christensen with 32.

Avery Back won first in 200 Fr, 400 Fr, 50 Fl, and 200 Fl.

Others who won first were Mackenzie Bannister in 50 Br, Caelyn Christensen in 200 IM, Aubrey Gingles in both 50 Br and 200 Bk, Jake Kluss in 50 Bk and Renzo Zanardo in 50 Fl.

Four Terrace relay teams also earned first place:

In the 10 & Under girls medley relay was Grace Lukasser, Emma Kuirinlahti, Laura Billson, Kenlee Plunkard.

In 10 & Under freestyle was Emma Kuirinlahti, Laura Billson, Briana Segovia, and Kenlee Plunkard.

In the 12 & Under girls medley relay was Juliet Lukasser, Mackenzie Bannister, Avery Back, and Bella Lang.

In the 12 & Under freestyle was Juliet Lukasser, Bella Lang, Avery Back, and Aubrey Gingles.

Provincial time standards are set for swimmers to distinguish the fastest swimmers in the province.

Avery Back met the standard in 200 FI in single ‘A,’ and in double ‘AA,’ 50 Fr, 100 Fr, 200 Fr, 400 Fr, 50 Fl, and 400 IM.

Caelyn Christensen met the standard in 400 Fr, 800 Fr, 200IM, and 100 Br; Aubrey Gingles in 50Fr and 100 Br; Jake Kluss in 50 Fr, 100 Fr, 200Fr, 800Fr, 200Br, and 200IM; and Renzo Zanardo in 100 Fr, 100Bk, 200 Bk, 50 Fl, and 100 Fl.