Last weekend, members of the Quesnel Waveriders swim club left Williams Lake with personal bests and medals tucked into their towels.
“They are much more focused,” Waveriders coach Laszlo Sikli said of his young charges.
Leading the way for Quesnel were Paige Kovacs and Garnet Currie.
Kovacs, 8, took first place overall in both the U8 and U10 competition. The first-place aggregate wins were the result of first-place finishes in the eight events she competed in.
Currie, 10, won the U10 aggregate by finishing first in all of his events.
David Sikli also had a great weekend with five trips to the top of the podium, two second-place finishes, which combined, were good enough for first place overall.
David also won $25 for placing third in the males individual medley showdown event.
Réka Sikli, 11, earned a second-place finish in the 50m backstroke, and recorded an “A” time in the 100m breaststroke.
Brad Swyers, 11, also had a strong weekend.
Swyers took first place in the 200m freestyle and 50m backstroke, as well as third place overall.
Billy Swyers, 8, swam to third place in the 50m backstroke and a second-place finish in the 50m freestyle.
Janna Kovacs rounded out the medal haul for the Waveriders.
Jenna swam to a first-place finish in the 200m freestyle event to go with three second-place finishes and two third-place finishes.
“I’m surprised,” Laszlo said of the performance of his swimmers, but quickly added, “They’ve been training hard.”
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Another important factor in the success of the team is self-motivation, Laszlo said.
The coaches have been discussing preparation and goal-setting and the mental aspect of competition and it seems to be paying off.
“They are paying more attention,” Laszlo said.
“They are more focused.”
The team has been practicing four times a week and will now train six times a week as some of the swimmers prepare for big meets.
Janna Kovacs is headed to Chilliwack in mid-February for the AA championships and David Sikli is going to Victoria in March for the AAA championships.