Pacific Wave enjoys best-ever finish at nationals
Synchronized swim club’s junior team places 5th at Canadian Open Championships
MARK BOOTH / RICHMOND NEWS
JUNE 22, 2017 02:16 PM
It was a result that has been three years in the making and the Vancouver Pacific Wave Synchronized Swim Club’s Junior team is far from done.
A group of nine dedicated girls culminated their competitive season with a fifth place finish at last month’s Canadian Open Championships in Toronto. It was the highest placement ever in a team event on the national stage for the the Watermania-based program and provided further gratification for the massive commitment made by the athletes and coaches.
You have to go beyond the final standings and scores to get a better idea what Pacific Wave is up against each year.
While the club is doing an outstanding job of providing an elite synchro program in Metro Vancouver, its main competition at the national level comes from sport-specific regional training centres that has the luxury of hand-picking athletes from their respective provinces. Still, that doesn’t prevent PWSC from setting the bar extremely high.
The team is guided by head coach Kara Kalin, along with assistant Shelby Harding and mentor coach Gail Donohue.
The athletes include: Seray Sefayi, Grace Milley, Kendall Stirrat, Katie Stirrat, Zara Herbert, Lisa Koyama -Wong, Shaleigh Lachance, Maleka Rostami and Mallika Basra.
“Four years ago, I said to the parents, I want my team on the (national) podium and these are the kind of athletes we are going to need to have,” recalled Kalin. “Obviously, we don’t have the same circumstances as other provinces so we have to set our mind on what we can achieve. There are so many things we have to do to help get us there. It was a super proud moment for me.”
The goal going into the competitive season was to actually be top three at nationals. That will now be the objective next year and Kalin says improving the team’s routine score from 75.100 to 80.000 would get them there.
The girls will continue the same level of dedication that was taken to another level this season. Even the coaches went above and beyond.
Kalin was pregnant through the months of training and, with the help of her sister, took her three-week-old son with her to nationals. She didn’t want to miss it.
“Every day these girls showed up at the pool to push each other and train hard. Even off days they had homework they were required to do personally to bring the team’s performance up. All the girls did a great job of staying committed to that all the way through,” added Kalin.
“We have two exceptional leaders but we started the year with the idea of wanting to have a leader full team. The idea was we weren’t going to just have a captain and co-captain leading the ship. Everyone was going to be leaders in their own right and they were going to contribute to the success of the team. They will be hungry to make the podium next year.”