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Photography by Kerri-Jo

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Tryouts will take place at Steveston Outdoor Pool September 5-7, 2017! See you there!!


Pacific Wave enjoys best-ever finish at nationals

Synchronized swim club’s junior team places 5th at Canadian Open Championships


JUNE 22, 2017 02:16 PM

Pacific Wave Synchronized Swim Club’s junior team produced a best-ever fifth place finish at the recent Canadian Open Championships in Toronto. Photograph By Dan Robichaud Photography

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.”

© 2017 Richmond News

Young Richmond athlete making a splash

There are ‘big things ahead’ for Richmond’s Nancy Liu


JULY 19, 2017 01:01 PM

Nancy Liu’s background in gymnastics and figure skating has served her well as she pursues her next challenge with the Pacific Wave Synchronized Swim Club. Photo submitted

Nancy Liu has taken her background in gymnastics and figure skating to make a significant splash so far in her promising association with the Pacific Wave Synchronized Swim Club (PWS).

The soon-to-be Grade 7 student at Richmond Christian’s middle campus is more than ready for her next challenge after placing fifth nationally in 11- and 12-year-old solos at last month’s Canadian Espoir Championships in London, ON.

Liu will be spending plenty of time in the water over the summer to prepare for next season at the 13- to 15-year-old level. She will be attending a camp at Stanford University in California  choreography camp to build her new programs.

“She will get a solo (routine) that is created and specialized for exactly what she needs next year to win,” explained PWSSC coach Kandace Kalin, who joined Rosilyn Tegart to work with Liu this past season.

“Some athletes take some time off (over the summer) and their bodies need that. Nancy has been brought up in a way that her body can take training all year round and she is excited to be doing it.

“We still make sure she has her rest time and nutrition is very important. But there are big things ahead for Nancy. She does well and thrives on competition so I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with her again. It’ always enjoyable to work with an athlete who has such hunger and drive for success.”

Before her family moved from China to Richmond, Liu got her start in synchronized swimming.

She was already doing competitive dancing and gymnastics and has put some of those skills to use in the water.

“I saw these people dancing on water and thought it was pretty cool,” said Liu, beaming. “Being flexible helped with synchronized swimming and so did my dance skills. The difference is you have the ground to support you in gymnastics where you are using your legs (underwater) to do it in synchro. There are just so many multiple things going on in the water.”

Liu made her debut at nationals a year earlier and placed ninth in solos. This time, she returned with much more confidence to end up fifth out of 80 entries from across the country.

“It was way better. Last year I was kind of nervous, where this time I felt ready and confident,” said Liu.

Her transition to the 13-to-15 age category should be a smooth one.

Liu was already performing with the club’s 13-to-15 team on top of her solo routine. A jump up to junior isn’t that far off on the horizon either.

“There are bigger goals and bigger focus ahead,” added Kalin. “We have a plan of action with additional and different types of training that we are going to be incorporating into her program in order to achieve those goals.

“Nancy is a quick learner and a good all-around athlete. It was easy to identify her skill set at a young age. She will have a chance to win at 13-to-15 and it’s the best level for her to be for one more year.”

© 2017 Richmond News