St. George’s Swim Team making History once again

Paul Wang swimming 50m Breaststroke.

On Nov. 11th, 2015, the St. George’s Swim Team took a group of 24 talented swimmers and travelled up to Kamloops to compete in the annual BCSS (British Columbia Secondary School) Provincial Championship Swim Meet. On this four-day trip, friendships were created, records were smashed, and banners were won.

While competition actually began on Friday Nov 13th, 2015, the boys, along with coaches Mr. Dustin Hersee and Mr. Jeremy Sayers, travelled to Kamloops two days early because the swimmers had to get used to the altitude and the pool. The team had a light practice at the Canada Games Pool on the 14th and took the rest of the day off to rest and prepare for the big meet.

Coming top three in all of their relays and many individual swims, the members of the St. George’s Swim Team made a clear statement that they were here to win on the first day of the competition. Swimmers swam their hearts out and the “B” Relay team consisting of Mike Zhang, Paul Wang, Andrew Tsai and Gareth Jones clocked a 1:53.63, taking first place seed going into finals and breaking the provincial record. The boys concluded the first day of competition with many top final seeds, records broken and personal bests.

Some other highlights of day 1 would be:

  • Paul Wang (Grade 12), best time in the 50 Breaststroke with 30.94, breaking the school record
  • Mike Zhang (Grade 12), personal best in 50 Backstroke with 29.80, going into finals second
  • Gareth Jones (Grade 12) swimming a 24.7 in 50 Freestyle.

The swim team went into finals with the same mindset and same momentum as they did with preliminaries. Best times got better, records that were broken were broken again, and, once again, St. George’s Swim Team showed everyone why they are the best high-school swim team in BC.

Several highlights of Day 2 were:

  • Paul Wang (Grade 12), 1st and breaking the provincial record in 50 Breaststroke with a 30.74 (breaking the school record)
  • Gareth Jones (Grade 12), 1st in the 50 Freestyle, breaking the school record once again, with a 23.90
  • The “B” Relay Team consisting of Mike Zhang, Paul Wang, Andrew Tsai and Gareth Jones came 1st in the 4×50 Medley relay and furthered their provincial record with a 1:51.98
  • Mike Zhang (grade 12), 2nd in 50 Backstroke with a 28.90
  • Andrew Zhang (Grade 9), 4th in 100m Backstroke with a personal best of 1:02.31
  • Michael Mitchell (Grade 10), 3rd in 100m Backstroke with a personal best of 1:01.66
  • Harry Duan (Grade 12), 2nd in 100m Breaststroke with a 1:04.47, breaking the school record by 2-one hundredths.
  • Joe Zhang (Grade 10), 4th in the 200 Individual Medley
  • Sam Shen (Grade 11), 5th in the 200 Individual Medley
  • The “A” Relay Team, consisting of Michael Mitchell, Harry Duan, Joe Zhang, and Sam Shen, 1st in the 4×50 Free Relay

As the competition ended, St. George’s Swim Team won the Men’s category with 672.5 points. Coming in second was Penticton High with 412 points. The swim team also won the Combined/ Overall Category with 738.5 points; Penticton High came in second with 682. The 24-membered team stepped up and furthered the school streak to 15 provincial titles in a row.

When asked about their thoughts on the swim team, Mike Zhang (Grade 12) said, This trip was definitely one of the highlights of my high school career; from interrupting the meet to sing “For All the Saints” to the KFC on the way home, I’m so honored to have been able to share this experience with everyone”. Andrew Tsai (Grade 12) commented, “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to call my brothers. Swimming was my first sport, and it has been one that I’ve come back to year after year because of all my wonderful teammates. It always brings a smile to my face to think of all the trials and tribulations that we faced – together. I am so proud of the way we carried ourselves this weekend”.