Semiahmoo swim team strokes to four titles

FLEETWOOD – Semiahmoo Secondary swim team repeated their performance from last year’s Fraser Valley championships by front crawling to the same four titles on Oct. 23.


The Totems senior boys, senior girls and junior girls teams all won their divisions, which gave the secondary school the best overall team banner as well.


Like last year, they missed out on the junior boys’ banner.


Despite not sweeping the meet, the team – especially the seniors – is delighted with their performance at Surrey Sport Leisure Centre.


"It’s been a great experience having this journey. Growing up in this sport and making it to this level, we feel really proud of our accomplishments," said Grade 12 student athlete Darren Yuan.


Most of the team has competed for the Pacific Sea Wolves Swim Club, and David Zhang said all of the hours swimming laps were worth it.


"It’s not easy getting up at five in the morning five times a week, it seems to be paying off," he said.


Hannah Roach, of the senior girls’ team, said the team’s performance gives them "confidence going into provincials."


Chelsea Ribeiro was one of the students who competed at the cross-country Fraser Valley championships the day before the aquatics Fraser Valley championships.


"I was pretty tired, but I just went into it just trying to go as hard as I could and do my best to help out the team," said Ribeiro, who helped bring three banners to her school in two days.


Karlene Clapham, the head coach of the team, said it gets difficult to handle a 58-member team, but added some of the more experienced athletes can coach themselves through events.


"It’s a little hairy, but they know their stuff," she said. "It has been four or five years I’ve been doing this with these guys and every year, they know a little bit better. That’s why we have such a great Grade 12 contingent."


Clapham, who also coaches the Pacific Sea Wolves, added that it was even more impressive considering the team only had three weeks to train due to the BCTF strike.


The provincial championships take place on Nov. 14 at Watermania in Richmond.


For event results, visit