By Lethbridge Herald on December 6, 2017.
A pair of local swimmers will continue to put on the laps at home.
Coming off a successful Canada West Championships, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns swim team announced the commitment of two local athletes for the 2018-19 swim team at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the 1st Choice Savings Centre.
The two faces coming onboard are familiar ones as LASC swimmers Raine Arden and Chris Alexander join the Pronghorns program.
“We’re excited,” said Pronghorns head coach Peter Schori, who has coached both athletes for the past four years. “We were hoping to keep some of our Lethbridge kids around for the last couple of years and for different reasons they’ve gone to a few schools across Canada and the States. To keep Chris and Raine here this year, they’re two of the best boys in Western Canada. So it’s great for the U of L and it’s really nice to keep our LASC kids here at home.”
Arden is a sprint and mid-distance freestyle specialist and was a medallist at the 2017 Western Canadian Games and a finalist at the Canadian Junior Championships. He won a silver medal in the 50m freestyle and placed fourth in the 100m freestyle.
Alexander is a backstroke specialist and was also a medallist at this year’s Western Canadian Championships in Calgary where he claimed a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke.
“It’s always exciting moving forward in your career,” said Alexander. “It’s a big step from high school to swimming for an actual school team. I’ll still be with my coach. I’ve been swimming with him for a few years now and it’s great to be staying with somebody who has had such a big influence on me. I know he’s a great coach and I can stay with that. He still has a lot to teach me.”
Alexander lived in Pincher Creek before taking his sport to Lethbridge four years ago.
“I’ve been swimming with the LASC for the past four years now. It’s been a great experience. I’ve progressed incredibly from where I used to be.
“There are a lot of options and places I could have gone, but here I know who my coach is and what I’m getting. I’m very happy with it.”
That familiarity factored in for Arden as well.
“I’ve had Peter as a coach for a while now, so it’ll be good to take the next step with him. I’m very excited for that and very excited for the team dynamic with the Horns. I swam with them in some club (events), so I know a few of them. It’ll be really fun competing with them.”
Arden started swimming in Calgary before joining the LASC.
“I know what I’m walking in to and that’s really good for me, knowing the people I’ll be swimming with. They’re all really good people, so that’s a big plus.”
The Pronghorns head into the semester break, but continue to prepare for the U Sports Championships in February in Toronto.
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