June 13th, 2024

Horns swimming prepared for Canadian Trials

By Lethbridge Herald on April 4, 2022.

Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns swim team were back in the pool last week preparing for the 2022 Canadian Swim Trials in Victoria that begin today.

Apollo Hess, Raine Arden, Chris Alexander, Parker Brown, Eric Louie, Hunter Stewardson and Emilia Hesterman will represent U of L on Vancouver Island.

The Trials come after an exceptional showing at the U SPORTS Championship in Quebec where the Pronghorns came away with five medals and had record breaking performances.

Apollo Hess led the way by claiming silver in the 100-metre breast stroke and winning gold in the 200-metre breaststroke and 50-metre breaststroke.

“Honestly, it’s more than anything I expected,” said Hess.

“Especially the (4×100 freestyle) relays. I think we just kind of like blew ourselves away. Like going into the relays our coaches set us some expectations, like in the freestyle relay that was first, he said, ‘Maybe we can crack 3:19 and maybe we’ll be fourth or something .’ And we ended up going 3:16.93 and getting second and we were just like , honestly it still hasn’t really set in that like we’re the second-best team in the country and there were four of us there.”

Hess agreed it was a big confidence booster heading into this week’s Trials.

“I know I can work on a few things,” said Hess.

“So, I just got to stay in the moment and do what I’ve been practicing for the last year.”

The team did taper and did less hard work over the course of the week, which will allow for their bodies to recover more.

“But we do just enough fast swimming where we’re still exerting ourselves a little bit. But we don’t get physically broken down or fatigued,” said Hess.

Hess said, “It’s a crazy feeling,” when it comes to the Trials, as he has been before.

“When I’m like bent over on the blocks about to jump into the pool for my race, it’s just like ‘Wow, like I’m really in this moment,’” said Hess.

“Like so much could go wrong, but also something could go so right and it’s just like it really comes down to whose better in those moments.”

Hess thinks that trials are very comparable to U SPORTS Championship in the sense that he will be racing a lot of the same swimmers.

“But it’s long course this time around — so it’s a 50-metre pool, instead of just the 25 metre,” he said.

“So I have to get into a bit of a different headspace and just work on the few different things.”

If any of the Pronghorns meet a certain time standard  and placing at Canada Swim Trials, they will earn a trip to Budapest this year to the World Championships.

Coach Peter Schori says Trials is the end of the current cycle with a double peak at the end which provides its own challenges.

“I think so far they’ve bridged this week in between really well,” said Schori.

“Our priority this week is to recover and they’ve handled themselves well. The Trials meet is really different. Swimming is an individual sport but U SPORTS is very much a team event and highlighted by the team relays. At a trials meet, it’s just an individuals thing; they don’t have any relays at a meet like this. It’s  all about your single performance. So they’re focus changes a little bit in that way. But I think they’re going to swim great. Their confidence is a wonderful thing— whether you’re an athlete or any other person — and they’re confident because they’re well prepared.”


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