By Lethbridge Herald on November 23, 2023.
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns swimming teams are set to carve the waves beginning today at the Canada West Championships in Calgary.
Both the men’s and women’s teams are going in on high, having been nationally ranked in seventh spot for about a month.
“It sounds kind of boring, but the main part of it is to try and be consistent,” said Horns head coach Peter Schori.
“I don’t mean sort of consistent year by year but I mean consistent with the approach we’ve taken that particular season. I talk a little bit about people taking on different roles this time because of changes we have on the team and we always have changes on the team, they’re just not always as big of changes. So those things are things we talked about at the beginning of the year. It’s going to be a little bit different and so the fact that we go into Canada West and we’re made up of a whole different team, everybody feels comfortable with that. We don’t feel like we’re going into this new all of sudden. This has been our identity for this season. So yeah, we try and keep things pretty even keel.”
Over the course of the three-day meet, the Horns will have been in 100 different individual swims.
“Some of those swims are going to be fantastic and some of them are going to not be fantastic,” said Schori.
“It’s pretty important that we take a pretty even approach and balance all those out. And I think the collection of them together is going to be really good.”
Schori thinks the key to success is that the teams believe in themselves.
“I’ve coached this team for 11 or 12 years now right and it’s changed over that time, and I think you need to have success to believe you can have success and it can be a bit of a you need one to happen before the other,” said Schori.
“But I think they believe in themselves and there’s an expectation that comes with that belief. I think they live up to everyday leading in.”
The team spoke recently about their goals and Schori’s goals and kind of the first topic of discussion was best times.
“We want an average of one best time per swimmer,” he said.
“If we can do that on average, everybody can say, hey, I had a win. And if we do that, I think that’s going to add up to a certain number of finals swims, and then I think we should be able to get on the podium somewhere in between three and six times. And those are the things where a little bit of luck comes into play.”
Men’s team swimmer Chris Alexander said mindset is a big one, when asked about what it will take to see the Horns get success this weekend.
“Not everything can go as planned, so being able to adapt to adversity is a big one,” said Alexander.
Alexander admits that this championship has been a bit of a rollercoaster for him as he has not won a gold medal at Canada West.
“I’ve had some recent I guess advances in my swimming that I’ve went primary off turns and off starts,” he said, on how he may get over the hump this year.
“Just utilizing my skills that I’ve been able to develop. What Pete has helped me with will help set me a part from my performances in previous years, you know, setting me a part from second in a race to now first ideally.”
Casara Holm thinks the women’s team is ranked pretty well to be medaling in the relay.
“I think that’s been pushing a lot of people just to get on to that relay, let alone wanting to have success in that relay,” said Holm.
“I think we’ve all been training super hard; we’re all feeling ready for Can West and I think we’re going to take all of that to Can West. And we’re going to have our goals again of where we want to be ranked as a women’s team and I think that’s going to help push us as well because our women’s team is doing well and we want to keep doing that.”
The Canada West Championships runs Friday through Sunday at the University of Calgary.