Vernon Kokanee grads go big

Savannah King and Joe Byram, both Vernon Kokanee Swim Club grads, earn CIS honours after stellar results at nationals in Montreal.

A pair of Vernon Kokanee Swim Club grads lapped up national honours at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) swim championships last weekend in Montreal.

Savannah King, a second-year star with the UBC Thunderbirds, collected CIS Female Swimmer of the Year after her record-setting weekend, while Joe Byram, a freshman with the University of Alberta Golden Bears, was named Male Rookie of the Year.

After clocking a Canadian record four minutes, 2.76 seconds in the 400-metre freestyle on Day 2 of the three-day competition, King set a new CIS standard 8:25.68 in the 800 free Saturday.

King, who was the top female rookie last season and represented Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finished the weekend with three other medals, including silver in the 4×200 free relay, and bronze in both the 200 back and 200 free.

The MVP award goes to the athlete with the highest aggregate point total for her two best races, as based on Swim Canada’s performance charts.

Byram broke multiple U of A records as well as the 17-year-old age-group record in the 200 back.

Byram finished with silver in both the 100 (53.30) and 200 (1:57.12) back, bronze in the 4×100 medley relay (his leadoff split was 53.98), fourth in the 4×200 free relay (his leadoff split was 1.50:34), fifth in the 200 free (1.49.61) and 10th in the 50 back (25.92).

“My team really supported me throughout the year, so to win the award and bring some attention to our team is well deserved for the program,” said Byram. “We are a team built on work ethic and drive, rather than talent, so any award or recognition means a lot.”

Meanwhile, Erin Miller, another former Kokanee, added to her medal count with a bronze in the women’s 4×100 medley relay. The U of A Golden Panda earlier collected gold in both the 100 and 200 butterfly, and silver in the 50 fly.

The UBC women dominated the meet by racking up a championship record 811.5 points. The three-time defending champion Calgary Dinos were 206 points back in second, while the Toronto Varsity Blues finished third with 355.5 points.