It’s uncanny how the early portion of Brooke Kienas’s swimming career mirrors that of Brent Hayden.
Like Hayden, the retired swimming star who counts podium finishes at the World Championships and the Olympics among his career highlights, Kienas hails from Mission and got her start in the sport with the Mission Marlins summer swim club.
Like Hayden, she’s transitioned to the year-round swimming scene with the Chilliwack Spartans.
And like Hayden, she’s found success at the BC Summer Games.
Kienas authored a phenomenal series of performances at the Games in Nanaimo last week, winning a ridiculous seven medals in the pool. The 14-year-old won gold in the 100-metre freestyle and the 4×50 medley relay; silver in the 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly and 50 free; and bronze in the 200 free and the 4×50 free relay.
She’s always looked up to Hayden, who participated in the 1998 BC Summer Games en route to his glittering international career, and last week’s results give fuel to her own dreams in the sport.
“I’ve been following Brent Hayden’s path forever,” said Kienas, who is going into Grade 10 at Hatzic Secondary. “He also went to the BC Summer Games, and now I have too. I’m hoping to follow his tracks and go to the Olympics just like him.
“(After the BC Games) I feel like I have a good shot at really improving and putting myself out there for people to see that I am a good swimmer. I want to get there.”
Kienas competed in eight different swimming events at the BC Games over three days – the 400 IM is the only one she didn’t medal in – and halfway through that jam-packed schedule, fatigue started catching up with her.
“I was like, ‘I need to go sleep!'” she related with a chuckle. “But I couldn’t, because I had other finals coming up. I just kind of pulled through.
“I thought I might win maybe one or two medals, but not in forever would I imagine I would get seven.”
• Kienas wasn’t the only local standout at the Summer Games.
Fellow Hatzic student Bryce Mackenzie showed off his high-flying skills en route to a pair of podium finishes in track and field. He won bronze in both the high jump (clearing 1.65 metres) and the triple jump (11.5 metres).
Those results are a continuation of Mackenzie’s momentum from the high school track and field season. He was a double gold medalist at the B.C. championships in June in the same two events, competing in the junior boys category.
• Fellow Mission product Cole Barker was part of a phenomenally dominant Fraser Valley U14 boys rugby team.
The Zone 3 squad comprehensively crushed the competition at the BC Games, out-scoring their foes 147-12 with four shutouts in five games on their way to the final. They picked up a fifth shutout in the title game, blanking Fraser River Delta 36-0.