Kaya Lathangue was going up against some older swimmers at the recent B.C. Summer Games but she wasn’t too fazed about it.
At 12 years old, she swam in several events against swimmers a couple of years older.
“She’s pretty tiny, but she can just maintain her pace,” says mom Debra. “The girls that she beat were much bigger than her … 14 years old.”
She swam in the 200m and 100m back stroke and the 100m butterfly. Her strongest event is freestyle, especially in the longer distances, and at the Cowichan Games, she swam home with a gold in the 1500 metres.
She also competed in the 50m, 200m and 400m freestyle events, and was part of the Vancouver Island-Central Coast Zone 6 team that earned the most medals at this year’s Summer Games across all sports.
For swimming, the girls between 12 and 14 and boys between 13 and 15 are seeded in events based on level determined by swimming times rather than specific ages. Lathangue is used to going up against swimmer who are a couple of years older from her regular experience in the pool.
“It’s kind of just normal,” she says. “I usually race people that age.”
Lathangue swims regularly as a member of the Campbell River Killer Whales swim club, which competes from September through the years and into June or July, depending on the post-season events for which swimmers qualify.
Two other Killer Whale swimmers, Martina Montana and Summer Wenger, along with assistant coach Sarah MacDonald, went to the B.C. Summer Games.
To qualify, swimmers are chosen based on points racked up from how many top finishes or medals they have earned over their season. The top 10 girls and boys qualify to represent their zone. As well as this year’s B.C. Summer Games, Lathangue has also qualified for Canadian Junior Championships for when she is old enough to go next year.
She has been swimming most of her life, starting at age four and joining the swim club not long after.
As far as her physical activities go, swimming remains her primary sport.
“She loves it, which helps a lot,” her mom says. “It keeps her pretty busy.”