Several athletes from the Estevan Sharks water polo program were part of Team Saskatchewan at the recent under-19 Water Polo Canada National Champions League Western Finals in Calgary.
Alex Andrist, Josie Andrist, Mikayla Hack and Taeghan Hack won a bronze medal with Team Sask. The result punched their ticket for the five-team national tournament in Calgary at the end of May.
“Saskatchewan is the defending champ,” said Tania Andrist, who is Alex and Josie’s mother.
Tania Andrist noted that the bronze medal was nice, but there were higher expectations for the Saskatchewan entry. They dropped their opening game of the tournament, a game that would have sent them to the western final if they would have won. Then they also dropped the semifinal, which determined the other western final spot.
That left them in the bronze medal game, which they won to reach nationals.
“They have really gone back to work right now to try and work a little bit better on their teamwork and their shooting, so that they can battle this really tough competition at this level, because there’s an expectation right now for them to repeat,” said Tania Andrist.
She also noted that last year Taeghan Hack was the only local swimmer on the team. It goes to show the impact of the Sharks High Performance Club.
“It’s building so many strong players who can compete at the top levels in Canada, and right in our own backyard,” said Andrist.
It’s a testament to the hard work of the swimmers, and the support of the community for water polo.
Andrist also said the bronze medal the athletes received looks great, and her daughters believe it’s the nicest looking medal they have ever won.