Bulkley Valley Otters’ Luke Berarducci brought home some impressive hardware from this year’s B.C. Summer Games.
Berarducci won bronze in the boys 100 metre butterfly behind Michael Mitchell from Vancouver who took home silver and Austin Phillips from Kamloops who captured gold during the three-day competition in Nanaimo between July 17-20.
“I wasn’t expecting anything good going into the meet,” admitted Berarducci. “Once I got there, it seemed to just work out really well. It feels pretty good.
“I was going into finals fifth in the race and I had four finals that day within two hours. My 100 metre [butterfly] was the first race and I guess I was just feeling it. I was really excited,” said the 14-year-old Bulkley Valley Christian School student.
According to region coach Tom Best, many of the races were back-to-back, making it difficult for Berarducci to catch his breath in between races.
“Normally [in the finals], they’ll get 15 to 20 minutes between swims and in this case they were getting one and a half or two minutes of rest and that’s just not enough to recover,” said Best, adding that one of the coaches nicknamed Berarducci “Iron Luke” because of all the races he competed in.
“It becomes more of a workout than a performance,” he said.
In spite of the short rest times, Berarducci still had excellent final swims and used basic techniques to help improve his times.
“I got him to stretch out when he pushed off the wall, it’s something everyone in the club has been working on,” said Best.“He really nailed it on Sunday, every time he pushed off the wall you could see he was gaining on everybody whether it was going ahead or getting back up to an even place with them.”
For Berarducci, the win meant more with his mother present to cheer him on.
“It was nice to know that everyone diving off the block wanted the medal and they worked hard for it,” said Joanne.