The Haney Neptunes U-16 team fought their way to a gold medal at the B.C. Summer Swim Association championships at the City Centre Aquatic Complex and Spani Outdoor Pool in Coquitlam.
The team fought off the Langley Flippers 9-6 in overtime to win the title.
The two teams were tied 6-6 after regulation. The Haneys potted three goals in the six-minute overtime to win the title.
Cole Wagner, head coach of the Neptunes, said it’s a big win for a program that struggled a year ago at the provincials. The U-16 team finished last in round robin play in 2012.
“I think the experience from last year made all the difference,” said Wagner, a former Neptune and current captain at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ont.
“The kids put in a tremendous amount of hard work this year.”
In his second season as head of the water polo program, Wagner said the Neptune teams were able to execute on the systems he and his coaching staff put in place.
He said the gold medal win for the U 16 team came after a heated battle with their rivals from Langley throughout the season. The Neptunes dropped the Flippers during the regular season 15-5. The Flippers turned the tables at during the round robin play at the provincials.
“It’s such a short season, things can change so quickly. It’s an intense league. It’s great to be able to come back and see the kids faces after they win,” said Wagner.
In the U 12 division, the Neptunes dropped a heartbreaking 8-7 decision to North Vancouver and had to settle for silver. The U14 team lost the bronze medal match 9-7 to Crescent Beach.
Wagner said it was the club’s goal at the start of the season to put every team in position for a medal at the provincials. He said all the teams should take great pride in the strides they made during the year.
“I think we’re starting to see the fruits of our labour. They’ve learned what it takes to compete and win at the provincials .”