Neptunes News

a collection of news stories related to the Haney Neptunes


Maple Ridge’s Nathan Stein ‘smokin’ at first Paralympics with silver medal in the pool

By Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun August 31, 2012

LONDON — Nathan Stein hardly seemed “speechless” in the moments immediately following his first Paralympic medal, a silver in the S10 50-metre freestyle.

“I mean, holy smokes — first Paralympics, you can't ask for more than that, right.”

But the 20-year-old from Maple Ridge did seem to still be in disbelief 25 minutes later when he came out on the pool deck for the medal ceremony. He clasped his head in his hands as he took his position, then patted his heart as if to assure himself that this was, in fact, reality.

Even then, though, after the medal was put around his neck, he kept staring down at it, fingering it in his hands with a sense of wide-eyed wonder.

The big, gregarious kid, broad-shouldered and sporting a “No Surrender” tattoo over his heart, could easily pass for an Olympian until you catch a closer glimpse of his left leg.

It's been operated on a dozen times since the age of 11 when “I happened to break half my knee off” while playing soccer. He had a bone deficiency — Osteochondritis Dissecans — in the knee, a condition that had worsened over time.

“Really unfortunate, but that's the name of the game,” Stein said in matter-of-fact manner. “When you go in for that many surgeries, it doesn't really matter any more. It just seems like it's so repetitive, like you don't know what else to do.

“If [doctors] call me after we get back and say ‘Hey, we've got to clean everything up,’ I'll be like ‘sure, whatever. When do you want me.’ ”

When he hasn't been undergoing surgery or recovering from it — “I do need my entire knee replaced, I've got no cartilage, no support” — he's been in the pool, competing in meets for both able-bodied swimmers and those with a disability.

He still likes competing against guys he grew up with, but says the Paralympics have given him a second chance.

“It really is for me,” says Stein, who competes in a class for athletes with minimal physical disability. “The Paralympics is such an amazing opportunity for someone like me who didn't have aspirations to go to the Olympics, at least after I broke my knee.”

Stein's time of 23.58 seconds over one length of the pool was .42 seconds behind the brilliant Brazilian, David Brasil, but still a personal best and faster than he had ever swam before.

“Andre's such an amazing swimmer — 23.16, that's amazing. I went a lot faster than I thought I was going to go. Our goal was 23.9 at the Games and we go 23.5. Nothing but good news.

“It gives me a load of confidence,” added Stein, who will face Brasil, a quadruple gold medallist at Beijing in 2008, and Canadian star Benoit Huot, a nine-time Paralympic gold medallist, in the marquee 100 freestyle. “I know I can keep up with the best of them. I know I can give Andre a little scare and make him shake in his boots a little bit.”

Stein's medal is sure to go over big in Maple Ridge, where he helped coach the Haney Dolphins swim club this year. In July, parents of kids in the club did a relay to help raise money for Stein.

“That was really funny, oh my. I mean some of the parents who hadn't even touched the water since, I don't know, since they were six years old, hopped in and did it. All their kids were going 'you didn't swim fast enough' and 'you didn't breathe this many times.' That was super funny.”


Neptunes net 10th

Maple Ridge Times
August 28, 2012

Haney Neptunes swim team placed 10th in the province at the BC Summer Swimming Association Championships held in Nanaimo.

Andy Cho was named the Division 1 boys aggregate winner, collecting three gold, three silver, and one bronze over the weekend.

Other highlights included Nick Todd winning the boys Division 7 gold in 100-metre backstroke, Rebecca Todd winning bronze medals in 50-metre freestyle, and 100-metre backstroke in Division 5 girls, Julia Rosec winning bronze in the 100-metre butterfly, and silver in the 100-metre backstroke in the open Category 2, and Joel Blanco winning the bronze in the 50-metre breaststroke for Division 1 boys.

Individual winners were supported by strong results from across the 45-member team who represented the Neptunes with multiple top 10 finishes across all age groups and strokes.

Earlier in the week the synchronized swim team’s 10 members came away with one gold, one silver, and three fourth place finishes.

The water polo also had a successful tournament as well with the U14 team winning the bronze medal, the U 12 team placing fifth and the U16 team placing sixth.

The team is wrapping its season with its annual awards night Sept. 8.



Club in Nanaimo

Maple Ridge Times
August 16, 2012

Members of the Haney Neptunes Aquatic Club are in Nanaimo this week for provincials.

Forty-five swimmers, led by Fraser Valley Regional Championship Aggregate winners Andy Cho, Nick Todd, Elena Fierro, Andy Cowie, and Alex Aguilar will start competition on Friday.

Coach Matt Torres is still looking for a top 10 finish for the team.

The swimmers will be joined by 11 synchronized swimmers, qualifying two duets and two full-teams.

The club’s U16, U14, and U12 waterpolo team also qualified through the Fraser Valley Championship tournament and start Monday.


Neptunes athletes, parents make splash

Maple Ridge News
June 14, 2012

More than 400 young swimmers from across the Fraser Valley were joined by 32 not-so-young parents in the water last weekend at the 2012 Haney Neptunes Invitational Swim Meet at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre. While the younger athletes swam in pursuit of personal bests, the adults swam in a parents-only relay in support of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Neptunes’ coach Nathan Stein, a member of the 2012 Canadian Paralympic swim team set to compete in London this summer.

“The parents relay was really a highlight of the meet,” said Jennine Benoit, Director of Swimming for the Neptunes. “It was amazing to see the level of participation, especially from those parents without a swimming background.”

The Neptunes’ home meet allowed all to showcase their talents.

“Our younger athletes from all age categories consistently placed in the top-ten across each event,” said Matthew Torres, head swim coach for the Neptunes. Torres attributed the success of the Neptunes to the dedication of the young athletes, who train for up to eight hours per week, jumping into the pool as early as 5:30 a.m. for practice.

“We’re looking forward to a great season,” said Torres. “We hope to place in the top-ten as a club at provincial championships held in Nanaimo this August.”

The club’s next meet is this weekend in Agassiz.


Haney Neptunes make splash

By Sylver McLaren
The Times

Competitive swimmers from throughout the Fraser Valley converged on Maple Ridge this weekend to take part in the Haney Neptunes 2012 Invitational Swim Meet. The two-day event was off to a great start when the first two races of the day on Saturday were won by members of the Neptunes.

“We’re looking forward to a great season. We hope to place in the top 10 as a club at provincial championships held in Nanaimo this August,” said coach Matt Torres.