The UBC Thunderbirds continued their run of domination on the men’s side, while Toronto Varsity Blues didn’t win a gold medal, but lead the team standings in the women’s division after Day 1 of the 2020 U SPORTS Swimming Championships at Saanich Commonwealth Place.
UBC’s Emily Overholt got the ‘A’ Finals underway when she defended her gold medal in the women’s 200m freestyle with a time of 1:58.80, just shy of the U SPORTS record she set last year of 1:57.26. With two more races on the evening, her winning wasn’t done there.
“I’m definitely happy with my times today at this point in the season. To improve on what I did last year is a good thing,” said Overholt. “The (record) time was in the back of my mind for sure and this was a good setup for Olympic trials in a couple weeks.”
The two-time national champion not only defended her gold in the 400m individual medley, but set a new U SPORTS record by nearly 2.5 seconds with her swim of 4:38.58. She capped off the evening with a gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay with a time of 3:45.42.
The host Victoria Vikes produced the first double-gold winner of the meet.
Danielle Hanus has medalled in the 50m backstroke and 100m butterfly at U SPORTS meets in the past, but never captured the double gold – until Thursday night. Hanus got rolling with a gold in the women’s 50m back (28.05) and later added a gold in the 100m butterfly (58.74).
“It’s pretty surreal right now. It’s always fun racing at this meet and we have a great home pool advantage, getting to train here every day,” said Hanus. “I’m pretty stoked for the rest of the weekend. We have a lot of swimmers dropping times and giving it their all out there.”
Another long course U SPORTS record fell when Clément Secchi of McGill University defended his gold medal and set the new record in the 50m backstroke with a time of 25.82. Josh Dow of the Calgary Dinos previously set the record in February of 2016 with a time of 25.98.
“Winning for your team is what matters here,” said Secchi. “I’ve been training only butterfly, so to get this result was great.”
The McGill swimmer wasn’t done there. Later, he picked up a gold in the men’s 100m butterfly with a time of 53.55. At the end of the evening, he swam third in the bronze medal winning 4x100m freestyle relay.
Kelsey Wog of the Manitoba Bisons completed the U SPORTS grand slam by winning the women’s 100m breaststroke for the fourth consecutive year with her time of 1:06.44. She missed setting a new U SPORTS record by 1/100th of a second.
“It’s nice to have records, but I was just focusing on my race here this evening,” said Wog.
Another local swimmer, Josh Zakala of the Vikes, won gold. Two years ago, he captured silver in the men’s 400m individual medley, but this time, he set a new U SPORTS record with a time of 4:21.80.
Earlier in the morning during the preliminary races, Wog set a new U SPORTS short track record in the 100m breaststroke with her swim in 1:05.05.