Women’s Swimming News

Top-ranked UBC holds a modest lead after a fierce head-to-head battle with the No. 2 seeded Toronto Varsity Blues to highlight the women’s division after Day 1 at the U SPORTS swim championships, Thursday. A total of 350 athletes, including 161 women, from 28 universities are participating at the meet, hosted by McGill University for the first time since 1979, at the Pointe Claire Aquatic Centre in Montreal’s West Island region.

The Thunderbirds, who have won the national title in four of the last six seasons, are leading all 28 competing schools with a meet-high six medals after a half-dozen events, including a pair of golds, one silver and three bronzes.  UBC has racked up 550 points in the women’s standings, followed by Toronto (441.5), which collected two golds, one silver and a pair of bronzes. Rounding out the top five is Calgary (272.5), McGill (223.5) and Western (111.5).

Bridget Burton of Mill Bay, B.C., and Anna Dumont-Belanger of Chilliwack, B.C., each won gold and bronze medals to pace the Thunderbirds, while teammate Eloise Allen of Gibsons, B.C., collected one silver and a posted pair of bronze medal performances.

Burton, an Arts freshman, nudged out Allen to win the 50-metre backstroke in 28.91 seconds and was part of the bronze-medal winning 4x100 freestyle relay. Dumont-Belanger, a kinesiology senior who was part of that relay, won the first event of the day, taking the 200 free in 2:02.35.

For the Varsity Blues, sophomore Nina Mollin of Schaumburg, Illinois, topped the squad with two individual medals, including gold in the 100 butterfly (1:01.51) and bronze in the 400 individual medley (4:5.09).

Also reaching the podium three times was Calgary Dinos rookie Alexanne Lepage, highlighted by a golden performance in the 400 individual medley (4:50.26). The engineering freshman from Vernon, B.C., added silvers as part of the 4x100 freestyle relay and in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.07), which was won by Western’s Shona Branton (1:07.64).

“It feels awesome, the environment here is so much fun,” said Lepage, whose father was originally from Montreal. “It was nice to break the ice and get the first couple of races out of the way… I was excited for all of my races today, especially the 100 breast, which was an exciting race with Shona and I was happy with the outcome. And the relays are always super-duper fun.”

Rounding out the gold medalists was Toronto’s 4x100 freestyle relay (3:50.26). That fearless foursome featured Teagan Vander Leek in the leadoff spot, followed by Raili Kary, Lily Chubaty and Ainsley McMurray. It was the third consecutive year winning gold in this relay for McMurray, an environmental science senior from Montreal and the 2024 OUA women's swimmer of the year. She added a silver in the 200 free and now has accumulated six lifetime golds at Nationals, along with five silvers and seven bronzes.

The meet continues on Friday with morning prelims at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern), followed by evening finals at 5:30 p.m.

All sessions are streamed live in English on CBC GEM and cbcsports.ca  and in French on Radio-Canada.ca/Sports and ICI Tou.TV

INDIVIDUAL MEDALISTS:

WOMEN

200 Freestyle: 1. Anna Dumont-Belanger, UBC, 2:02.35; 2. Ainsley Mcmurray, Toronto 2:02.61; 3. Haley Klenk, Toronto, 2:04.21.

100 Breaststroke: 1. Shona Brandon, Western, 1:07.64; 2. Alexanne Lepage, Calgary 1:08.07; 3. Eloise Allen, UBC, 1:10.43.

100 Butterfly: 1. Nina Mollin, Toronto,1:01.51; 2. Anais Arlandis, Montréal 1:01.73; 3. Sela Wist, UBC, 1:01.96.

50 Backstroke: 1. Bridget Burton, UBC, 28.91; 2. Eloise Allen, UBC, 29.29; 3. Hannah Johnsen, Calgary, 29.30.

400 Individual Medley: 1. Alexanne LePage, Calgary, 4:50.26; 2. Olivia Brendzan, Alberta, 4:54.59; 3. Nina Mollin, Toronto, 4:56.09.

4 x 100 Freestyle Relay: 1. Toronto (Teagan Vander Leek, Raili Kary, Lily Chubaty, Ainsley McMurray), 3:50.26; 2. Calgary (Hannah Bennett, Eliza Housman, Hannah Johnsen, Alexanne LePage), 3:51.31; 3. UBC (Anna Dumont-Belanger, Eloise Allen, Brooklyn Wiens, Bridget Burton), 3:51.60.

MEN

200 Freestyle: 1. Pablo Collin, McGill, 1:51.76; 2. Bill Dongfang, Toronto, 1:52.12; 3. Paul McKenzie Calgary, 1:53.21.

100 Breaststroke: 1. Hugo Lemesle, Ottawa, 1:02.82. 2. Gabe Mastromatteo, Toronto, 1:02.92; 3. Graeme Aylward, Toronto,1:02.93.

100 Butterfly: 1. Bill Dongfang, Toronto, 54.48; 2. Ahmed El Tatawy, Toronto, 54.64; 3. Thomas McDonald, Calgary, 54.67.

50 Backstroke: 1. Christopher Alexander, Lethbridge, 25.89; 2. Andrew Herman, Toronto, 25.91; 3. Hugh McNeill, UBC, 25.97.

400 Individual Medley: 1. Jacob Gallant, Toronto, 4:22.8; 2. Benjamin Loewen, Toronto, 4:23.34; 3. Hugh McNeill, UBC, 4:24.75.

4 x 100 Freestyle Relay: 1. Calgary (Stephen Calkins, Gibson Black, Addison Butler, Thomas Mcdonald) 3:23.65; 2. McGill (Pablo Collin, Erik Linseisen, Hazem Issa, Malachy Belkhelladi) 3:23.73; 3. UBC (Siu Lun Ho, Joel Blanco, Hugh McNeill, Jake Gaunt), 3:24.40.

TEAM STANDINGS AFTER DAY 1 

WOMEN:

  1. UBC, 550; 2. Toronto, 441.5; 3. Calgary, 272.5; 4. McGill, 223.5; 5. Western, 111.5; 6. McMaster, 70; 7. Manitoba, 60; 8. Victoria, 56.5; 9. Lethbridge, 53; 10. Alberta, 43; 11. Waterloo, 42; 12. Dalhousie, 34; 13. Acadia, 32; 14. Laval, 31; 15. Montréal, 28; 16. Guelph, 23; 17. Ottawa 21; 18. Brock 16 ; 19. Sherbrooke 13; 20. Regina,12.

MEN:

  1. Toronto, 396; 2. UBC, 320; 3. Calgary, 291; 4. McGill, 221; 5. Ottawa, 165; 6. Alberta, 125; 7. Western, 95; 8. Waterloo, 67; 9. Lethbridge, 57; 10. Laval, 56; 11. Victoria, 47.5; 12. Dalhousie, 43; 13. McMaster, 41; 14. Laurier, 35; 15. Sherbrooke, 33; 16. Carleton, 26; 17. York, 23; 18. Manitoba, 22; 19. UQTR, 17; 20. (tie) Acadia and Regina 16; 22. UNB, 11.