Women’s Swimming News

Ainslie McMurray of Montreal collected one gold medal and a pair of bronzes as No.2 ranked Toronto narrowed the gap to top-seeded UBC on Day 2 of the U SPORTS swim championships, Friday.

UBC’s Anna Dumont-Belanger, a senior from Chilliwack, B.C., responded with gold from the leadoff spot in the 4x200 freestyle relay (8:21.95) and silver in the 200 individual medley. The Thunderbirds upped their team score to 1,003 points in a fierce head-to-head battle with Toronto (965.5). Rounding out the top five is Calgary (587.5), McGill (497.5) and Western (236.5). Since gold medals are worth 32 points, this two-horse race for the national title is expected to go down to the wire before a sell-out crowd on Saturday as the meet wraps up at the Pointe Claire Aquatic Centre in Montreal’s West Island region.

Of the seven final events held on Day 2, UBC and Toronto registered three gold medals apiece, with Calgary posting the only other first-place finish. The Thunderbirds and Varsity Blues each added one silver but Toronto had a 4-2 edge in bronze medal finishes. Over the first two days, UBC’s medal haul is five golds, two silvers and five bronzes, compared to Toronto’s tally of 5-2-6, respectively

McMurray, the OUA swimmer of the year, won her third consecutive 50 freestyle title, touching the wall in 25.68 seconds. The fifth-year environmental science major added bronze in the 50 butterfly and anchored the 4x200 freestyle relay to third place.

Teammate Anna Hein, a third-year distance specialist from Holliston, Mass., claimed the 400-freestyle gold in 4:22.48. She edged out McGill's Naomie Lo (4:22.71), who won the only medal of the meet for the Martlets thus far.

“I’m feeling amazing and it’s super cool that we are hosting the U SPORTS meet this year,” said Lo, an alternate captain on the Martlets and a software engineering junior from Toronto. “Its so special to win silver with a loud crowd and all my teammates by my side. I’m very proud to represent the Martlets this way. I’m swimming among very talented women at McGill and they are definitely a contributor to this medal... I really feel like we feed off each other’s energy and it’s not how you performed in the last meet. It’s about how you’ve worked towards our goals as a team over the last eight months. We’re all very excited for each other after going through the hardest practices, sets and training camps of our lives and sharing those emotions and energy.”

The B Final of the 400 free featured an intriguing hometown rivalry with a pair of 20-year-old twin sisters from Pointe Claire, swimming side by side in parallel lanes. Waterloo’s Megan Frost finished second in that race, touching the wall in 4:26.49, to edge out McGill’s Natasha Frost by one one-hundredth of a second (4:26.50). Both also swam in the 4x200 relay on Friday night but in separate legs, with Natasha swimming the third segment (2:08.44) for McGill, which finished fourth. Megan swam leadoff in 2:08.51 for Waterloo, which finished 13th overall.

“It was real exciting, it’s always nice to race my sister, especially after being apart for the last two years and it helps elevate our game to race each other, which is really fun,” said Natasha, a geophysics sophomore. “Even though we tend to swim the same races a bit differently, you’d be surprised the amount of times that we touched at a very similar (moment). We’ve probably tied a couple of times. It’s very odd that even after two apart with different training styles, that we still have very similar, almost the exact same times, in a couple of events, which is pretty crazy.”

It was a true homecoming as the siblings grew up training at the Pointe Claire pool.

“It’s the first time this year that we have swam side by side because we compete in two different conferences (OUA vs RSEQ),” said Megan, a physics and astronomy sophomore. “So, its kind of difficult not having her there. But I was really happy to have that race today… I could see her because Natasha started off a bit faster than I did. So that last 50 (metres), I said that I gotta try, so I put all my effort in and was kind of shocked to out-touch her at the wall… Generally, I have a pretty good finish, so I was happy with that (result).”

Both are also slated to swim in the 800 free on Day 3.

U of T’s Nina Mollin, from Schaumburg, Illinois, gobbled up her second gold in as many days, winning the 200 individual medley (2:18.35) after winning the 100 fly on Day 1.

“I’m really tired and happy because last year, I kind fumbled in the backstroke and didn’t expect to be winning any gold this year, “ said Mollin, a biochemistry sophomore who noted that she woke up really sore after swimming two events yesterday. “It’s a very hard competition and I’m very happy to finish the race with everything that I’ve got. My goal heading in (to this meet) was to podium in all my events and so far, I’ve got three out of four. Tomorrow’s the 200 fly and that’s like one of my better events, so I’m just really hoping that it goes well.”

UBC teammates joining Dumont-Belanger on the winning relay were Brooklyn Wiens of Red Deer, Alta., Jade Lo of Toronto and Rosalie Davidson of St. Jerome, Que. Rounding out UBC’s gold medal haul was Bridget Burton (100 back, 1:02.16) of Mill Bay, B.C., who won the 50 back on Day 1, and Eloise Allen (50 fly, 26.86) of Gibsons, B.C.

“It’s been a tough year for me but my teammates have been supporting me the whole time,” said Allen, who collected her third medal of the weekend.

The only other team to strike gold was the Calgary Dinos, with Alexanne Lepage, an engineering freshman from Vernon, B.C., clocking 2:27.92 in the 200 breast.

The meet concludes on Saturday with morning prelims at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern), followed by long distance events at 3 p.m., a tribute to graduating seniors at 5:15 p.m., evening finals at 5:30 p.m. and an awards ceremony at 8 p.m., where the swimmers of the meet will be announced and the championship banner will be presented. All schedules, live results, race entries, meet recaps and related information can be found at this website link.
 
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

TEAM STANDINGS (after Day 2)

WOMEN: 1. UBC, 1,003 points; 2. Toronto, 965.5; 3. Calgary, 587.5; 4. McGill, 497.5; 5. Western, 236.5; 6. McMaster, 154; 7. Victoria, 142.5; 8. Manitoba, 137.5; 9. Alberta, 124; 10. Dalhousie, 115; 11. (tie) Waterloo and Lethbridge, 95; 13. Montréal, 84.5; 14. Acadia, 76; 15. Laval, 64; 16. Guelph, 62; 17. Ottawa, 44; 18. Brock, 36; 19. Regina, 25.5; 20. Sherbrooke, 22; Mount Allison, 5; 22. Queen’s, 1.

MEN: 1. Toronto, 788 points; 2. Calgary, 623.5; 3. UBC, 612.5; 4. McGill, 600; 5. Ottawa, 350.5; 6. Western, 268; 7. Alberta, 244; 8. Waterloo, 183; 9. (tie) Victoria and Laval, 121.5; 11. Dalhousie, 96; 12. McMaster, 87; 13. Lethbridge, 76; 14. Laurier, 71; 15. York, 64; 16. Carleton, 50; 17. Acadia, 47; 18. Memorial, 46; 19. Sherbrooke, 44; 20. Manitoba, 41.5; 21. UQTR, 17; 22. Regina, 16; 23. Montréal, 15; 24. UNB, 11; 25. Mount Allison, 5.

RECORD BROKEN:

Men’s 50-metre butterfly (long course): Chris Weeks, Memorial, 23.90 seconds (Old record: 24.04 by Coleman Allen of UBC in 2015).

INDIVIDUAL MEDALISTS:

WOMEN

50 freestyle: 1. Ainsley McMurray, Toronto, 25.68 seconds; 2. Julianne Moore, Calgary, 26.14; 3. Shaunna Walker-Dejong, McMaster, 26.44.

200 breaststroke: 1. Alexanne LePage, Calgary, 2:27.92; 2. Shona Branton, Western, 2:31.12; 3. Amaris Peng, UBC 2:31.71.

400 freestyle: 1. Anna Hein, Toronto, 4:22.48; 2. Naomie Lo, McGill, 4:22.71; 3. Mahaylia Vatars, Toronto, 4:23.09.

100 backstroke: 1. Bridget Burton, UBC, 1:02.16; 2. Katelyn Schroeder, Toronto, 1:02.63; 3. Haley Klenk, Toronto, 1:02.76.

200 individual medley: 1. Nina Mollin, Toronto, 2:18.35; 2. Anna Dumont-Belanger, UBC, 2:18.50; 3. Emma Spence, UBC, 2:18.72.

50 butterfly: 1. Eloise Allen, UBC, 26.86; 2. Anaïs Arlandis, Montréal, 27.63; 3. Ainsley McMurray, Toronto, 27.85.

4x200 freestyle relay: 1. UBC (Anna Dumont-Belanger, Brooklyn Wiens, Jade Lo, Rosalie Davidson), 8:21.95; 2. Calgary (Alexanne LePage, Hannah Johnsen, Marit Anderson, Emily deJager), 8:25.42; 3. Toronto (Hailey Klenk, Teagan McKenzie, Mahaylia Vatars, Ainsley McMurray), 8:27.95.

MEN

50 freestyle: 1. Liam Weaver, Toronto, 22.72 seconds. 2. Malachy Belkhelladi, McGill, 23.04; 3. Allen Zheng, Waterloo, 23.06.

200 breaststroke: 1. Hugo Lemesle, Ottawa, 2:14.80; Jacob Gallant, Toronto, 2:18.77; Ethan Hemeon, UBC, 2:18.47.

400 freestyle: 1. Liam Clawson-Honeyman, UBC, 3:58.16; 2. Nathan Versluys, Calgary, 3:58.43; 3. Mats Baradat, McGill 3:59.51.

100 backstroke: 1. Hugh McNeill, UBC, 55.44 seconds; 2. Andrew Herman, Toronto, 55.84; 3. Richie Stokes, Calgary, 56.55.

200 individual medley: 1. Benjamin Loewen, Toronto, 2:03.66; 2. Charlie Skalenda, Calgary, 2:05.32; 3. Jacob Gallant, Toronto, 2:05.72.

50 butterfly: 1. Chris Weeks, Memorial, 23.90 seconds (new U SPORTS record); 2. Siu Lun Ho, UBC, 24.23; 3. Hazem Issa, McGill, 24.44.

4x200 freestyle relay: 1. McGill (Artiom Volodin, Pablo Collin, Bruno Dehem-Lemelin, Mats Baradat), 7:32.29; 2. Toronto (Max Tambling, Jack Li, Brendan Oswald, Bill Dongfang), 7:32.99; 3. UBC (Hugh McNeill, Olivier Risk, Liam Clawson-Honeyman, Jake Gaunt), 7:33.68.