The UVic Vikes swimming team wrapped up an extremely impressive showing at the Canada West Swimming Championships with 11 medals over the three days of competition that took place at Saanich Commonwealth Place from November 24-26.
“Everyone was pretty tired today,” said Vikes assistant coach Ryan Clouston. “The prelims for all teams were off compared to the last two days, but in the finals everyone came out strong and it was a very exciting night for the whole team.”
Danielle Hanus broke her second Canada West record of the meet when the second-year swimmer captured gold in the 200-metre butterfly in a time of 2:09.77. Hanus then added a silver medal in the 100-metre backstroke to finish the competition with five medals overall: two gold, two silver and one bronze.
“Danielle is a very good swimmer and put in hard swims in both prelims and finals throughout the meet,” said Clouston. “She got better every swim and demolished everyone in the underwaters for sure.”
Josh Zakala made it three medals in three days when the swimmer from Kelowna, B.C. won bronze in the 400-metre freestyle, touching the wall less than a second behind his teammate Eric Hedlin who won silver in a time of 3:49.37. The medal was the second of the meet for Heldin after he won gold and set a new Canada West record in the 1500-metre freestyle on the first night of competition.
Bailey Espersen rounded out the medals for the Vikes with an exciting close in the 200-metre breaststroke to finish third in a time of 2:14.36.
“Bailey came from a really small program in Smithers and since he’s come to the Vikes he has dropped 15 seconds in a race that is only 120 seconds long, which is unbelievable,” said Vikes head coach Peter Vizsolyi. “Everyone was pretty excited for him because it was his first medal.”
A number of Vikes qualified for ‘A’ finals throughout the meet and with the top-8 finishes piling up, it wasn’t just the medal winners who shone for the team.
“It was a pretty good display of depth for us,” said Clouston. “Everyone was putting up their best times of the season all weekend and I think almost everyone is ready to go even faster at the next meet and the meet after that, so it was a very good showing for the Vikes.”
Kara Wilson, Zachary Dumas and Justin Schramm all posted times that were good enough to punch their ticket to Toronto for the U SPORTS National Championships during the meet. Both Ethan Jensenand Andrea Farmer just missed recording qualifying times but will continue to push to join their teammates at nationals throughout the winter.
“We had lots of people qualify and I think of the people that can qualify, most of them have,” said Vizsolyi. “For most of the people that are going to go to nationals they can now focus on exams, go to training camp and work through the winter.”
Honoured at the conclusion of the meet was Canada West Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner Taylor Snowden-Richardson.
Snowden-Richardson created the project ‘Tay’s Team’ and has knit and crocheted over 150 character hats to give to children in hospitals. The fourth-year Vike volunteers endless hours in the pediatric unit of the Nanaimo General Hospital and is a three-time Academic All-Canadian.
The Vikes men concluded the competition in third place in the team standings, compiling 433 points as a team. The Vikes women meanwhile, finished the meet in fourth place overall.
Next up for the Vikes is the PCS Christmas Cracker that takes place on December 8 at Saanich Commonwealth Place.
200-metre butterfly: 1st (GOLD) – Danielle Hanus (2:09.77), 10th – Victoria Mock (2:19.45)
100-metre freestyle: 17th – Kaitlin Gervais (59.93), 23rd – Tabitha Craig (1:01.21), 25th – Taylor Snowden-Richardson (1:01.35)
100-metre backstroke: 2nd (SILVER) – Danielle Hanus (59.34)
200-metre breaststroke: 7th – Andrea Farmer (2:37.22), 11th – Kara Wilson (2:39.47)
400-metre freestyle: 6th – Kaitlin Gervais (4:17.04), 11th – Taylor Snowden-Richardson (4:25.43), 15th – Anna Letkeman (4:30.46), 17th – Tabitha Craig (4:41.95)
4×100-metre medley relay: 4th – Danielle Hanus, Kara Wilson, Victoria Mock, Kaitlin Gervais (4:14.38)
200-metre butterfly: 8th – Justin Schramm (2:03.06), 10th – Ethan Jensen (2:04.24), 12th – Jon McKay(2:05.53), 14th – Bryce Molder (2:07.97), 17th – Justin Howe (2:09.89)
100-metre freestyle: 11th – Buzz Mallender (51.51), 17th – Bailey Espersen (52.48), 24th – Colten Craig (53.76), 27th – Baylee Munro (54.26)
200-metre IM: 18th – Thomas Van Maren (2:09.51), 19th – Zachary Dumas (2:10.95)
100-metre backstroke: 11th – Buzz Mallender (56.66), 16th – Ethan Phillips (57.92), 21st – Ethan Jensen (1:00.38)
200-metre breaststroke: 3rd (BRONZE) – Bailey Espersen (2:14.36), 12th – Thomas van Maren(2:22.11), 15th – Arthur Firmino (2:25.63), 17th – Zachary Dumas (2:30.48)
400-metre freestyle: 2nd (SILVER) – Eric Hedlin (3:49.37), 3rd (BRONZE) – Josh Zakala (3:50.19), 7th – Jon McKay (3:56.73), 11th – Christopher Deegan (4:00.54), 14th – Ethan Phillips (4:02.86), 19th – Justin Howe (4:04.17), 20th – Justin Schramm (4:05.72),
4×100-metre medley relay: 4th – Josh Zakala, Bailey Espersen, Ethan Jensen, Buzz Mallender(3:43.92)
2017 Canada West Award Winners
Swimmers of the Meet
Women: Kelsey Wog, Manitoba
Men: Yuri Kisil, UBC
Rookie of the Meet
Women: Emily Overholt, UBC
Men: Frederik Kamminga, Calgary
Student-Athlete Community Service
Women: Taylor Snowden-Richardson, Victoria
Men: Sterling King, Calgary
Coach of the Year
Women: Steve Price, UBC
Men: Steve Price, UBC
1. UBC, 1111
2. Calgary, 512
3. Regina, 347,5
4. Victoria, 298
5. Lethbridge, 289
6. Alberta, 261,5
7. Manitoba, 254
8. Thompson Rivers, 82
1. UBC, 838
2. Calgary, 672,5
3. Victoria, 433
4. Alberta, 384
5. Regina, 300
6. Lethbridge, 150,5
7. Manitoba, 90
8. Thompson Rivers, 5