MONTREAL (CIS) – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds hold solid leads in both the women’s and men’s team standings after Day 1 of the 2012 CIS swimming championships, an opening day that saw three meet records fall at the University of Montreal’s CEPSUM Pool.
University of Alberta standout Erin Miller was the first to set a new championship mark on Thursday when she won the 100-metre butterfly in 59.12 seconds to eclipse the old standard of 59.31 established in 2008 by former UVic star MacKenzie Downing.
The victory was long overdue for the fifth-year arts student from Vernon, B.C., who is in her first season with the Pandas. Miller had previously claimed four medals in the event at the university Nationals while swimming for UBC but had never tasted gold, settling for silver in 2006, 2008 and 2010, and bronze in 2007.
“I finally got this gold medal,” said an elated Miller. “I had reached the podium four times in this event. And to break the CIS record on top of it, it’s a great way to kick of the competition.”
“I love this pool. The atmosphere is phenomenal. I’m really happy!”
The other two meet records fell in the finals of the 4x100 freestyle relays.
In the women’s race, UBC’s Heather MacLean, swimming the first leg for the Thunderbirds, touched the wall in 53.78 to better Olympian Erica Morningstar, who clocked 54.03 for the Calgary Dinos in the 2009 individual final. Despite MacLean’s remarkable effort, the UBC foursome finished second behind Calgary.
MacLean had reached the top of the podium earlier in the evening however. The second-year kinesiology student from Toronto won the first individual final of the competition, the 200 free, in 1:57.44.
The T-Birds’ men’s relay also made history thanks to a time of 3:15.30. The team comprised of Kelly Aspinall of Nanoose Bay, B.C., Tommy Gossland of Nanaimo, B.C., Rory Biskupski of West Vancouver, B.C., and Duncan Furrer of Lausanne, Switzerland, erased the previous meet mark of 3:15.42 established in 2009, also by UBC.
Gossland and Biskupski, both fifth-year seniors, were part of that 2009 T-Bird relay.
“That was the plan, we wanted to beat this record this year,” said Aspinall. “We have a couple of guys who are in their final university meet and we wanted to get a maximum of points in this event.”
UBC, which last won the CIS women’s banner in 2008 and the men’s crown in 2009, holds a 61.5-point lead over the Calgary Dinos in the women’s standings going into Day 2 (254 to 192.5), and has built a 45-point cushion over the Toronto Varsity Blues in the men’s race (193 to 148).
Calgary, which has captured the last three CIS women’s titles and the last two men’s banners, is currently third on the men’s side with 122 points.
“Our girls swam really well,” said UBC head coach Steve Price. “We came in with very ambitious goals and they exceeded them. We managed to build a good lead and we’re exactly where we wanted to be.
“On the men’s side, our veterans did what they had to do, especially in the relay, and our first and second-year guys cranked it up a notch and that made the difference tonight. Everyone contributed and that’s what we’ll need for two more days to stay at the top. Despite our 45-point lead, we expect a fierce battle to the end.”
In addition to MacLean and the men’s relay, UBC received gold-medal performances from Gossland in the men’s 200 free (1:46.93), as well as freshman Tera Van Beilen of Brampton, Ont., in the women’s 100 breaststroke (1:05.89).
The 100 breast greatly contributed to the Thunderbirds’ lead in the women’s standings as UBC swimmers took four of the first five spots in the final (1-2-4-5).
Toronto matched UBC’s four first-place finishes on Day 1 thanks to Andrea Jurenovskis of Timmins, Ont., in the women’s 50 backstroke (28.11), Mike Smerek of St. Catharines, Ont., in the men’s 100 fly (52.87), Vanessa Treasure of Mississauga, Ont., in the women’s 400 medley (4:38.76), and Jeremie Holdom of Toronto in the men’s 400 medley (4:17.77).
Calgary won the remaining three finals, including Gleb Suvorov of Toronto in the men’s 50 back (24.74), Jason Block of Calgary in the men’s 100 breast (1:00.48), and the women’s 4x100 free relay of Fiona Doyle of Limerick, Ireland, Seanna Mitchell of Manotick, Ont., freshman Amanda Reason of Windsor, Ont., and fellow rookie Lindsay Delmar of Calgary (3:39.11).
Block was the only swimmer to successfully defend an individual title from 2011 on Thursday. The fourth-year business student, who has swept the three breaststroke events at each of the last two CIS championships, claimed his third victory in three years in the 100 breast.
DAY 1 TEAM STANDINGS
1. UBC, 254 pts
2. Calgary, 192.5
3. Toronto, 114
4. Laval, 92
5. Western, 81
6. Alberta, 76
7. Dalhousie, 63
8. Ottawa, 42
9. McMaster, 31
10. Montreal, 22.5
11. Guelph, 21
12. Laurentian, 9
12. Lethbridge, 9
12. Manitoba, 9
12. UQTR, 9
16. McGill, 3
Men (Nelson C. Hart trophy)
1. UBC, 193 points
2. Toronto, 148
3. Calgary, 122
4. Alberta, 107
5. Laval, 82
6. McGill, 74.5
7. Dalhousie, 73
8. McMaster, 71
9. Guelph, 43
10. Western, 38
11. Ottawa, 35
12. Waterloo, 31
13. Montreal, 23.5
14. Lethbridge, 13
15. Victoria, 11
DAY 1 INDIVIDUAL MEDALLISTS (Thursday)
Women 200m Free
1. Heather MacLean, UBC, 1:57.44
2. Amanda Reason, Calgary, 1:57.51
3. Savannah King, UBC, 1:57.56
Men 200m Free
1. Tommy Gossland, UBC, 1:46.93
2. Cameron Bailey, McMaster, 1:48.10
3. Frank Despond, Toronto, 1:48.50
W 50m Back
1. Andrea Jurenovskis, Toronto, 28.11
2. Grainne Pierse, UBC, 28.55
3. Geneviève Cantin, Laval, 28.63
M 50m Back
1. Gleb Suvorov, Calgary, 24.74
2. Kelly Aspinall, UBC, 24.82
3. David Sharpe, Dalhousie, 25.24
W 100m Breast
1. Tera Van Beilen, UBC, 1:05.89
2. Martha McCabe, UBC, 1:06.83
3. Fiona Doyle, Calgary, 1:07.32
M 100m Breast
1. Jason Block, Calgary, 1:00.48
2. Frédéric Le Blanc, Montreal, 1:00.64
3. Jake Armstrong, Western, 1:01.18
W 100m Fly
1. Erin Miller, Alberta, 59.12 (CIS championship record)
2. Jessica Johnson, Calgary, 1:00.39
3. Alisha Harricharan, Guelph, 1:00.50
M 100m Fly
1. Mike Smerek, Toronto, 52.87
2. Wil Wright, Guelph, 53.72
3. David Sharpe, Dalhousie, 53.91
W 400m IM
1. Vanessa Treasure, Toronto, 4:38.76
2. Geneviève Cantin, Laval, 4:40.93
3. Jessica Johnson, Calgary, 4:41.27
M 400m IM
1. Jeremie Holdom, Toronto, 4:17.77
2. Zach Summerhayes, Toronto, 4:17.79
3. Steven Bielby, McGill, 4:18.18
W 4 x 100m Free Relay
1. Calgary 3:39.11
(Fiona Doyle, Seanna Mitchell, Amanda Reason, Lindsay Delmar)
2. UBC 3:39.38
(Heather MacLean, Brittney Harley, Rebeca Terejko, Fionnuala Pierse) *
3. Western 3:46.91
(Paulina Bond, Ashleigh Dunnington, Katie Keeping, Hayley Nell)
* NOTE: Heather MacLean of UBC new CIS championship record –100m free – of 53.78.
M 4 x 100m Free Relay
1. UBC 3:15.30 (CIS championship record)
(Kelly Aspinall, Tommy Gossland, Rory Biskupski, Duncan Furrer)
2. Calgary 3:18.97
(Colin Miazga, Bryan Wray, Gleb Suvorov, Connor Maxey)
3. Toronto 3:19.96
(Mike Smerek, Taylor Bond, Frank Despond, Luke Hall)