Calgary, AB - The UBC Thunderbirds sent notice to the rest of the CIS this weekend with a record breaking performance at the 2014 Canada West Swimming Championships in Calgary. Both the men and women were crowned Canada West Champions for 2014. It was the 25th all-time conference championship for the women and 14th all-time for the men. UBC also swept all the major awards at this year's championship.
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Led by Savannah King, who finished the meet with four individual gold medals and one relay gold, the UBC women had a record breaking weekend, setting new marks for the most points (1071) and the largest margin of victory, 497 points over Calgary. The previous record for most points was set back in 2011 by UBC when they scored 1014 points and the previous record for largest margin of victory was 378.5, set back in 2006 when the UBC men won. The previous largest margin of victory by a women's team was 357 by UBC in 2006 as well.
As for the men they too beat out Calgary to win the title. UBC finished with 941 points, beating the Dinos by 186 points.
The women were so dominant on Sunday that in the 200m individual medley they had seven of the eight finalists in the 'A' final and in the 100m freestyle they had six of the eight finalists, sweeping all three medals in both events. In fact, it was two of three races the Thunderbirds finished one, two, three atop the podium.
King won her fourth individual gold of the meet in the 400m freestyle, winning easily in a time of 4:08.39. She was also named the female Canada West Swimmer of the Year for the third straight year.
Rookie Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson earned the double in the individual medley races, winning gold in Sunday's 200 IM to go along with her gold in the 400 IM. She touched the wall in 2:12.48, fighting it out with Erin Stamp and Laura Thompson down the stretch to finish first. Stamp settled for silver, while Thompson took home the bronze.
Seltenreich-Hodgson was named female Canada West Rookie of the Year finishing the three day event with two individual golds (200m IM, 400m IM), an individual bronze (200m butterfly), and a relay gold medal.
Stamp though would earn individual gold later in the day in another race featuring three Thunderbirds on the podium. The second-year swimmer beat out first-year's Sarah McLean and Mckenzie Summers in the 100m backstroke.
Tera Van Beilen was able to hold off Calgary's Fiona Doyle and Tianna Rissling to win the 200m breaststroke. Fellow 'Bird Thompson finished in fourth
Just for good measure the women finished off the day with a gold medal performance in the 4x100m medley relay. Stamp, Van Beilen, MacLean, and Charlotte Philpottsteamed up to finish first in a time of 4:03.66, just .47 off the Canada West record.
The final standings had UBC with a record setting 1071 points followed by Calgary with 574 points and Alberta with 473.5 points.
UBC has now won five straight Canada West championships and will be going for their third straight CIS title in less than a months time in Toronto.
"It was a stunning performance from the women," said UBC head coach Steve Price. "They had a mission to score big points and they did just that. It is a testament to them and the leadership of team captain Laura Thompson and assistant captain Brittney Harley. They swam up to their capabilities. This weekend was an indication of where they are and where they can be next month, considering this was not even the peak meet. They wanted to show what they were made and they got contributions from everybody."
For the second straight day Coleman Allen broke one of his own Canada West records, this time in the 200m butterfly, clocking a time of 1:57.59 to win the gold. Allen was named the male Canada West Swimmer of the Year. He finished the championships with three individual golds (50m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly), three relay gold medals, and two Canada West records.
In the 100m freestyle in was UBC's Luke Peddie holding off Calgary's David Woodman and fellow Thunderbird Stefan Milosevic to touch the wall first. Peddie finished in a time of 49.82, beating Woodman by .02 and Milosevic by .15.
Rookie Jonathan Brown won gold in the 400m freestyle to go along with his gold in the 1,500m freestyle. He was named the male Canada West Rookie of the Year finishing with five medals; two individual gold (400m freestyle, 1500m freestyle), one silver (200m IM), one bronze medal (400m IM), and one relay gold.
The men wrapped up the meet with another relay victory, taking home gold in the 4x100m medley relay. The team of Allen, Peddie, Lucas Otruba, and Sergey Holsoncombined to beat Calgary by just .14 for first place and lock up a Canada West title.
UBC men finished with 941 points, followed by Calgary in second with 755 points and Alberta in third with 404 points.
"We knew if the men wanted to win a championship, we would have to get contributions from the entire team, rather then relying on a just a couple of guys to score," said Price. "That was our main focus when we recruited last year and it paid off this weekend. The guys were outstanding and this will only give them more confidence heading into next month's CIS Championships."
Price was named the Canada West Coach of the Year for both the men's and women's team. It is the first time he has won the award for the men and third straight year he has been named the women's Coach of the Year.
"This is a testament to our entire staff," said Price. "I'm fortunate to work with an outstanding group of people on a daily basis who are dedicated to being the best and it paid off this weekend."
The Thunderbirds will now turn their attention to the CIS Championships which will be held February 20-22 in Toronto.
Final Standings *NEW CW RECORD
- *UBC 1071
- Calgary 574
- Alberta 473.5
- UBC 941
- Calgary 755
- Alberta 404