VICTORIA (CIS) – The University of British Columbia (UBCT) women successfully completed a four-peat, defending their national title, while their male counterparts also dominated to bring home a double banner as the 2015 Speedo CIS Swimming Championships wrapped up Saturday night at the Saanich Commonwealth Pool in Victoria.
The Thunderbirds women finished with 581 points, ahead of a fearless Montreal contingent (544), to earn a CIS-leading 20th national banner. Montreal won the 400 medley relay in 4:06.64 but it was not enough for the RSEQ champions. Last year’s runners up, the Toronto Varsity Blues, finished third with 412 points.
"Sometimes you have those moments of adversity and we had some of that this weekend but they believed in themselves,” said UBC head coach Steve Price, who was named coach of the year for the men’s team for the first time in his career. "Entering the meet, we were down to 14 women’s swimmers, and were pretty depleted and they just had to put points up where they could and at the end of the day, they did a great job."
The UBC men reclaimed the national championship banner back since their 2012 win with a 153-point margin over second-placed Toronto. The T-Birds finished with 737 points, while the Varsity Blues followed with 584 and Calgary took third with 365.5. The T-Birds capped Day 3 with three individual golds including rookie Yuri Kisil in the 100 freestyle, Jonathan Brown in the 200 individual medley and Keegan Zanatta in the 1500 freestyle.
Kisil was named male rookie of the year and was awarded the Sprinter’s Cup for winning both the 50 and 100 freestyle. Toronto’s Eli Wall took home swimmer of the year honours after topping the podium in the 200 and 100 breast.
The men’s races were capped off by an incredible win from Alberta in the 400 medley in 3:44.48 ahead of the Thunderbirds who finished second in 3:44.55.
“It honestly started with us bringing a guy like Coleman Allen to the program,” said Price who last guided the Thunderbirds to a men and women’s national title sweep in 2011 and 2012. “Every year after that, we added more and more guys. We keep attracting quality guys to the team. It was by design as we’ve been trying to build this thing for a couple of years. This was really satisfying because it was a few years in the making. “
Calgary’s Fiona Doyle took home female swimmer of the year honours after sweeping gold in the 50, 100 and 200 breast and helping the Dinos win a bronze in the 400 medley. On Day 3 Doyle also broke the CIS short-course Championship record in her preliminary 50-metre breaststroke swim, touching in at 30.70 to best UBC’s Annamay Pierse who set the record in 2009 (30.71).
First-year Carabins swimmer Katerine Savard was rightfully crowned female rookie of the year after going perfect in every event to sweep the 200 freestyle and 50, 100 and 200 butterfly. The 2012 Olympian was also pivotal for Montreal, swimming to gold in all three relay events. Carabins head coach Pierre Lamy was named women’s coach of the year as six of his swimmers were honoured as CIS First Team All-Canadians. To cap off the successful 2015 campaign for Montreal, Sandrine Mainville was honoured with the Sprinter’s Cup for the second-straight year after winning both the 50 and 100 freestyle.
Toronto’s Paige Schultz and Calgary’s Bogdan Knezevic were both honoured as the Student-Athlete Community Service Award winners.
NOTES: Finals were contested in a 50-metre pool (long course) for the first time at this year’s Speedo CIS championships, while the morning preliminaries remained short course races... If records were set in the preliminaries, they will be added to the CIS championship short-course record book.
Swimmer of the year: Fiona Doyle, Calgary
Rookie of the year: Katerine Savard, Montreal
Sprinter’s Cup (single winner of both 50 and 100 free): Sandrine Mainville, Montreal
Coach of the year: Pierre Lamy, Montreal
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Paige Schultz, Toronto
Swimmer of the year: Eli Wall, Toronto
Rookie of the year: Yuri Kisil, UBC
Sprinter’s Cup (single winner of both 50 and 100 free): Yuri Kisil, UBC
Coach of the year: Steve Price, UBC
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Bogdan Knezevic, Calgary