It was a big weekend for UBC swimming, as the ’Birds claimed commanding wins while taking home the men’s and women’s Canada West titles for the year.
Veteran Keegan Zanatta also took home the award for male swimmer of the meet and coach Steve Price was awarded Canada West coach of the year. Overall, the women’s team comfortably won their title, scoring a total of 1,047 points and beating out the second-place University of Calgary Dinos by more than 400 points, as Calgary could only amass 628 points after three days of racing.
The men's team had to fight a bit harder. After Saturday’s finals, they were only leading the Dinos by a smaller margin of a couple of dozen points. After the third day of competition on Sunday however, they pulled ahead to finish with with 921 points — ahead of the Dinos’ 654.50 points.
The ’Birds found themselves on the podium for almost every event, save a handful of backstroke events. Some of the major highlights include the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay led by Markus Thormeyer, Yuri Kisil, Carson Olafson and Stefan Milosevic. They won the final in a Canada West record time of 3:18.15. Olafson and Milosevic, along with Keegan Zanatta and Coleman Allen, were also part of the winning 4x200m freestyle relay that was also won in record time.
The T-Birds would actually win five out of six relays over the weekend, losing only the men’s 4x100m medley relay to the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Switching back to individual events, the men’s 50m freestyle was dominated by the ’Birds, where Yuri Kisil won in a massive record time of 22.07.
Quincy Brozo also won the women’s 5om freestyle for the ’Birds in a Canada West record time of 25.43. Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson also performed well for the ’Birds, especially in the final for the 200m breaststroke, winning in a time of 2:24.61 and beating out Kelsey Wog of the University of Manitoba Bison by a mere four-one-hundredths of a second.
Other record performances by the ’Birds include first-year Ingrid Wilm’s 27.26 in the women’s 50m backstroke, her 58.49 in the 100m backstroke and her 2:07.65 in the 200m backstroke. Luke Peddie’s 23.85 in the men’s 50m butterfly was also a standout.
But perhaps the best performance comes from T-Bird Coleman Allen, who didn’t break any records, but still put himself on the podium in butterfly and relay events despite having seriously injured his shoulder in the summer and being forced out of the water for more than 16 weeks.
With two conference championships under their belts, the ’Birds will now rest up for the holidays before preparing for the February U Sports National Championships held in Sherbrooke, Quebec.