After three long days of swimming, the Dalhousie swim team can return from the 2015 CIS swimming championships with their heads held high.
Though UBC took home both the men’s and women’s team titles, Dal represented well against the top swimming programs in the country, earning an individual gold on the final day.
Getting things started on day one, there were some impressive top ten finishes for the Tigers.
In the 50m backstroke finals, Phoebe Lenderyou, who qualified with the third fastest time of 28.54, narrowly missed out on the podium coming eight hundredths of a second out of medal contention at 29.94. The men’s race in the same event saw Dal’s Tony Liew and Sean Berrigan coming sixth and 12th, respectively.
Lenderyou came seventh in 100m butterfly, racking up another 12 points for Dal to keep them in seventh in the overall standings. Rachel Shin, a veteran of the team, came ninth in the 400m individual medley, one of the most demanding races in the championships, with a time of 4:55.20. She finished first in the ‘B’ race, with a time faster than the last place swimmer from the ‘A’ race.
In the 400m freestyle relay, the women’s team came seventh with a possibly, and understandably, tired Lenderyou posting the slowest time of the team, while the men’s team came tenth.
Friday was another tough one for the Tigers full of close-but-not-quite finishes for the team.
The 400m freestyle women’s event saw three Dal swimmers in the pool. Katie Webster, who nabbed the last spot in the ‘A’ race, came sixth, besting two swimmers who had qualified with faster times. In the ‘B’ race, Meagan Bernier and Alison Grant came tenth and 14th, respectively, which helped Dalhousie rise in the ranks to fifth. Shin, due to a slow qualifying time, swam in the ‘B’ race but managed to finish first and beat the times of three swimmers in the ‘A’ race, showing the potential speed of the Dal squad. Meanwhile, Lenderyou came fifth in the 100m backstroke.
On the men’s side, Kyle Watson placed 11th in the 400m free, while later in the evening, Liew finished eighth in the 50m free.
The final two races of the evening were the 800m free relays – the banner events of the night. The women’s team, Bernier, Lenderyou, Grant and anchor Lucy Macleod, finished ninth. The men’s team, represented by Watson, Gavin Dyke, Peter Inches and Chris Reith, also finished tenth.
The highlight of the weekend came on the final day of racing. Veteran Meagan Bernier, in the first race of the finals, won the 800m freestyle, snagging Dal’s first medal. Despite seeding sixth in the preliminaries, Bernier was able to drop her split times over the last four lengths, picking up enough speed to win by 25 hundredths of a second. Webster, who qualified with the second fastest time, came fifth and Grant came eighth.
Lenderyou was back at it for a third day coming sixth in the 200m backstroke, while Watson thrashed it out in the men’s 1500m free, coming sixth as well.
The final events of the championship were the 400m medley relay, where the women’s team, led by Lenderyou, followed by Paige Crowell, Shin and Ainsley Fraser, came sixth, and the men’s team came 12th.
In the overall team standings, the women’s team finished fifth for the second time in three years with 235 points, while the men finished with 115.5 points in tenth overall, up one spot from last year.
Both teams finished as the top ranked AUS school.