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Tigers hammer competition in AUS swimming championship

26 swimmers head to nationals with high expectations

Paula Sanderson, Staff Contributor 


Hosts Dalhousie swam to its 13th straight AUS championship last weekend. The men’s team continues to be undefeated since 1999 and the women’s team since 2002.

Dalhousie consistently made the podium.  The men’s team took the 2011 AUS swimming championship with 430 points, followed by Memorial with 123.5 points and Acadia in third place with 123 points.  The women’s team won the championship with 444 points followed by the University of New Brunswick with 210 points and Memorial in third place with 78 points. Mount Allison and the University of Prince Edward Island did not place.

For winning, both men’s and women’s teams were presented with $1000 from Alexander Keith’s Brewery to aid the swim program.

Tiger Ceilidh MacPherson was awarded rookie of the meet and female swimmer of the meet. David Sharpe, also from Dal, was male swimmer of the meet. Male rookie of the meet was awarded to Luc Boudreau from Acadia University.

Sharpe won an impressive four events: the 100-metre and 200-metre butterfly as well as the 100-metre and 200-metre backstroke.  Captain Terri-Lynn Benison won three events: the 100-metre and 200-metre butterfly and the 200-metre backstroke.

“They’ve stepped up once again,” said coach David Fry about the team’s performance. “They train really hard and it’s really gratifying.”

Over the years Fry has coached hundreds of athletes who go on to win the AUS championship.

“It’s a lot of special memories,” he said. “Each year is different.”

“It’s awesome just to be part of the winning team,” said rookie Meagan Bernier. She met her expectations at her first AUS championships. “We came into the meet positive with high expectations,” she said. “We came out with what we wanted.”

Bernier won the 400-metre freestyle event.

An impressive 26 Dalhousie swimmers qualified for CIS in Calgary – far out numbering any other Atlantic team.

Fry said that many of the swimmers did well even though they were not fully rested or “tapered” because of CIS coming up. The team is expecting big results at CIS.

Bernier, like the rest of the CIS bound swimmers, is looking forward to the Canada-wide competition. “It’s going to be awesome,” she said. “I have high personal goals and I know we can all achieve them.”

Tiger Bryan Fumerton said that winning the AUS championships is a good way to enter the CIS championships.

“It’s a good stepping stone,” he said. “The atmosphere is really powerful.”

Fumerton and the rest of the men’s team face a lot of expectations. They hope to receive more points than previous years with a goal of moving up in the standings.

The team celebrated their AUS championships by going out for a team dinner. “We’re going to Boston Pizza,” said Fry.

But for Fumerton, the celebrations will start after CIS.

“It’s all about the next two weeks,” said Fumerton. “Then we’ll really celebrate.”


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