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Dinos, T-Birds widen leads On Day Two

Photo Credit David Moll/UC Dinos

Regardless of the time of the year everyone enjoys to take a “plunge” but for others it’s diving into the pool for different reasons.

Swimming championships take place at various locations with the talent continuing to get put on display with many advancing to compete at a much higher level of competition.

Such is the case of the recent event that saw both the Calgary men and UBC women widen their leads in performances across the board to headline the second day of action at the 2023 Canada West Swimming Championships at the UCalgary Aquatic Centre.

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Through 12 events on each side, the Dinos men sit in first place with 645 points. UBC is second at 454, and Alberta is third at 309.

On the women’s side of things, the Thunderbirds have a 640.5-532 lead over second-place Calgary. Victoria made a late push and sits in third after two days of action at 192, with Alberta (190), Lethbridge (171), Manitoba (157.5) and Regina (71) rounding out the Day 2 scores.

Manitoba kicked off Saturday’s finals with the first win of the night as Ella Howe touched the wall first in the women’s 50m freestyle in 25.64. Eloise Allen of UBC claimed the silver in 25.66, while Julianne Moore of Calgary was bronze in 26.02. ​

Stephen Calkins claimed his fourth overall medal and third gold on the men’s side with a winning time of 22.19 seconds, just ahead of UBC’s Siu Lun Ho (22.69) and Alberta’s Minh Nguyen (22.79).

Calgary’s rookie sensation Alexanne Lepage announced her presence with authority in her first individual swim of this year’s championships, claiming gold in the 400 IM in 4:42.89. UBC’s Camryn Stannard had a strong swim to take second in 4:47.57, while Calgary’s Hannah Bennett finished third in 4:51.29.

Photo Credit David Moll/UC Dinos

The Dinos completed the sweep of the event when Nathan Versluys claimed the men’s 400 IM title.

The fourth year had a strong final lap to pull away with a winning time of 4:17.63 to successfully defend his title in the event. UBC picked up silver and bronze as Hugh McNeill (4:20.20) and Brodie Young (4:22.39) rounded out the podium.

The T-Birds dominated the women’s 100m butterfly, claiming the top three spots as Sela Wist (1:00.40), Brooklyn Wiens (1:01.38) and Lora Willar (1:02.19) led six UBC swimmers in all in the A-final.

Siu Lun Ho then brought home yet another medal when he won the men’s 100 fly. Despite being in second place after the first lap,

Ho threw down a solid final lap to win by nearly a full second at 52.77. Thomas McDonald of Calgary came in second in 53.57, while Alberta’s Jack Hayhoe was third at 53.78.

UBC’s star rookie Bridget Burton turned in a convincing performance in the 200m backstroke to win going away in 2:09.62. Victoria’s Lauren Crisp earned the silver medal in 2:11.98 and Alberta’s Kamryn Leslie claimed the bronze in 2:12.99.

On the men’s side, McNeill was dominant from start to finish in lane seven, touching the wall in 1:57.72 – the only swimmer to finish under two minutes.

Richie Stokes (2:00.08) and Mack McKenzie (2:00.61) – both of Calgary – rounded out the medals in the event.

In a highly anticipated matchup in the women’s 100m breaststroke, Calgary’s Lepage outdueled UBC’s Allen.

The reigning World Junior Champion used a strong final lap to take what was a neck-and-neck race at the midway point and turn it into a win by more than two seconds, taking first in 1:06.12. Allen claimed silver in 1:08.75, while teammate Emma Spence was third in 1:09.23.

Ethan Hemeon of UBC won gold in the men’s 100 breast with a time of 1:00.00. Alberta’s Frederik Kamminga won the silver in 1:00.96 and Lethbridge star Tristan Bennett claimed bronze in 1:01.23.

The Thunderbirds continued their medal haul in the final individual event of the day, with Anna Dumont-Belanger winning gold in the 200m freestyle in 1:59.65, with teammate Camryn Stannard taking silver in 2:01.13 – just out-touching Calgary’s Hannah Johnsen (2:01.19) for bronze.

The Dinos took the top four spots on the men’s side, as Paul McKenzie (1:48.64), Liam Dennett (1:49.51) and Nathan Versluys (1:49.77) swept the podium in front of the home crowd to head into the relays.

Calgary’s foursome of Alexanne Lepage, Julianne Moore, Hannah Johnsen and Sarah Corson touched the wall second but were awarded the gold medal after the first disqualification of the meet came into play in the women’s 400m freestyle relay. Manitoba then claimed silver, while Lethbridge moved onto the podium for bronze.

In a thrilling final event that went down to the wire, the Dinos men repeated as champs in the 400 free relay as Liam Dennett just held off a furious charge from UBC anchor and rookie Jake Gaunt, as Calgary touched the wall in 3:17.48 for gold – just ahead of the Thunderbirds at 3:17.93 for silver. The Golden Bears brought home another medal on the night with a bronze in 3:21.61.

The third and final day of action gets underway Sunday morning with preliminary heats set for 9 a.m. MT, while finals are set to start at 3:30 p.m. MT.

Day one results can be viewed here.

Day two results can be viewed here.


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