UBC Thunderbirds

MONTREAL (ISN) – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds all but secured the women’s team title on the second day of the 2012 CIS swimming championships and it was only fitting that one of their own, Olympian Savannah King, shined the brightest on Friday night.

Championship website (live webcast & results): http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/swim/index

The UBC women, looking to return to the top of the standings after three straight years of domination by the Calgary Dinos, built what looks like an insurmountable lead heading into the final day of competition. The T-Birds have already racked up 518 points, 115.5 more than reigning national champion Calgary (402.5), while the Toronto Varsity Blues are a distant third at 234.5.

The story is quite different on the men’s side at University of Montreal’s CEPSUM Pool.

UBC, which held a 45-point cushion over Toronto after Day 1, momentarily lost the lead to Toronto on Friday but recovered to finish the night with 405 points compared to 378 for the Blues. Calgary, the defending two-time champion, ranks third with 235 points. The Thunderbirds last claimed the men’s banner in 2009.

“The girls have been very consistent in their performances and it has allowed us to build a comfortable lead,” said UBC head coach Steve Price. “We have a very young team, with only two real veterans, so it’s very exciting and promising for the future.

“On the men’s side, we expected a battle coming in and it’s exactly the way it has turned out. Toronto started strong today but we knew we had the potential to score a lot of points later on in the evening. We responded with four swimmers in the top five in the 50 free and gold in the relay, and we feel good going into the final day.”

After three CIS championship records were broken on Thursday, two more fell on Day 2.

In the fourth final of the evening, Varsity Blues veteran Mike Smerek, a fourth-year physical education student, successfully defended his 2011 title in the men’s 50-metre butterfly thanks to a time of 23.33 seconds, which bettered the previous meet mark of 23.60 set in 2009 by UBC’s Kelly Aspinall, who took second place this time around in 23.78.

Smerek, who hails from St. Catharines, Ont., had won the 100 fly on Thursday.

In the very next race, the women’s 400 freestyle, King brought the crowd to its feet when she touched the wall in a remarkable 4:02.76. Her time was not only good enough to break the 10-year-old championship mark of 4:07.60 set by former UNB great Carla Geurts, it was almost a full second faster than the previous Canadian record of 4:03.61 established back in 2003 by Brittany Reimer.

King, a second-year arts student from Vancouver, was the defending CIS champion in the event. She placed 19th in the 400 free at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“Breaking the Canadian record wasn’t a total surprise because it was definitely one of my objectives. But I never thought I’d break it by that much,” said King, who was named MVP of the Canada West championships this season. “There’s so much atmosphere in this pool it made it that much more exciting.

“The CIS championships are a perfect tune-up as we prepare for the Olympic trials and this performance is great for my confidence.”

In addition to King’s record-breaking effort, UBC added three gold medals on Friday including Martha McCabe of Toronto in the women’s 200 breaststroke (2:23.02), Tommy Gossland of Nanaimo, B.C., in the men’s 50 free (22.15), as well as the 4×200 free relay (7:14.28) comprised of Gossland, Matthew Godbeer of Parksville, B.C., Roru Biskupski of West Vancouver and Duncan Furrer of Lausanne, Switzerland.

McCabe, the 2010 CIS female swimmer of the year and a bronze medallist at the 2011 world championships in the 200 breast, now has five medals in five CIS championship appearances in the event, including three gold and two silver.

Gossland has four gold medals after two days of competition. On Thursday, he prevailed in the 200 free and led the UBC relay to victory in the 4×100 free.

In addition to Smerek in the 50 fly, Toronto had gold-medal performances from Andrea Jurenovskis of Timmins, Ont., in the women’s 100 backstroke (1:00.32) and from Frank Despond of Hamilton in the men’s 400 free (3:47.58). Jurenovskis had won the 50 back on Thursday.

The Calgary Dinos also finished the night with three victories, including Gleb Suvorov of Toronto in the men’s 100 back (52.82), Amanda Reason of Windsor, Ont., in the women’s 50 free (25.13), and the women’s 4×200 free relay (7:57.43) of Reason, Breanna Hendriks of Cochrane, Alta., Fiona Doyle of Limerick, Ireland, and Lindsay Delmar of Calgary.

Reason, Doyle and Delmar are all freshmen at the U of C. Suvorov had claimed the 50 back title on Day 1.

Other individual gold medallists on Friday included Alberta’s Erin Miller of Vernon, B.C., who followed up on her meet record in the 100 fly on Day 1 with a win in the women’s 200 fly (2:11.58); Guelph’s Alisha Harricharan of Brampton, Ont., in the women’s 50 fly (27.02); Dalhousie’s David Sharpe of Halifax in the men’s 200 fly (1:57.13); and Montreal’s Frédéric Le Blanc of Longueuil, Que., who thrilled the hometown fans with a win in the men’s 200 breast (2:10.29) over reigning two-time champion Jason Block of the Dinos.

Block, who prevailed in the 100 breast on Thursday, had swept the three breaststroke events in each of the past two CIS championships.

The three-day CIS meet wraps up Saturday with prelims starting at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.



1. UBC, 518 points

2. Calgary, 402.5

3. Toronto, 234.5

4. Laval, 196.5

5. Western, 167

6. Alberta, 153

7. Dalhousie, 129

8. Ottawa, 113

9. Guelph, 84

10. McMaster, 78

11. Montreal, 55.5

12. McGill, 35.5

13. UQTR, 33

14. Manitoba, 28

15. Victoria, 24

16. Laurentian, 15

17. Lethbridge, 14.5

18. UPEI, 14

19. UNB, 8

20. Regina, 4

Men (Nelson C. Hart trophy)

1. UBC, 405 points

2. Toronto, 378

3. Calgary, 235

4. Alberta, 223

5. Laval, 161.5

6. Dalhousie, 153

7. McMaster, 151.5

8. McGill, 147.5

9. Western, 98

10. Guelph, 70

11. Ottawa, 67

12. Montreal, 63.5

13. Waterloo, 44

14. Lethbridge, 43

14. Victoria, 43

16. Acadia, 5

16. Manitoba, 5


Women 100m Back

1. Andrea Jurenovskis, Toronto, 1:00.32

2. Geneviève Cantin, Laval, 1:00.53

3. Rachelle Salli, UBC, 1:01.13

Men 100m Back

1. Gleb Suvorov, Calgary, 52.82

2. Joe Byram, Alberta, 53.30

3. Craig Brazier, UBC, 54.40

W 50m Fly

1. Alisha Harricharan, Guelph, 27.02

2. Erin Miller, Alberta, 27.41

3. Vanessa Charron, Laval, 27.45

M 50m Fly

1. Mike Smerek, Toronto, 23.33 (CIS championship record)

2. Kelly Aspinall, UBC, 23.78

3. Brian Lee, Toronto, 24.22

W 400m Free

1. Savannah King, UBC, 4:02.76 (CIS championship record / Canadian record)

2. Heather MacLean, UBC, 4:09.34

3. Lindsay Delmar, Calgary, 4:11.11

M 400m Free

1. Frank Despond, Toronto, 3:47.58

2. Robert Wise, Western, 3:52.26

3. Cameron Bailey, McMaster, 3:52.49

W 200m Breast

1. Martha McCabe, UBC 2:23.02

2. Tera Van Beilen, UBC, 2:23.06

3. Fiona Doyle, Calgary, 2:25.69

M 200m Breast

1. Frédéric Le Blanc, Montreal, 2:10.29

2. Jason Block, Calgary, 2:11.88

3. Matthew Stephenson, Guelph, 2:13.52

W 50m Free

1. Amanda Reason, Calgary, 25.13

2. Caroline Lapierre-Lemire, UQTR, 25.28

3. Seanna Mitchell, Calgary, 25.45

M 50m Free

1. Tommy Gossland, UBC, 22.15

2. Brian Lee, Toronto, 22.50

2. Kelly Aspinall, UBC, 22.50

W 200m Fly

1. Erin Miller, Alberta, 2:11.58

2. Jessica Johnson, Calgary, 2:12.44

3. Vanessa Charron, Laval, 2:12.82

3. Vanessa Treasure, Toronto, 2:12.82

M 200m Fly

1. David Sharpe, Dalhousie, 1:57.13

2. Curtis Samuel, Toronto, 1:59.09

3. Marc-André Ruel, Montreal, 2:01.23

W 4 x 200m Free Relay

1. Calgary, 7:57.43

(Amanda Reason, Breanna Hendriks, Fiona Doyle, Lindsay Delmar)

2. UBC, 7:59.73

(Savannah King, Brittney Harley, Fionnuala Pierse, Heather MacLean)

3. Toronto, 8:07.10

(Andrea Jurenovskis, Bridget Coley, Pamela Ruskys, Heather Maitland)

M 4 x 200m Free Relay

1. UBC, 7:14.28

(Matthew Godbeer, Tommy Gossland, Rory Biskupski, Duncan Furrer)

2. Calgary, 7:17.41

(Bryan Wray, Colin Miazga, David Woodman, Connor Maxey)

3. Toronto, 7:22.16

(Matthew Myers, Frank Despond, Taylor Bond, Curtis Samuel)


Women 200m Free

1. Heather MacLean, UBC, 1:57.44

2. Amanda Reason, Calgary, 1:57.51

3. Savannah King, UBC, 1:57.56

Men 200m Free

1. Tommy Gossland, UBC, 1:46.93

2. Cameron Bailey, McMaster, 1:48.10

3. Frank Despond, Toronto, 1:48.50

W 50m Back

1. Andrea Jurenovskis, Toronto, 28.11

2. Grainne Pierse, UBC, 28.55

3. Geneviève Cantin, Laval, 28.63

M 50m Back

1. Gleb Suvorov, Calgary, 24.74

2. Kelly Aspinall, UBC, 24.82

3. David Sharpe, Dalhousie, 25.24

W 100m Breast

1. Tera Van Beilen, UBC, 1:05.89

2. Martha McCabe, UBC, 1:06.83

3. Fiona Doyle, Calgary, 1:07.32

M 100m Breast

1. Jason Block, Calgary, 1:00.48

2. Frédéric Le Blanc, Montreal, 1:00.64

3. Jake Armstrong, Western, 1:01.18

W 100m Fly

1. Erin Miller, Alberta, 59.12 (CIS championship record)

2. Jessica Johnson, Calgary, 1:00.39

3. Alisha Harricharan, Guelph, 1:00.50

M 100m Fly

1. Mike Smerek, Toronto, 52.87

2. Wil Wright, Guelph, 53.72

3. David Sharpe, Dalhousie, 53.91

W 400m IM

1. Vanessa Treasure, Toronto, 4:38.76

2. Geneviève Cantin, Laval, 4:40.93

3. Jessica Johnson, Calgary, 4:41.27

M 400m IM

1. Jeremie Holdom, Toronto, 4:17.77

2. Zach Summerhayes, Toronto, 4:17.79

3. Steven Bielby, McGill, 4:18.18

3. Patrick Cowan, UBC, 4:18.18

W 4 x 100m Free Relay

1. Calgary 3:39.11

(Fiona Doyle, Seanna Mitchell, Amanda Reason, Lindsay Delmar)

2. UBC 3:39.38

(Heather MacLean, Brittney Harley, Rebeca Terejko, Fionnuala Pierse) *

3. Western 3:46.91

(Paulina Bond, Ashleigh Dunnington, Katie Keeping, Hayley Nell)

* NOTE: Heather MacLean of UBC new CIS championship record – 100m free – of 53.78.

M 4 x 100m Free Relay

1. UBC 3:15.30 (CIS championship record)

(Kelly Aspinall, Tommy Gossland, Rory Biskupski, Duncan Furrer)

2. Calgary 3:18.97

(Colin Miazga, Bryan Wray, Gleb Suvorov, Connor Maxey)

3. Toronto 3:19.96

(Mike Smerek, Taylor Bond, Frank Despond, Luke Hall)

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-two universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca.