UBC Thunderbirds

MONTREAL (ISN) – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds are once again the dominant team in CIS swimming. As the 2012 CIS national championships came to an end Saturday night at the University of Montreal’s CEPSUM Pool, the T-Birds swept the team banners and individual MVP awards, while setting a meet record for most points in women’s competition.

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

The UBC women dominated the three-day meet from start to finish and ended up with a championship record 811.5 points, good for a mindboggling 206-point advantage over the three-time defending champion Calgary Dinos (605.5). The Toronto Varsity Blues rounded out the podium (355.5). Calgary had set the previous standard of 791 points in 2009.

It marked the first women’s title in four seasons for the Thunderbirds, who had captured a record 11 consecutive banners from 1998 to 2008 before watching archrival Calgary triumph each of the last three years.

The men’s race was much closer. Heading into the final event, the always spectacular 4x100m medley relay, UBC held a slim seven-point lead over Toronto (524-517). The Thunderbirds secured the team title with a second-place finish behind Calgary, while the Blues settled for fourth position.

UBC ended up with 558 points and Toronto with 547, while two-time defending champion Calgary was a distant third at 383.

For the second straight day, the Varsity Blues moved ahead of the T-Birds midway through the evening session only to see their rivals retake the lead in the next final. On Saturday, the swing event was the 100-metre freestyle as UBC swimmers took four of the first six spots, including gold and silver.

The T-Bird men had won a record 10 team championships from 1998 to 2007, and topped the standings again in 2009. Calgary had claimed three of the last four men’s banners, including the last two.

UBC swept all four individual awards on the women’s side. Olympian Savannah King of Vancouver was named swimmer of the year, Tera Van Beilen earned top-rookie honours, Steve Price was voted coach of the year, while Hayley Pipher of Kelowna, B.C., received the inaugural Student-Athlete Community Award.

On the men’s side, T-Bird standout Tommy Gossland of Nanaimo, B.C., was named MVP. The other male awards went to Alberta’s Joe Byram of Vernon, B.C. (rookie of the year), Toronto’s Byron MacDonald (coach of the year) and Laval’s Simon Couillard-Castonguay (Quebec City).

Four more records fell on Day 3, including a trio of championship marks and a Canadian standard.

Women’s 800m Free: Savannah King, UBC, 8:25.68 (CIS championship record)

Women’s 200m Back: Geneviève Cantin, Laval, 2:06.19 (CIS championship record)

Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay: UBC, 4:02.45 (CIS championship record / Canadian record)




Swimmer of the year: Savannah King, UBC

Rookie of the year: Tera Van Beilen, UBC

Sprinter’s Cup (single winner of both 50 and 100 free): no winner

Coach of the year: Steve Price, UBC

Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Hayley Pipher, UBC


Swimmer of the year: Tommy Gossland, UBC

Rookie of the year: Joe Byram, Alberta

Sprinter’s Cup (single winner of both 50 and 100 free): Tommy Gossland, UBC

Coach of the year: Byron MacDonald, Toronto

Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Simon Couillard-Castonguay, Laval

NOTE (swimmers of the year): Female and male swimmers with the highest aggregate point total for his/her two best swims as based on Swim Canada’s performance charts.

NOTE (All-Canadians): All gold medallists at the CIS championships – including relays – are first-team all-Canadians for the 2011-12 season. All silver medallists – who did not win a gold medal – are second-team all-Canadians.




1. UBC, 811.5 points (CIS championship record)

2. Calgary, 605.5

3. Toronto, 355.5

4. Laval, 252.5

5. Western, 238

6. Alberta, 207

7. Dalhousie, 202.5

8. Ottawa, 171

9. Montreal, 103.5

10. Guelph, 103

11. McMaster, 97

12. McGill, 50.5

13. UQTR, 49

14. Manitoba, 34

15. Victoria, 32

16. Laurentian, 24

17. Lethbridge, 17.5

18. UPEI, 14

18. UNB, 14

20. Regina, 8

Men (Nelson C. Hart trophy)

1. UBC, 558 points

2. Toronto, 547

3. Calgary, 383

4. Alberta, 337

5. Laval, 236.5

6. Dalhousie, 234

7. McGill, 217.5

8. McMaster, 210.5

9. Western, 166

10. Montreal, 110.5

11. Guelph, 110

12. Ottawa, 86

13. Victoria, 63

14. Lethbridge, 55

15. Waterloo, 46

16. Manitoba, 7

17. Acadia, 5