Toronto pulls ahead in tight men’s race


February 23, 2013, Calgary, AB (CIS) – The University of Toronto Varsity Blues men had an impressive outing on Day 2 of the 2013 CIS Swimming Championships Friday, pulling ahead of powerhouse UBC and taking an eight-point lead in the team standings into Saturday’s final day of competition.

Led by a trio of gold medals by Mike Smerek (50 fly), Frank Despond (400 free), and Zack Chetrat (200 fly), the Blues – looking for their first CIS men’s title since 1994 – pulled ahead in a three-way race with UBC and Calgary, leading the Thunderbirds 395-387. Calgary sits 56 points back of UBC with 331.

On the women’s side, the Thunderbirds look well on their way to defending their 2012 national title, holding a healthy lead of nearly 100 points over the host Dinos, taking their 476.5 points into the third day of competition. Calgary sits next with 380 points, with Toronto well back in third at 203.

“We had a great day,” said Blues head coach Byron McDonald. “We knew that if we want to win a national title, we had to stay close on Day 1 – which we did – we had to pull ahead on Day 2 – which we’ve done – and now we have to hold on for dear life tomorrow. Our day is probably as good as UBC’s, but you never know. If we come out guns blazing tomorrow morning, we have a chance to win.”

For his part, UBC head coach Steve Price likes his team’s odds looking at the schedule of events on Day 3.

“It sets up really well for us on the third day,” said Price. “We have strong 100-metre freestyles and strong 200 back. It’s going to be a battle to the finish – if we have a morning like we did today and execute at night, we shall see. It could come down to the relay, and we want to make sure going into the relay that we’re even or ahead.

“On the women’s side, our girls know it’s not over until it’s over,” Price went on. “We have close to a 100-point lead and we want to try to build on that tomorrow, because we know what it takes to win this championship.”

The night was capped off by a fantastic race in the men’s 4×200-metre medley relay, one which solidified Toronto’s position atop the men’s standings. Swimming the third leg for the Blues, rookie David Riley made up huge ground to bring Toronto from sixth place to third and setting up Chetrat for a final leg that won the silver medal. Calgary took the gold medal in the event, with the Alberta Golden Bears beating out UBC for bronze.

A night after four meet records were broken, two more CIS championship marks came crashing down Friday night. UBC’s Kelly Aspinall managed to rewrite the record in the men’s 100-metre backstroke, touching the wall in 51.95 seconds to break the previous mark set in 2009 by UBC’s Callum Ng by nearly three tenths. It was Aspinall’s second meet record in as many days, as he broke the 50-metre backstroke record on Thursday night.

“Coming in here, I wanted to give everything I had because these are my last CIS championships,” said the fifth-year Aspinall. “To get two records in two nights, I can’t ask for much more. But what I really want is the team championship.”

Aspinall took another gold medal later on the night, out-touching teammate Luke Peddie in the 50-metre freestyle.

In the women’s 50-metre freestyle, UQTR’s Caroline Lapierre-Lemire swam a lightning-fast 24.87 seconds, beating out favoured Erica Morningstar of the host Dinos to capture the gold medal.

“I’m really excited,” said Lapierre-Lemire. “This is a race I won’t soon forget. I knew that against such a strong field, I had to have an almost perfect race to win.”

It was Lapierre-Lemire’s second trip to the top step of the podium on the night, as she also captured gold in the 50-metre butterfly.

In other events of note on the night, Calgary star Jason Block reclaimed his national title in the 200-metre breaststroke, following up his 100-metre title from Thursday night. Montreal’s Gabrielle Soucisse opened the night with gold in the 100-metre backstroke, while UBC’s Savannah King defended her title in the 400 free. Her Thunderbirds teammate Tera Van Beilen beat out a pair of Dinos for gold in the 200-metre breaststroke, and Victoria’s Stephanie Horner came all the way back from a swim-off for the last spot in the ‘A’ final to win the gold medal from lane eight in the 400-metre freestyle.

The UBC quartet of King, Brittney Harley, Van Beilen, and Heather MacLean defeated the host Dinos in the women’s 4 x 200-metre freestyle relay. That set the stage for the men’s race, won by Calgary team of Russell Wood, Reid Scarrow, David Woodman, and Connor Maxey.

The 2013 CIS Swimming Championships wrap up Saturday at the University of Calgary Aquatic Centre. Preliminaries start at 10 a.m. MT, with finals slated for 6 p.m. MT.

NOTE: All morning and evening sessions are webcast live on Live results are also available on the championship website:



1. UBC, 476.5 points

2. Calgary, 380

3. Toronto, 203

4. Western, 154

5. Montreal, 152

6. Dalhousie, 151.5

7. Laval, 112

8. Alberta, 111

9. UQTR, 107

10. McGill, 103

11. McMaster, 94

12. Victoria, 76

13. Guelph, 71

14. Ottawa, 43

15. Manitoba, 21

16. Wilfrid Laurier, 20

17. Laurentian, 14

18. Sherbrooke, 10

19. UQAM, 7

20. Regina, 4

Men (Nelson C. Hart trophy)

1. Toronto, 395 points

2. UBC, 387

3. Calgary, 331

4. Laval, 167

5. Victoria, 166

6. Alberta, 159

7. McGill, 125

8. McMaster, 104

9. Montreal, 100

10. Western, 87

11. Dalhousie, 86

12. Lethbridge, 68

13. Guelph, 40

14. Ottawa, 35

15. Manitoba, 24

16. Acadia, 14

17. Waterloo, 5

18. Regina, 3


Women 100m Back

1. Gabrielle Soucisse, Montreal, 59.08

2. Geneviève Cantin, Laval, 1:00.59

3. Erica Morningstar, Calgary, 1:00.81

Men 100m Back

1. Kelly Aspinall, UBC, 51.95 (CIS Championship Record)

2. David Sharpe, Dalhousie, 52.34

3. Russell Wood, Calgary, 53.23

W 50m Fly

1. Caroline Lapierre-Lemire, UQTR, 27.22

2. Kendra Chernoff, Alberta, 27.29

3. Alisha Harricharan, Guelph, 27.42

M 50m Fly

1. Mike Smerek, Toronto, 23.69

2. Coleman Allen, UBC, 24.02

3. Joshua Au, Alberta, 24.37

W 400m Free

1. Savannah King, UBC, 4:09.24

2. Lindsay Delmar, Calgary, 4:13.44

3. Julianne Brown, Calgary, 4:14.09

M 400m Free

1. Frank Despond, Toronto, 3:49.77

2. Eric Hedlin, Victoria, 3:52.95

3. Robert Wise, Western, 3:53.63

W 200m Breast

1. Tera Van Beilen, UBC, 2:23.87

2. Fiona Doyle, Calgary, 2:24.94

3. Tianna Rissling, Calgary, 2:25.25

M 200m Breast

1. Jason Block, Calgary, 2:09.86

2. Frédéric Le Blanc, Montreal, 2:12.41

3. Evan Broderick, UBC, 2:13.31

W 50m Free

1. Caroline Lapierre-Lemire, UQTR, 24.87 (CIS Championship Record)

2. Erica Morningstar, Calgary, 25.15

3. Amanda Reason, Calgary, 25.53

M 50m Free

1. Kelly Aspinall, UBC, 22.16

2. Luke Peddie, UBC, 22.42

3. Evan Van Moerkerke, Guelph, 22.46

W 200m Fly

1. Stephanie Horner, Victoria, 2:12.93

2. Vanessa Treasure, Toronto, 2:13.21

3. Lindsay Delmar, Calgary, 2:16.36

M 200m Fly

1. Zach Chetrat, Toronto, 1:55.59

2. Coleman Allen, UBC, 1:58.10

3. Thomas Jobin, Calgary, 1:59.40

W 4 x 200m Free Relay

1. UBC, 8:00.55

(Savannah King, Brittney Harley, Tera Van Beilen, Heather MacLean)

2. Calgary, 8:02.15

(Fiona Doyle, Lindsay Delmar, Amanda Reason, Julianne Brown)

3. Toronto, 8:14.99

(Andrea Jurenovskis, Jennifer Tapley, Bridget Coley, Vanessa Treasure)

M 4 x 200m Free Relay

1. Calgary, 7:14.27

(Russell Wood, Reid Scarrow, David Woodman, Connor Maxey)

2. Toronto, 7:18.33

(Frank Despond, Matthew Myers, David Riley, Zack Chetrat)

3. Alberta, 7:19.58

(Hunter Balch, Joe Byram, Joshua Au, Robert MacKinnon)


Women 200m Free

1. Lindsay Delmar, Calgary, 1:58.46

2. Heather MacLean, UBC, 1:59.19

3. Savannah King, UBC, 1:59.54

Men 200m Free

1. Coleman Allen, UBC, 1:46.40

2. David Woodman, Calgary, 1:47.39

3. Keegan Zanatta, Victoria, 1:47.52

W 50m Back

1. Gabrielle Soucisse, Montreal, 28.03

2. Grainne Pierse, UBC, 28.05

3. Andrea Jurenovskis, Toronto, 28.30

M 50m Back

1. Kelly Aspinall, UBC, 24.05 (CIS Championship Record)

2. David Sharpe, Dalhousie, 24.56

3. Russell Wood, Calgary, 24.64

W 100m Breast

1. Fiona Doyle, Calgary, 1:06.57

2. Tianna Rissling, Calgary, 1:06.72

3. Tera Van Beilen, UBC, 1:06.80

M 100m Breast

1. Jason Block, Calgary, 59.08 (CIS Championship Record)

2. Konrad Bald, McMaster, 1:00.14

3. Kevin Deret, Laval, 1:00.88

W 100m Fly

1. Alisha Harricharan, Guelph, 59.72

2. Kendra Chernoff, Alberta, 59.77

3. Alana Skocdopole, Calgary, 1:01.17

M 100m Fly

1. Coleman Allen, UBC, 51.88 (CIS Championship Record)

2. Zach Chetrat, Toronto, 52.58

3. David Sharpe, Dalhousie, 53.07

W 400m IM

1. Tianna Rissling, Calgary, 4:37.81 (CIS Championship Record)

2. Vanessa Treasure, Toronto, 4:42.88

3. Katie Caldwell, McGill, 4:44.83

M 400m IM

1. Steven Bielby, McGill, 4:15.14

2. Jeremie Holdom, Toronto, 4:19.67

3. Patrick Cowan, UBC, 4:20.21

W 4 x 100m Free Relay

1. Calgary 3:40.34

(Erica Morningstar, Amanda Reason, Lindsay Delmar, Fiona Doyle)

2. UBC 3:42.47

(Heather McLean, Rebecca Terejko, Brittney Harley, Fionnuala Pierse)

3. McMaster 3:45.45

(Emma Mittermaier, Sarah Taylor, Emily Fung, Meg Sloan)

M 4 x 100m Free Relay

1. UBC 3:15.53

(Kelly Aspinall, Luke Peddie, Sergey Holson, Coleman Allen)

2. Calgary 3:16.94

(David Woodman, Russell Wood, Connor Maxey, Bryan Wray)

3. Toronto 3:18.40

(Mike Smerek, Brian Lee, Luke Hall, Matthew Myers)