Halloween showdown for top university programs

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VANCOUVER – Last year’s top two teams in Canadian university men’s swimming will have a showdown on Halloween night at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The Oct. 31 event has been named the Ghoul in the Pool and features the Thunderbirds hosting the University of Toronto Blues.

This past March the Blues edged UBC by only 15 points in the men’s overall standings at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships.

Barrie, Ont., native Coleman Allen, who transferred from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2012, is among the returnees for UBC, along with Luke Peddie of Edmonton. Both made their national team debuts for Canada at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona. Among the top recruits to the team are Calgary’s Jonathan Brown, Stefan Milosevic of Burnaby, B.C., and Luke Reilly of Richmond, B.C. All three are fresh off representing Canada at the FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai, UAE.

‘’It’s a golden opportunity to see how our two teams stack up against each other this early in the season,” said UBC’s head coach Steve Price. ‘’With eight rookies on our team all tough competitive racing opportunities before the championship season are welcome.’’

U of T’s head coach Byron MacDonald lost five swimmers to graduation last year and heads out West led by world championship team members Zack Chetrat and Chris Manning, who are joined by Summer Universiade team members Edward Liu and Frank Despond.

‘’An event like this is really good for both teams,’’ said MacDonald, starting his 36th year coaching with the Blues.  ’Win, lose or draw all 30 swimmers will be way more pumped and excited than usual this early in the season. 

‘’It’s elevating the pressure on them to perform on a given day and this event in the middle of hard training will be a great experience.’’

Competition starts at 4:15 p.m.

Following the meet, the Blues head to Las Vegas for a dual meet against UNLV while UBC faces the University of Calgary Dinos.

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