HALIFAX — Marc-Andre Benoit of St. Hyacinthe, Que., won six gold medals and smashed a pair of school records leading the McGill University men’s swim team to finish second of seven teams at the AUS Invitational, a three-day meet hosted by Dalhousie University over the weekend.
It was a superb meet for the McGill swimmers, who overcame the effects of a 14-hour bus trip to qualify 10 more athletes for the CIS championship meet in February, bringing the team’s total to 14 qualifiers with three meets remaining before Nationals.
Benoit, a six-foot, 180-pound freestyle and butterfly specialist, easily surpassed his own McGill record in100-metre fly, touching the wall in 53.44 seconds and destroying the previous standard of 54.50. It was the second fastest 100 fly in the CIS this season. The 24-year-old accounting senior who has earned Academic All-Canadian honours, also erased the previous McGill mark in the 200 free with a time of 1:49.42. Benoit, who was previously part of the Candian national program, was under the 50-second barrier in the 100 free for the first time in more than two years, qualifying in 49.86. It was an eventful weekend for the Redmen team captain, who qualified to swim at the CIS championships in four events, winning the 100 and 200 freestyles, as well as the 50 and 100 butterflys. He also helped the relay squads sweep the 4×100 freestyle and the 4×100 medley.
“I’m especially pleased about Benoit’s performance. It’s not very common at the age of 24 to have significant drops (in time) like he did this past weekend. It just does not happen,” said McGill head coach Peter Carpenter. “It’s a result of hard work, perseverence and super discipline. He’s doing exceptionally well in school and in the pool. I’m very happy for a guy like that, in his last year of school, to still manage to get time drops like that.”
Whiteside swam the 200 fly in 2:04.99 then posted a personal best of 3:58.01 in the 400 free. Robert registered a lifetime best in the 50 free by a massive four-tenths of a second in 23.21, leading off a time trial that wasn’t part of the regular meet scoring in the 4×50 free that was clocked in 1:32.18, breaking the team record of 1:33.30. Robert, was joined on that quartet by Benoit, Joseph Blackwood and Cheng, who later qualified in the 50 breast with a time of 29.48.
New CIS qualifiers were Alicia Chung (200 fly), Adriane Lui (50 fly), Rebecca Gibson (50 free and 50 fly), Fanny Gervais-Cartier (400 IM and 800 free) and Christine Aglot (50 back). They join the previously qualified Katie Caldwell, Simone Cseplo, Jessica Warrack and Valerie De Broux.
“No doubt that the guys had break-out performances but I was also very encouraged by the times produced by the girls,” said Carpenter, who was especially pleased about a McGill sweep of all four relays, where McGill finished ahead of host Dalhousie, considered strong favourites in their own pool. “We had another six to eight others, probably six of them women, who are on the cusp of qualifying for Nationals.”
Kind of made the 28-hour round-trip bus ride worth it.
The McGill squad will close out their first semester with a recently-added university qualifier meet to their schedule this weekend at the Cote St. Luc Recreation & Aquatics Centre. The two-day competition kicks off on Friday at 7 p.m., then continues on Saturday afternoon, beginning at 1:45 p.m.
|McGILL SWIMMING MEDALISTS & CIS QUALIFIERS|
|(2014 AUS Invitational Invitational @ Dalhousie, Nov. 21-23)|
|Gold||Marc-Andre Benoit||100 freestyle||0:50.15||CIS|
|Gold||Marc-Andre Benoit||200 freestyle||1:49.42||CIS|
|Gold||Marc-Andre Benoit||50 butterfly||0:24.84||CIS|
|Gold||Marc-Andre Benoit||100 butterfly||0:53.44||CIS|
|Gold||Rhys Johanson||200 back||2:02.43||CIS|
|Gold||Gabriel Fortin, M-A Benoit, David Whiteside, Luke Robert||4×100 freestyle relay||3:22.67||CIS|
|Gold||Rhys Johanson, Erik Cheng,
M-A Benoit,Luke Robert
|4×100 medley relay||3:46.65|
|Gold||David Whiteside||200 butterfly||2:05.16||CIS|
|Silver||Luke Robert||100 freestyle||0:50.37||CIS|
|Silver||Gabriel Fortin||50 butterfly||0:25.82|
|Silver||Loic Chaubet||200 breast||2:21.76|
|Silver||Luke Robert||50 freestyle||0:23.31||CIS|
|Bronze||Rhys Johanson||200 IM||2:07.22|
|Bronze||Gabriel Fortin||50 freestyle||0:23.42|
|Bronze||Keelan Marks||400 IM||4:36.83|
|Gold||Valerie De Broux||100 breast||1:11.73||CIS|
|Gold||Valerie De Broux||200 breast||2:36.34||CIS|
|Gold||Simone Cseplo||100 freestyle||0:56.28||CIS|
|Gold||Simone Cseplo||50 backstroke||0:28.98||CIS|
|Gold||Katie Caldwell||400 IM||4:47.04||CIS|
|Gold||Katie Caldwell||200 IM||2:15.24||CIS|
|Gold||Adriane Lui||50 butterfly||0:28.28||CIS|
|Gold||Jessica Warrack, Simone Cseplo, Fanny Gervais-Cartier, Katie Caldwell||4×100 freestyle relay||3:51.77||CIS|
|Gold||Simone Cseplo, Valerie De Broux, Alicia Chang, Katie Caldwell||4×100 medley relay||3:46.65|
|Silver||Valerie De Broux||200 butterfly||2:18.68||CIS|
|Silver||Alicia Chang||50 butterfly||0:28.84|
|Silver||Adriane Lui||100 butterfly||1:02.93||CIS|
|Bronze||Alicia Chang||200 butterfly||2:20.17||CIS|
|Bronze||Nicole Robinson||200 back||1:05.08|
|Bronze||Rebecca Gibson||50 freestyle||0:26.76|
|Bronze||Rebecca Gibson||50 butterfly||0:29.06||CIS|
|Bronze||Fanny Gervais-Cartier||800 freestyle||9:03.23||CIS|
|4th||Jessica Warrack||200 IM||2:21.11||CIS|
|4th||Christine Aglot||50 backstroke||0:29.69||CIS|
|FINAL MEET STANDINGS|
McGill Sports Info Office