By Elizabeth Chan, Vikes Communications
(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes swim teams raced in the local Vancouver Island Regional Championship to several best times and podium performances on Jan. 23-25. The athletes approached the three-day meet hoping to clock in some solid racing times with the CIS national championships just four weeks away.
On the men’s side, fourth year Bobby Harling qualified for the CIS championships in men’s 200-m fly on the final day of the meet. The Penticton Secondary School graduate touched the wall in 2:05.03, behind gold medallist Craig Dagnall (2:04.37) and silver medallist Jon McKay (2:04.99).
Rookie Ryan Howe also highlighted the weekend, stepping up the podium eight times. Six of those were first place finishes. The Victoria native claimed gold in the 400-m IM (4:28.98), the 200-m IM (2:04.41) and the 100-m free (51.76). Howe finished second in the 400-m and 800-m freestyle, both won by veteran distance swimmer McKay.
Sprint swimmer Brett Zollen, who competed in different events this past weekend, succeeded in achieving gold in the 100-m and 200-m breaststroke. Senior Dagnall, who finished first in the men’s 100-m and 200-m butterfly, joined teammates Howe, Richard Bourgeois and Zollen to secure gold in the men’s 200-m medley relay (1:44.61).
First year Buzz Mallender was a medal winner in six events, finishing first in the men’s 200-m free (1:53.50) and the 50-m back (27.93).
For the women, third year Sarah Galbraith led the team with six podium finishes and secured first place in the 200-m IM, 100-m breaststroke and 50-m breast. Rachael Newman sprinted to gold in the 50-m fly, 100-m fly and 50-m free.
Rookie Kaitlin Gervais was notable in the women’s 800-m free and 400-m free, where she finished well ahead of her competitors in a time of 8:54.13 and 4:18.42 respectively. She was also the fastest in the 200-m free, clocking in 2:03.89. Gervais also joined teammates Galbraith, Newman and fellow rookie Taylor Snowden-Richardson in the women’s 200-m medley relay to claim first place (1:59.70).
The Vikes will return to the Saanich Commonwealth Pool on Feb. 8 for the SFU Dual meet. This will be the final competition before the CIS Championships Feb. 19-21, also at the Commonwealth Pool.