Thunderbirds look sharp in final tune-up prior to CIS Championships

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Calgary, AB – 16 UBC swimmers took part in this weekend’s Colleges Cup Mountain event in Calgary, AB. This marked the final opportunity to race prior to the CIS Swimming Championships to be held in three weeks time in Victoria.

“The goal of this weekend’s meet was for every swimmer to treat it with purpose and take advantage of the racing opportunity in the lead up to the CIS Championships,” said UBC assistant coach Brian Johns.

Jacomie Strydom continues to impress in her first season with the Thunderbirds. The Canada West Rookie of the Meet from the Canada West Swimming Championships won both the 100m (1:01.07) and 200m (2:12.22) butterfly events. The Edmonton, AB native was also part of the 4x50m freestyle relay winning team featuring Molly Wedge, Katherine Stamp and Colleen Nesbitt. The quartet won in a time of 1:45.10.

“Jacomie (Strydom) is on a great roll and her butterfly events continue to progress and she will be one to watch for not just at the CIS Championships, but also at the Canadian Trials in hopes of qualifying for one of the Team Canada trips,” said Johns.

Wedge, who recently was named a Sport Prince Edward Island Intercollegiate Athlete of the Year nominee, won the women’s 100m freestyle, clocking a time of 57.34.

Mckenzie Summers earned herself a pair of first place finishes, winning the 100m backstroke (1:02.98) and 50m backstroke (29.39).

“Mckenzie’s (Summers) approach to her swimming has been much more controlled and calm and it had a very positive effect on her consistency in her performances,” said Johns. “She has grown and matured a lot during this season and she is setting herself up to not only perform well at the CIS Championships this year, but the lessons she is learning will help her truly achieve her long term potential as well.”

On the men’s side, Marshal Parker won two races, taking home top spot in the 400m (3:54.52) and 200m (1:49.90) freestyle events.

“Marshal (Parker) has improved tremendously over the last few weeks,” said Johns. “While it’s been his first year representing the Thunderbirds, this is his second year swimming with the program. We as a coaching staff have made a subtle training change for Marshal and it has helped him take off a tremendous amount of time in a very short period. He’s now poised to surprise a lot of people at the CIS Championships in his first year as a Thunderbird.”

Second-year standout Jonathan Brown won the 200m individual medley in a time of 2:02.75.

The team will return home in preparation for the 2015 CIS Swimming Championships to be held in Victoria, February 19-21. The women are the three-time defending champions, while the men look to win the program’s first national title since 2012 after finishing second the last two seasons.