VICTORIA (CIS) – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds lead the way after Day 1 of the 2015 Speedo CIS Swimming Championships hosted by the University of Victoria at Saanich Commonwealth Place.

COMPLETE RESULTS: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/swim/2015/files/sched_results

UBC are the three-time defending CIS women’s champions and showed that after their Day 1 performance, taking the lead with 216 points, while Montreal and Toronto follow with 177 and 117 points, respectively.

“We are where we thought we would be,” said Steve Price, head coach of the T-Birds and the 2014 Canada West men’s and women’s Coach of the Year. “I really liked how the team got up and came out tough in all the sessions today. That’s what this format is all about. We really pride ourselves in being able to be in it for all six sessions and that’s what we did today.”

The UBC men’s contingent are also in the lead with 242 points, 46 points ahead of Toronto (196), while Calgary are in third with 116.5. Alberta are currently in fourth with 91 points and Western finished with 81 points to take fifth place.

“It was a good start for the first day and everyone really stepped up and did their part,” said UBC fourth year Coleman Allen whose Day 1 included beating his own CIS short-course Championship record and defending his third-straight gold in the 100 butterfly.

“I didn’t really think too much about breaking the record because as much as it is about our own personal goals it’s about the team and how we do as a group. Fatigue is going to set in now so we know it is going to continue to get harder after this.” 

Allen, also the reigning CIS Swimmer of the Year, and his teammates wrapped up opening day winning the men’s 100 freestyle relay in 3:22.78, while Toronto (3:26.29) and Alberta (3:27.97) followed.

In the women’s 100 freestyle relay Montreal stole the show as Olympians Katerine Savard and Barbara Jardin helped the Carabins to gold in 3:44.34. The RSEQ champions were impressive throughout the day thanks to rookie Savard who won individual golds in the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. Jardin also picked up silver in the 200 freestyle.

Laval’s Marie-Pier Couillard raced to gold in the 50 backstroke, while team mate Geneviève Cantin picked up bronze and Toronto’s Kyle Masse earned silver.

The Calgary women’s team’s only medal came from Fiona Doyle who earned her third-straight CIS gold in the 100 breastroke.

“I was absolutely delighted to win a medal today,” said an elated Doyle. “It’s been a lot of hard work up to this point and I am swimming fast right now, which is great, but I have to take it all in, live in the moment and then remember we still have more events left to go.”

Other highlights of the day included Toronto’s Eli Wall winning gold in the men’s 100 breastroke and Montreal’s Thibault Delecluse’s fight to win gold in the 50 backstroke. Calgary’s Tristan Cote took home gold in the 400 individual medley ahead of UBC swimmers Luke Reilly and Jonathan Brown, who took silver and bronze, respectively. 

In the women’s 400 individual medley Thunderbird and reigning CIS Swimmer of the Year Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson defended her gold-medal title, this time touching in at 4:44.41. Toronto’s Vanessa Treasure won her second-straight silver behind Seltenreich-Hodgson in a time of 4:50.04.

With the new, long-course format for finals, CIS Championship short-course records were only able to be broken in the morning preliminary sessions. Both the men’s and women’s records in the 100 butterfly were broken and both by UBC swimmers. Allen broke his own record set just a year earlier, timing in at 51.19, while rookie Jacomie Strydom touched in at 58.69 to beat out the 2012 record set by Alberta’s Erin Miller.

The 2015 Speedo CIS Swimming Championships continue Friday with preliminaries set for 10 a.m. PST with finals slated for 6 p.m. PST.

NOTES: All sessions are webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv and live results are available on the championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/swim/index… Finals are contested in a 50-metre pool (long course) for the first time at this year’s Speedo CIS championships, while the morning preliminaries remain short course races… Should records be set in the preliminaries, they will be added to the CIS championship short-course record book.

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