By Elizabeth Chan, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. –University of Victoria Vikes swimmer Jon McKay was the lone Vike to get on the podium, wrapping up the three-day 2015 Speedo CIS Championship with a bronze medal in the 1500-meter freestyle. The Victoria-hosted Championship saw UBC sweep the team titles, with the T-Bird women capturing their fourth-consecutive and 20th overall title.


Second year McKay, known for his distance events, came out strong in the 1500 free, on pace to stay in second. Victoria team mates lined the pool to cheer McKay on in the long course event that eventually saw him podium with former Vikes and now Thunderbirds Will Brothers and Keegan Zanatta. McKay sealed bronze in 15.42.73, while Zanatta took gold in 15:36.06 and Brothers finished with silver in 15:41.20.

Fellow distance specialist and Vike Kaitlin Gervais finished seventh in the women’s 800-m freestyle in 8:54.13. The gold medal was awarded to Dalhousie’s Meagan Bernier (8:52.03) after UBC Thunderbird Savannah King’s first-place finish was rejected for a false start. King had a large lead throughout the entire swim and had she won gold it would have been her fifth-consecutive win and would have sealed a major grand slam for the two-time Olympian.

“It was a good effort on Jon who battled really hard in the 1500-m against two strong UBC competitors,” said Peter Vizsolyi, Vikes swimming head coach. “Kaitylin is a good swimmer overall and she had to race through a tight field tonight.”

First year Vike Ryan Howe raced in the men’s 200-m individual medley B-final and finished 14th overall in 2:10.01. The Victoria native joined teammates Richard Bourgeois, Craig Dagnall and Brett Zollen for the 4×100-m medley relay where the Vikes placed 10th. The Alberta Golden Bears claimed gold in the men’s relay, while UBC touched in for silver and Toronto bronze.

Victoria’s Jordan Stariha and Sarah Galbraith qualified for the women’s 50-m breaststroke B final. Third year Galbraith neared Stariha’s 13th place finish by three seconds. Calgary’s Fiona Doyle, named female swimmer of the took home gold in 31.11.

Over the last three days, the Victoria men aggregated 127 points to sit eighth overall, while the Vikes women rank 11th with 94 points. UBC dominated the standings as their women defended their national title for the fourth time, winning with 581 points. The Montreal women were second with 544 and Toronto third with 412 points overall. Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds men totaled 737 points ahead of second-place Toronto (584) and third-place Calgary (365.5).

Up next the Vikes will gear up for their next meet, the BC Senior Championships, Mar. 8-9.


Women 800-m Free
Kaitlin Gervais – 7th (9:04.11)
Taylor Snowden-Richardson – 25th (9:27.56)

Women 50-m Breast
Jordan Stariha – 13th (33.95)
Sarah Galbraith – 14th (33.97)

Men 200-m IM
Ryan Howe – 14th (2:10.01)

Men 1500-m Freestyle
Jon McKay – 3rd (15.42.73)

Women’s 4×100 medley relay – 12th (4:29.84)
Men’s 4×100-m medley relay – 10th (3:55.22)