QUEBEC CITY (CIS) – The University of Toronto dominated on day two of the 2016 Speedo CIS Swimming Championships, presented at Laval University, one day after sharing a piece of the lead with the University of British Columbia. The Varsity Blues now have a chance to add a 15th national banner to their collection on the women’s side, and an impressive 19th men’s title.
The Toronto men advanced their lead (605.50 points) from 29 to 96.5 points. UBC (509) and Calgary (477) follow in second and third. An impressive showing from the men, but even more so when it came to the Blues women’s team. Trailing to the Thunderbirds by 18 points after day one of the championships, U of T took the lead with 527 points to UBC’s 468.50 by the end of day two.
“Not what we expected!” said University of Toronto head coach, Byron Macdonald. “We kind of thought that we could pick up maybe 40 or 50 points on UBC, but we picked up a lot more than that. Our women swam amazing and our guys swam amazing, we’re in a real strong position now, but UBC is not going to roll over. They’re a heck of a good team and it’s going to be a real good battle all the way.”
UBC’s head coach, Steve Price, was not completely surprised by the switch in leaders. “We did not have a lot of swims today and that’s about where we thought that we would end up at the end of the day. We’ve got lots of racing tomorrow and I think that we will make it interesting,” said Price. “The fact that we finished on two wins at the end of the night on those relays bodes well and anything can happen in the last day so we’re pretty pleased with how we swam today.”
Individually, Kylie Masse earned another CIS Championship record for a second straight day, winning the 100m backstroke in 59.81. She beat out former two-time defending champion and record holder, University Laval’s Marie-Pier Couillard. Masse almost provided her team with another gold medal in her team’s 4x200m freestyle relay, when she touched the wall only 15 hundredths of a second behind first place University of Toronto.
Eli Wall and Osvald Nitski also did their parts for the Varsity Blues by winning their second gold medals in as many days. Wall took home honours in the men’s 200m breaststroke, while Nitski proved too strong in the 200m butterfly.
In the day’s other highlights, two more CIS Championship records fell. Oleksandr Loginov of UBC beat his own record in the men’s 50m free by 5 hundredths of a second. Meanwhile, Noah Choboterfrom the University of Regina completed the women’s 100m backstroke in a record time of 55.78.
After winning the women’s 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle, Paulina Bond enabled the Western University Mustangs to climb the women’s rankings Saturday night. 2012 Canadian Olympic team member Tera van Beilen won her second championship gold medal in the 200m breaststroke. Thunderbirds teammate Maia Brundagetook home first place in the women’s 400m freestyle. In the men’s 400m freestyle, UBC’s Keegan Zanatta took home gold beating Tristan Cole (Calgary) and Jonathan Brown (UBC). Third last year in the 200m butterfly, Sophie Marois (Montreal) was able to claim victory this time around. Lastly, the tightest race of the evening was the men’s 50m butterfly. The winner, University of Toronto’s Matthew Dans finished six hundredths of a second ahead of second place Dillon Perron (Manitoba) and eight hundredths of a second ahead of third place Pascal-Hugo Caron-Cantin (Laval).
The 2016 Speedo CIS Swimming Championships wrap up Sunday at Desjardins-Université Laval Aquatic Centre. Preliminaries start at 10 a.m., with finals slated for 6 p.m. ET. CIS All-Canadian and major award presentations will take place following Sunday’s finals.