Eric Hedlin and Danielle Hanus touched for gold on Day 3

VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes swimming teams earned two gold medals on Day 3 of the Odlum Brown U SPORTS Swimming Championships hosted at the UBC Aquatic Centre in Vancouver from Feb. 21-23. Third-year Vike Danielle Hanus earned her fourth medal to finish with one gold, two silver and one bronze, while fourth year Eric Hedlin won gold in the 1500-m freestyle for the second time in his university career.

“It was a pretty exciting night tonight as both relay teams had excellent performances” said Vikes head coach Peter Vizsolyi. “Danielle had a really good swim tonight given that her goggles filled up right at the beginning and Buzz Mallender was unbelievably good in his swims tonight.”

“Heading into the 1500-m free we were still 50 points behind Regina on the men’s side and then we got to within five after the 1500 and then knew we had to place a few spots higher than them on the relay. We did what we needed to do to pass them and that was a real positive for our final day.”

Taylor Snowden-Richardson
Photo Credit: Rich Lam

Fifth-year Vike Taylor Snowden-Richardson was also recognized as the U SPORTS Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner. The senior has twice been recognized at the conference level but this is her first time recognized nationally. Snowden-Richardson started Tay’s Team, where she personally knits hats with different superhero or Disney characters for kids who are in hospital. She has donated more than 160 hats to kids in hospitals in Nanimo, Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary and San Diego.

Hanus opened the final night of the meet with a great finish to defend her 2018 gold in the women’s 200-m butterfly.

“It was a good race minus my goggles filling up as soon as I dove in so I hoped for the best in racing,” said Hanus who had to swim blind. “I was watching the girl beside me to see when she turned so I knew where the wall was but I am happy with the time. It’s the second fastest time I have been all year so I can’t really complain about it. It’s been a pretty good meet for me so far.”

Danielle Hanus
Photo Credit: Rich Lam

Hanus’ time of 2:13.54 edged Toronto’s Hannah Genich (2:13.77) who took sliver, while UBC’s Megan Dalke was third in 2:15.40. The gold medal adds to Hanus’ already won two silvers and one bronze this meet.

In the men’s 200-m butterfly Ethan Jensen finished 12th overall and fourth in the B-Final with a time of 2:05.66

In the 200-m breaststroke Kara Wilson finished 17th and Jamie Hellard in 21st on the women’s side, while on the men’s side Bailey Espersen finished fifth (2:20.46), Arthur Firmino finished 19th and Zachary Dumas was 21st.

Josh Zakala was just shy of the podium in the 200-m backstroke as Calgary’s Anders Klein took bronze in 2:03.76 and Zakala touched in 2:03.96. Fifth-year Vike Buzz Mallender was 12th in 2:06.98.

In the distance events, Kaitlin Gervais was the top Vike in the women’s 800-m. In her last individual race of her U SPORTS career Gervais finished ninth in 9:06.77.

On the men’s side, Hedlin earned gold in the 1500-m freestyle event setting a new long course U SPORTS record with a time of 15:34.16. Hedlin closed a large gap in the final 300-m of the race as he chased down and then passed UBC’s Hau-Li Fan.

The 2017 UVic Male Athlete of the Year was the 1500-m and 500-m freestyle gold medal champion in the 2018 Canada West Championships and won the 1500-m event at the 2017 U SPORTS Championship.

“I got in there and I didn’t feel that excited at the beginning and then I just decided that I was going to get in there and race it,” described Hedlin. “I gave way too much at the beginning to Hao Li but I felt myself starting to creep up on him and then I had the killer instinct come from with me. All of a sudden I felt so much better and wanted to chase him down and in the end it was anyone’s race. It was so close but I am happy with the finish.”

Both Fan and Hedlin were at open water international competitions heading in to this meet.

“The transition is quite difficult with all the time zones,” said Hedlin about trying to adapt for the U SPORTS championship. “I’ve had 33 hours of time zone change over the course of 3.5 weeks and that’s really taken it out of me but it’s also taken it out of Hao Li and some of my competitors. At the end of a 10-km that’s what it’s all about. Everyone’s hurting so it’s about who can stay the toughest into the finish.”

To close out the night both Vikes 4×100-m freestyle relay teams set new long course school records, while Hanus’ lead-off leg set a new women’s 100-m freestyle record for UVic. The Vikes women of Hanus, Lauren Taylor, Allison Ballantyne and Gervais were fourth in 3:53.15.

Swim grads

The Vikes men had a seventh-place finish in 3:29.68 thanks to the efforts of Mallender, Zakala, Daniel Greer and Espersen.

Following the meet the Vikes finished with two gold, two silver and two bronze medals with four being won by Hanus, one gold for Hedlin and one bronze for Zakala. For their gold-medal performances Hedlin and Hanus are also named U SPORTS First Team All-Canadians. Twelve UVic school records were also broken at this meet.

The Vikes finished fifth overall in the team standings for both the men and women, while the UBC Thunderbirds swept both U SPORTS banner titles. It also marks the final meet for graduating players Gervais, Snowden-Richardson, Deegan and Mallender.

Day 3- UVIC Results

W 200m Butterfly: Danielle Hanus (GOLD – 2:13.54)
M 200m Butterfly: Ethan Jensen (12th – 2:05.66)

W 100m Freestyle: Lauren Taylor (24th – 59.26)

W 200m Breaststroke: Kara Wilson (17th – 2:43.33), Jamie Hellard (21st – 2:45.47)
M 200m Breaststroke: Bailey Espersen (5th – 2:20.46) ,Arthur Firmino (19th – 2:23.95), Zachary Dumas (21st – 2:27.26)

M 200m Backstroke: Josh Zakala (4th – 2:03.96), Buzz Mallender (12th – 2:06.98)

W 800m Freestyle: Kaitlin Gervais (9th – 9:06.77), Lauren Taylor (16th – 9:20.52), Taylor Snowden Richardson (22nd – 9:31.15)
M 1500m Freestyle: Eric Hedlin (GOLD – 15:34.16 U SPORTS Record),  Chris Deegan (7th – 16:03.94), Zachary Dumas (17th – 16:24.38),

W 4x100m Freestyle Relay: Danielle Hanus*, Lauren Taylor, Allison Ballantyne, Kaitlin Gervais (4th 3:53.15)*
M 4x100m Freestyle Relay: Buzz Mallender, Josh Zakala, Daniel Greer, Bailey Espersen (7th.- 3:29.68)

Day 2 – UVIC Results

W 50m Backstroke: Danielle Hanus (SILVER – 28.78)
M 50m Backstroke: Buzz Mallender* (17th – 26.84)

W 100m Breaststroke: Jamie Hellard (15th – 1:15.85), Kara Wilson (20th – 1:15.78)
M 100m Breaststroke: Bailey Espersen (6th – 1:04.79), Daniel Greer (19th – 1:05.91), Arthur Firmino (21st – 1:06.55)

W 400m Individual Medley: Taylor Snowden-Richardson (20th – 5:17.31)
M 400m Individual Medley: Josh Zakala (7th – 4:32.03), Ethan Phillips (22nd – 4:41.93), Eric Hedlin (24th – 4:43.35)

W 4x200m Freestyle Relay: Danielle Hanus*, Lauren Taylor, Allison Ballantyne, Kaitlin Gervais (5th – 8:27.88)*
M 4x200m Freestyle Relay: Buzz Mallender, Eric Hedlin, Josh Zakala, Ethan Phillips (4th – 7:39.39)

Day 1 – UVIC Results

W 100m Backstroke: Danielle Hanus^ (SILVER – 1:01.56 )
M 100m Backstroke: Buzz Mallender^ (6th – 56.95)

W 50m Breaststroke: Jamie Hellard (14th – 32.92), Kara Wilson (17th – 33.37)
M 50m Breaststroke: Bailey Espersen (14th – 29.87), Daniel Greer (15th – 29.91), Arthur Firmino (21st – 30.10)

W 400m Freestyle: Kaitlin Gervais (11th – 4:26.10), Lauren Taylor (20th – 4:31.32)
M 400m Freestyle: Josh Zakala^ (4th – 3:59.03), Eric Hedlin^ (9th – 3:59.09), Ethan Phillips (23rd – 4:08.64)

W 100m Butterfly: Danielle Hanus^ (BRONZE – 1:00.61)
M 100m Butterfly: Ethan Jensen (12th – 56.23), Daniel Greer (17th – 55.49)

W 200m Individual Medley: Allison Ballantyne (19th – 2:27.23 ), Kara Wilson (24th – 2:29.86)
M 200m Individual Medley: Josh Zakala^ (BRONZE – 2:04.35), Bailey Espersen (22nd – 2:10.23), Zachary Dumas (24th – 2:11.47)

W 4x100m Medley Relay: Danielle Hanus, Kara Wilson, Allison Ballantyne, Kaitlin Gervais (4th – 4:20.89)*
M 4x100m Medley Relay: Buzz Mallender*, Bailey Espersen, Daniel Greer, Josh Zakala (4th – 3:48.29)*

Vikes Records Broken

M 50m Breaststroke SC – Bailey Espersen (28.65)*
M 100m Backstroke SC – Buzz Mallender (54.70)*
M 200m Individual Medley SC – Josh Zakala (1:59.93)*
M 100m Backstroke LC in relay – Buzz Mallender (56.90)*
W 4x100m Medley Relay: Danielle Hanus, Kara Wilson, Allison Ballantyne, Kaitlin Gervais (4th – 4:20.89)*
M 4x100m Medley Relay: Buzz Mallender*, Bailey Espersen, Daniel Greer, Josh Zakala (4th – 3:48.29)*
M 100m Breaststroke LC: Bailey Espersen (6th – 1:04.79)
W 200m Freestyle LC in relay: Danielle Hanus (2:02.9)
W 4x200m Freestyle Relay LC: Danielle Hanus, Lauren Taylor, Allison Ballantyne, Kaitlin Gervais (5th – 8:27.88)*
W 100m Freestyle LC in relay – Danielle Hanus (56.46)
W 4x100m Freestyle Relay LC: Danielle Hanus*, Lauren Taylor, Allison Ballantyne, Kaitlin Gervais (3:53.15)*
M 4x100m Freestyle Relay LC: Buzz Mallender, Josh Zakala, Daniel Greer, Bailey Espersen (7th.- 3:29.68)*

*indicates Vikes Record
^indicates qualified for 2019 FISU Games



1. UBC, 1,255.5 points
2. Toronto, 1,230.5
3. Montreal, 701
4. Calgary, 521
5. Victoria, 312
6. McGill, 299
7. Ottawa, 294
8. Alberta, 237
T9. Western, 217
T9. Laval, 217
11. McMaster, 206
12. Dalhousie, 200
13. Waterloo, 198.5
14. Manitoba, 192.5
15. Guelph, 141
16. Sherbrooke, 96
17. Regina, 90
18. New Brunswick, 73
19. Québec à Trois-Rivières, 72
20. Wilfrid Laurier, 58
21. Laurentian, 44
22. Acadia, 26
23. Queen’s, 15
24. Lethbridge, 9
25. Memorial, 3
26. Brock, 1

Men (Nelson C. Hart trophy)

1. UBC, 1,075 points
2. Calgary, 925.5
3. Toronto, 682
4. McGill, 550
5. Victoria, 472.5
6. Regina, 470
7. Ottawa, 442.5
8. Laval, 397.5
9. Montreal, 388.5
10. Alberta, 249
11. Lethbridge, 234.5
12. Western, 160
13. Dalhousie, 134
14. Sherbrooke, 87
15. Manitoba, 65
16. Laurentian, 58
17. Brock, 41
18. Acadia, 40
19. Waterloo, 39
20. Queen’s, 34
21. Thompson Rivers, 29
22. Mount Allison, 28
23. Guelph, 10
24. McMaster, 5