Coleman Allen
Courtesy of: Swimming Canada
TORONTO, Ontario, February 20. THE University of British Columbia Thunderbirds lead the way after Day 1 of the 2014 Speedo CIS swimming championships at the University of Toronto's Varsity Pool.

The defending champion Thunderbirds women hold a commanding lead with 254 points, 126 points ahead of the RSEQ champion Montreal Carabins (128). The Calgary Dinos are not far behind with 121 points, while Toronto (88) and Laval (80) sit fourth and fifth, respectively.

"We came in with the goal to move the women's team forward but more importantly we are trying to get as many swimmers on the podium as possible," said UBC head coach Steve Price. "It's a much better feeling on the top end so we're happy with the overall team result tonight."


To no surprise, the men's race is proving to be much closer as the Thunderbirds (235) hold a 29-point advantage over the defending CIS champions and host Toronto Varsity Blues (206). Calgary is third with 119 points, while Montreal (77) and the Western Mustangs (65) sit fourth and fifth.

"We know [the men's race is] going to be a battle," added Price. "We like where we are after the first day but we know we have four more sessions of hard racing to go."

"We predicted that we would be down by about 30 points after Day 1 so we're still in the hunt, but we are going to need a few breaks to move ahead," commented Toronto's Byron MacDonald, last year's CIS men's coach of the year. "29 points is a lot to make up on a very good team like UBC. They are in the driver's seat but that's why we show up tomorrow."

Canada West swimmer of the year Coleman Allen led UBC's men with two individual gold medals in the 200 freestyle (1:45.13) and 100 butterfly, bettering his own CIS record in the latter with a time of 51.88 seconds.

"I was happy to be able to improve [my record]," said Allen. "I'm just swimming for my team, trying to get the points and get my hand on the wall. It is nice to know that compared to this time last year that I'm four tenths faster so it means I'm on a good improvement curve."

Allen also joined teammates Luke Peddie, Sergey Holson and Stefan Milosevic to win their fourth-straight gold medal in the 400 freestyle relay. The last race of the night summed up the men's standings perfectly as UBC, Toronto and Calgary exchanged the lead numerous times, but the Thunderbirds came out on top by three tenths of a second over the Dinos.

Holson won individual gold in the men's 100 breaststroke in 1:00.18, while Luke Reilly boasted UBC's fourth individual gold medal of the day in the 400 individual medley (4:10.95).

Thunderbirds rookie Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson was the only other individual record breaker on Day 1, improving Calgary's Tianna Rissling 2013 mark (4:37.81) by over three seconds in the 400 IM with a time of 4:34.76.

"It's so exciting," said Seltenreich-Hodgson. "I wanted to win but I knew the competition was extremely high and I'm so pleased to see my time. We had some really awesome swims tonight all around and I think we're on track for the goals that we want to meet this weekend."

UBC's Fionnuala Pierse, Brittney Harley, Rebecca Terejko and Heather MacLean put an end to Calgary's seven-year reign in the women's 400 freestyle relay. The quartet touched the wall in 3:40.25, a full two seconds ahead of the Carabins (3:42.70).

RSEQ female swimmer of the year Barbara Jardin of the Montreal Carabins continued to shine and add to her success this season on Day 1. The 2012 Olympian kicked off the championships with a first-place finish in the women's 200 freestyle and anchored Montreal's relay team to a silver medal.

Calgary's Russell Wood and Laval's Marie-Pierre Couillard earned gold medals in the men's and women's back stroke events, while Dinos standout Finoa Doyle and Kendra Chernoff placed first in the women's 100 breast and butterfly events, respectively.

The 2014 Speedo CIS Swimming Championships continue Friday with preliminaries set for 10 a.m. EST with finals slated for 6 p.m. EST.

NOTE: All finals are webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv. Live results from all sessions are available on the championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/swim/index.

DAY 1 TEAM STANDINGS

Women

1. UBC, 254 points
2. Montreal, 128
3. Calgary, 121
4. Toronto, 88
5. Laval, 80
6. Western, 70
7. McGill, 66
8. Alberta, 60
9. McMaster, 46
10. Ottawa, 38
11. Dalhousie, 28
12. Guelph, 26
13. Victoria, 24
14. Wilfrid Laurier, 16
15. Sherbrooke, 14
16. UQTR, 13
17. UNB, 6
18. UQAM, 5

Men (Nelson C. Hart trophy)
1. UBC, 235 points
2. Toronto, 206
3. Calgary, 119
4. Montreal, 77
5. Western, 65
6. Laval, 64
7. McMaster, 62
8. Victoria, 43
9. Alberta, 40
10. Lethbridge, 39
11. Dalhousie, 31
12. Ottawa, 23
13. McGill, 21
14. Manitoba, 16
15. Guelph, 12
16. Waterloo, 11
17. Acadia, 7
18. UQTR, 6
19. Laurier, 2

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World. To reach our audience, contact us at newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com.


Results: Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships: Day One