Graduating swimmer Bryan Fumerton placed in the top eight in three different races. Photos by James Hajjar via jhphotosportive.com
By Paula Sanderson
Dalhousie’s men’s and women’s swimming teams placed sixth and seventh respectively at last weekend’s CIS championship in Montreal.
The finish was a strong result for the women, but a frustrating standing for the men.
Entering the meet, the men’s team was ranked fourth in the country, and their goal was to place in the top five. The end result left them 2.5 points behind fifth-place Laval and three points behind fourth placed Alberta.
Dal’s men’s team finished with a total of 234 points. UBC won the meet handily with 558 points.
“It was a little disappointing,” says Tigers coach David Fry. “Afterwards you analyze all the things that could have been different but the bottom line is they had a good meet.”
Individually, the men broke several AUS records and achieved four medals.
David Sharpe once again stepped up to the plate for Dal, winning the 200 metre butterfly with a time of 1:57.13.
Fry says the time was a personal best for Sharpe in a short course pool. Sharpe has been working on the 200 metre butterfly all year, hoping to compete at the 2012 London Olympics. Sharpe is currently ranked third in the country but needs to place first to make his dream a reality.
Sharpe also took home two bronze medals in the 50 metre backstroke with a time of 25.24 and the 100 metre butterfly in 53.91 seconds.
Chris Reith also did well racing to second place in the 1500 metre freestyle with a time of 15:19.86. Reith now holds the AUS record in that event.
“We were really happy for Chris,” says Fry. “He’s quiet by nature, and he’s quietly been getting better over the years.”
Bryan Fumerton, Simon Boilard and Joe Ur also swam strong at the meet.
Ur broke the AUS 100 metre freestyle record for a spot in the top 16.
Fry describes Fumerton as the “unsung hero of the meet,” placing in the top eight in three different races.
The women’s team finished a strong seventh.
At the beginning of the season, the women’s goal was to place in the top ten. Going into the meet, they were ranked seventh nationally and maintained that standing, coming in seventh with a total of 202.5 points.
UBC also won the women’s championship with 811.5 points.
Fry was pleased with the improvement his team showed this year.
“We are really happy with their performance,” says Fry. “We didn’t expect any medals from the women’s side but they did incredibly well.
The women’s side broke multiple AUS records including both freestyle relays—the 4×100 and the 4×200 relay.
“The 4×200 relay record had stood for some 12 years, so it was nice for them to finally get that one,” says Fry.
A number of Dal swimmers will be in the pool next at the Olympic trials in Montreal Mar. 27 to Apr.1.