By: Kirk Jessome
After coming off of an AUS championship last season, the Tigers women’s swim team is already well on their way to competing for another, moving into a critical portion of their season.
The Tigers roster looks very similar to last season, being able to add talent to a strong veteran roster that has developed over the last few years.
Now in her fourth season with the Tigers, Lise Cinq-Mars leads by example each year as a dominant sprinter in the butterfly and freestyle strokes. Cinq-Mars has already looked good this year, taking wins in the 50m and 100m butterfly, as well as the 100m freestlye.
Also taking over the conference in the freestyle stroke is Isabel Sarty, coming off of a fantastic rookie season with the Tigers where she earned seven conference gold medals. Sarty is on track to follow up that performance with more this season, taking wins in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle, as well as the 100m backstroke.
Joining the Tigers for her fifth and final season is Olivia Feschuk after swimming at Mount Allison for four seasons. Feschuk has already made an impact for the Tigers this season in early meets, taking victories in breaststroke and backstroke sprints, as well as the 200m individual medley.
Opening the season with meets at Acadia and Mount Allison, the Tigers were able to come away with victories in both competitions by a large margin; a good sign heading into a stretch of important meets.
The women’s team finished in ninth place at U SPORTS nationals last season, and seem in shape to improve that mark this year.
On the men’s side, it is shaping up to be another tough battle for the AUS title as it has in recent years.
With the graduation of fifth year captain Gavin Dyke from the program, the Tigers have only three seniors on their young roster in Morrgan Payne, Tyler Immel-Herron, and current captain Mckenzie Holden.
What the Tigers do have, however, is a wealth of young talent on the roster. Alec Karlsen stood out last season as a jack of all trades in the medley, bettering his AUS record in the 400m IM. This season he has taken wins in early meets in the 200m IM, as well as showing his versatility in the 100m butterfly and 800m freestyle.
Tyler Immel-Herron was very impressive as a backstroke specialist last season, but in early competitions this year has looked very dangerous at every distance of the freestyle stroke. Immel-Herron has taken wins in the 200m and 400m freestyle, and finished just behind Karlsen in the 800m.
Being added to the young roster to make in immediate impact is first year Christian Payne, who has looked impressive in backstroke races early this year, with wins in both the 50m and 100m events.
The Tigers have been in tight competition against the Acadia Axemen for team points at these early meets, but have been able to come away with the victory in both the Jack Scholz Invitational, and the MtA Invitational.
The AUS championship is when the Tigers really turn it on, having claimed the conference title for an outstanding 20 consecutive years. With a few young additions, and the maturation of their current leaders, the Tigers will look to keep their strong performances going at a national level this season.
Both teams will be back in the pool this weekend at the Dalplex as the Tigers host the annual Kemp-Fry Invitational. The competition is often a time when swimmers look to make qualifying time standards for U SPORTS nationals, making it an always exciting event. The competition will run this Friday through Sunday.