by Kirk Jessome
After finishing the regular season undefeated against conference competition in team standings, the men’s and women’s swim teams are looking to add to their historic run of AUS conference titles.
Starting the regular season off at the Jack Scholz Memorial Swim Meet, both teams were able to claim victories, though the men’s team had to battle to the last event to secure the win. Even with it being the first meet of the season, the women’s team had a strong showing early, winning by a margin of 434 points.
Both teams were once again able to claim victories at the Mount Allison Invitational, the first meet the Mounties have hosted in 15 years. That meet served as a perfect tune-up before the Tigers hosted the Kemp-Fry Invitational at Dalplex, the first opportunity to set U SPORTS national-qualifying times.
The qualifying times came quickly for the Tigers, with Isabel Sarty, Claire Yurkovich and Christian Payne all punching their ticket to the national championship in the first evening of the competition.
Moving into the second day of competition, the Tigers added more names to the list of those hitting U SPORTS qualifying times. Alec Karlsen, Lise Cinq-Mars and Olivia Feschuk all took home wins in their respective events, while Reagan Crowell was a part of the 400m freestyle relay team with Sarty, Cinq-Mars and Yurkovich that was able to break the previous AUS and Dalhousie records in the event to qualify for the national championship.
In the final and deciding day of competition, Tyler Immel-Herron claimed the win in the 100m backstroke to earn his spot at the U SPORTS Championship, while Karlsen, Feschuk, Yurkovich and Payne were all able to take home wins, and qualify for the championship in multiple events. Isabel Sarty had yet another outstanding performance in the meet, as she set a new AUS record in the 100m freestyle in a time of 55.66 seconds.
In team standings, the women’s side was able to come out on top, taking the win over McGill in a tight battle, but were far ahead of their nearest AUS competitor of Acadia. The win helped boost the Tigers to a U SPORTS ranking of eighth place.
The men’s team wasn’t able to complete the season sweep as McGill claimed the team win, but the Tigers were able to see an improvement in their margin over Acadia from previous meets thanks to their strong performances at home.
The Tigers now set their eyes toward the Subway AUS Swimming Championships this weekend, hosted at Dalplex. The event will not only offer a final chance to qualify for the U SPORTS championship, but will also give the Tigers an opportunity to continue their historic streak of consecutive conference title victories.
The women’s team has been on top of the conference for the last 17 years, and after a dominating performance last season combined with some young talent, they appear to be in good shape to repeat again.
The men’s team has had hard-fought victories in recent years, but have still been able come away with championship wins in an incredible 20 consecutive seasons. In what is sure to be an exciting battle to the end, the Tigers will look to add one more banner to their record starting Friday evening at 6pm.