author: nathan mccarville| sports writer
Cougars are heading to BC to face off against Canada West’s best
The Cougars swim team is gearing up to compete in the Canada West Swimming Championship on November 24-26. The championship is set to be held in Victoria, BC, where the University of Regina swim team is set to compete against the UBC Thunderbirds, as the school prepares to defend their 5th men’s title in a row, and their 9th consecutive women’s banner. The Cougars also swim against the University of Alberta Golden Bears, University of Calgary Dinos, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, the University of Manitoba Bisons, the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack, as well as the University of Victoria Vikes, each of which known as a rival to at least one of the Cougars’ teams in one way or another. The three-day tournament will host every style of swimming race at the University of Victoria where the Vikes are preparing to host the championship.
Previously this season, the University of Regina swim team has competed in the Odlum Brown Colleges Cup, hosted in Vancouver by the Thunderbirds. The Cougars were able to finish 4th in the men’s standings with 448 points, and 6th in the women’s standings with 402 points, with the host Thunderbirds won the Cup, gaining first place in both men’s and women’s standings overall for the championship.
In this tournament, first-year Bree Crookshanks placed third overall in the 200-metre breaststroke, beating a previous school record for the U of R in the process (2:35.27). Fellow first-year Etienne Paquin-Foisy took third place in the 200-metre butterfly event. The Cougars team also placed third in two relay events, the 200-metre medley relay as well as the 400-metre freestyle relay. The women’s relay team was also able to place second in the 200-metre medley relay.
In all, six of the University of Regina athletes participating in the swim meet met U SPORTS standards, including Crookshanks, Paquin-Foisy, Lexy King, Georgia Kaluznick, Eva Madar, and Noah Chaboter, as well as one athlete who met the National Standard in the 400-metre freestyle, Jong Hoon Lee. These standards are important for the athletes to meet as it is crucial to each athlete’s eligibility to compete in their own event in the U SPORTS championships held after the qualification period (‘the regular season’) has ended. If an athlete is able to meet the standards set out by the U SPORTS swimming governing body, or the national swimming governing body for Canada, they are eligible for participation.
After the coming Canada West Championship at the end of November, the next event that the Cougars will compete in is the Arena Swim Pro Series set to be held in Austin, Texas on January 12, 2018. The swim season encompasses only six events such as the previous meets, championships, and cups mentioned, with roughly one occurring per month, including the U SPORTS championship held in Toronto on February 22, 2018. The involvement of the University of Regina Cougars swim team in the last event mentioned is still to be determined over the coming months as the timing and performances of the Cougars is judged against the U SPORTS standards set out.