Men’s swimming wins nationals for second straight season

Blues men’s swimming team wins both OUA and CIS championships, women’s wins OUA championship, and comes fourth in CIS championship
Zack Chetrat won four medals at this year’s championship. PHOTO COURTESY OF VARSITY BLUES
Zack Chetrat won four medals at this year’s championship. PHOTO COURTESY OF VARSITY BLUES

For the second consecutive year, the Varsity Blues men’s swimming team won the Canadian Intercollegiate Sport (CIS) title, this time in their home pool. The women’s team placed fourth in the CIS, and both teams took the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) titles at the beginning of February.

Coach Byron MacDonald stated in an interview with The Varsity at the beginning of the season that he hoped to lead this year’s men’s team to another title, and while recognizing that the women’s team would not be able to compete at the same level nationally as the men, he hoped that they would swim strongly and challenge their opponents. MacDonald was awarded once again with the CIS men’s coach of the year award.

The women’s team swam undefeated until the CIS championship, where they placed fourth. The championship was dominated by the UBC Thunderbirds who won their third-straight CIS title, finishing the tournament with 802.5 points; the runner-up was the University de Montreal Carabins who finished with a score of 405. In the OUAs, the women came out on top of the Western Mustangs 823–692, winning their first title in six years.

Standing out for the women’s team this year was Vanessa Treasure, who captured the title of OUA MVP. Treasure won five gold medals at the OUA championships, including a record-breaking 200m breast stroke performance at 2:28:99.

While the men’s team swam to their second straight CIS title, they did not swim an undefeated season like the women’s team. The men placed first in all of their Canadian meets, but placed second in their stint at the University of Nevada, losing to Nevada by a 92-point differential. The Blues dominated in the CIS championships, however, totalling 690 points, beating the silver medal Thunderbirds who finished with 609.5 points.

The men’s swimming team has won 18 national titles. PHOTO COURTESY OF VARSITY BLUES

Zach Chetrat led the team once again, winning one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in the CIS championship. He also dominated in the OUA championships with three gold medals and one silver in his four competitions, including the 200m fly, of which he broke the 10-year-standing OUA record in his rookie season. He captured his fifth straight OUA all-star and CIS all-Canadian titles.

While the team will see key players leaving the team next year, such as Zack Chetrat, Frank Despond, and Zach Summerhayes, the Blues should not be worried about their team’s future. At the OUAs, rookie swimmers accounted for 40 per cent of the team’s medals. Women’s team swimmer Cino Ling made the top eight finals in all four of her events, while national team member Paige Schultz re-joined the team. On the men’s side, the team added six strong swimmers who will be sure to continue to work to bring a third CIS championship win to U of T in the 2014–2015 season.

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