The first meet of the season was a roaring success for the University of Calgary Dinos swim team when they went head-to-head with the University of Alberta Golden Bears last Friday.
With Dinos swimmers placing first and second in 19 out of 26 races in the competition, there was no question who was the stronger team coming out of the battle of Alberta.
"We feasted on those Bears," said Dinos assistant coach Kevin Anderson, still beaming from the team's first win of the season, "We devoured them. No question."
Without resting, in what has been an intense fall training program, the Dinos qualified 12 women and five men for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships, proving their claim that this is the strongest team they've ever had. Anderson said this has a lot to do with their new crop of rookies.
"Our coaching staff is very happy with our new recruits this year," he said. "They have brought lots of depth to the team, and did a great job of standing up to race hard at their first varsity competition."
Two rookie standouts were Jason Block, who won the men's 200-metre individual medley, and Julianne Brown, who placed second to teammate Breanna Hendriks, in both the 400-metre and 800-metre freestyle.
"Jason demonstrated an incredible attitude and ability to lead throughout the meet, despite back-to-back races," said Anderson. "Julianne also had a great attitude and swam some really solid, really smart races."
The Dinos will have their first opportunity of the season to race their key rivals, the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, when they come to Cowtown on Nov. 7 for a meet with the University of Manitoba Bisons and the Bears.
The Dinos are aiming for an overall team victory over the Thunderbirds at the CIS championships this February and this will be the first test to see if they will be capable of turning their dreams into reality. With their recent domination over the Bears, the Dinos have definitely given the Thunderbirds reason to be shaking in their Speedos next weekend.
"UBC will be tough to beat," admitted Anderson. "But we've built a very strong team, and we've set ourselves up with a great opportunity to do so."