Coming out of last weekend's Canada West Championship meet in Edmonton, the Dinos Varsity swim team now has a record number of Canadian Interuniversity Sport qualifiers.
As it stands, the Dinos now have 17 women and 19 men qualified for the national championships at the end of February in Vancouver. This is a great spot for the team to be in. The downside? Only 18 swimmers from each division-male and female-are allowed to attend the meet.
"Those are the rules," said Head Coach Mike Blondall. "It's like having five men on the ice in hockey, you just do it."
The final team will be selected by the coaching staff based on the number of swims each individual has qualified for as well as their ability to score points.
The Canada West meet was an important one for the Dinos as it was the first time this season that they have competed head-to-head with their rivals, the University of British Columbia. With only three meets left in the season this meet gave the swimmers the opportunity to improve their individual rankings for the season. Kristy Cameron led the way for the Dinos by taking home three gold medals in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and the 200m IM, plus a silver medal in the 200m freestyle.
As the season comes to an end Blondall is confident going into the annual CIS championships.
"We're going to swim well and it will be a close competition with UBC," said the 2000/01 CIS Coach of the Year. "It will basically come down to every swimmer's ability to score points."
The Dinos will push on with their training schedule despite many of their top athletes having been hampered by illnesses since their Christmas training camp in Los Angeles.
Their next meet is the Alberta Senior Championship in Calgary Feb. 9--10 at Lindsey Park Sports Centre.