The Canada West swimming championships in Victoria, B.C. Jan. 23-25, ended with a small defeat for the Dinos swim team. They lost this battle to, yes, the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, falling 80 points short of their arch rivals. The battle was minor, but not without many great individual Dino performances.
Chad Murray scooped up four gold medals, Richard Cormack finished first in the 400m and 1500m freestyle, Erin Gammel and Kristy Cameron set meet records in the 100m backstroke and 200m breaststroke, respectively, and the Dinos won six all-star awards out of a possible of 12--not bad.
"On the individual level, they swam very well," noted Head Coach Mike Blondal. "We're in heavy training, so you wouldn't expect it."
"Everyone swam faster than last year," added men's team captain Cameron Hyder.
The Dinos were victorious over the Thunderbirds at last year's Canada West Championships in Calgary.
This year, the Dinos may have produced many personal bests, even a victory in the 4x200m men's freestyle relay--usually surrendered to the T-Birds--but the final tally was not in their favour. Battles are often won by sheer strength of numbers.
"They had more swimmers, and more points in the B finals," explained Hyder of the T-Bird victory.
Besides, the Dinos didn't rest up for the Canada West finals, as they are more focused on bigger competitions.
With the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships only five weeks away, the Dinos' morale is high, despite being disadvantaged by small numbers.
"We're after bigger fish this year," smiled Blondal.