Dalhousie Tigers capture 2018 AUS men’s and women’s swimming championship titles

Dalhousie Tigers capture 2018 AUS men’s and women’s swimming championship titles

(SAINT JOHN, N.B.) The Dalhousie Tigers dominance in Atlantic University Sport swimming continues for another year.

The Tigers won their 20th consecutive men's championship and their 17th straight women's title at the 2018 Subway AUS Swimming Championships, in Saint John.

The Tigers won eight of Sunday's 12 events, including five events that saw Dal swimmers qualify for the U SPORTS championships.

Dal won the men's title with 957 points. That was 67 better than Acadia. Memorial finished third in the men's standings.

Despite another runner-up finish, Acadia head coach Gary MacDonald was pleased.

"We were 200 points behind Dal back in November, so we did some strategy, we changed the events we swam, and we thought we could get closer. The gang rose up," he said. "We're pretty proud of that."

Dal earned 1043 points to take the women's banner. Acadia was second, while the host UNB Varsity Reds were third.

Dalhousie's Claire Yurkovich (Edmonton, Alta.) won three gold medals Sunday, winning the women's 800m freestyle and 200m backstroke, both in U SPORTS qualifying times. She was also a member of Dal's team that won the 4-by-100m medley relay in U SPORTS qualifying time.

"I have such an amazing, supportive team," said Yurkovich. "It's easy to get your energy back up so quick because everyone is cheering you on and you know, at the end of the day, you have to do it for your team."

Memorial's Jasmine Foran (Bathurst, N.B.) won two gold and a silver, taking top spot in the women's 50m breaststroke and 200m individual medley.

In the medley, Foran edged Mount Allison's Olivia Feschuk (Halifax, NS) by just four one-hundredths of a second.

"When we do the back, we can see our times, and I saw that I was last," said Foran. "I was like, I've got to start sprinting. I knew in the breaststroke I could catch up, then the free, I thought I've got to do whatever I can."

On the men's side, Mount A's Geraint Berger (Bedford, N.S.) edged Acadia's Brett Liem (Bedford, N.S.) by six one-hundredths of a second in the men's 100m freestyle. Memorial's Sam Leawood (Mt. Pearl, N.L.) finished third, making the men's 100m freestyle the only podium not to include a Dal swimmer.

For Berger, it was his first AUS gold medal in his fourth year of competing.

"It was something that I always felt was missing," he said. "Until now, it was all silver and all bronze. To get one here puts the cherry on top."

Liem took gold in the men's 50m breaststroke, in a U SPORTS qualifying time of 28.96, beating UNB's Noah Horwood (Fredericton, N.B.) by four tenths of a second.

"He's the real deal," said MacDonald, of Liem. "He's a very quiet guy, but he races like the wind."

Horwood's silver was his second of the championships.

"I'm happy with how I did and contributed, points-wise, for the team," said Horwood. "I came really close, last year, to medaling, but I finally got them, which is pretty good for me."

Jennifer Moore (Hamilton, Ont.) swam a personal best to give UNB its fourth medal of the weekend. She took bronze in the women's 100m freestyle, her second medal of the meet.

"I think it's the competition," said Moore. "Having these amazing girls beside me and to know that if I keep up with them I can have a shot at U SPORTS, that's what's driving me and pushing me to have my best times."

Dal's Quinn West (Georgetown, Ont.) punched his ticket to the national championship meet, swimming to victory in the men's 1500m freestyle in 15:55.39.

Dal's Isabel Sarty (Halifax, N.S.) was named the top female swimmer of the meet, while Liem was named top male swimmer.

Sarty also earned top female rookie honours, while Acadia's Joshua Nowlan (Ottawa, Ont.) was the top male rookie.

The University of Toronto hosts the U SPORTS Championships, later this month.

Source: Andy Campbell for UNB Athletics

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