Championship preview: Swimmers head to Edmonton in search of Canada West crowns

Championship preview: Swimmers head to Edmonton in search of Canada West crowns

Canada West Communications

Highlights:

  • 2016-17 Canada West Swimming Championships slated for this weekend, as the University of Alberta hosts the event at the Kinsmen Sports Centre
  • Alberta is hosting the event for the first time since the 2011-12 season
  • UBC enters the event having won the last three men’s titles and the last seven women’s titles

NEW WESTMINSTER – The 2016-17 Canada West Swimming Championships are set to hit the pool this weekend at the Kinsmen Sports Centre in Edmonton, as the University of Alberta welcomes the conference’s best. 

Yet again this season two teams are expected to vie for the conference title in both men’s and women’s competition – the UBC Thunderbirds and Calgary Dinos. 

The last team to win an outright conference title other than UBC, or Calgary was Alberta, who won both titles during the 1992-93 season. 

The Canada West powers have combined to win the last 23 women’s titles and the last 20 men’s titles outright. With those numbers in mind, both teams are sure to jockey for top spot on the podium, with the T-Birds looking to defend both titles.

UBC enters the event with no shortage of talent to lean on from their 35 swimmers, including Olympians Yuri Kisil, Markus Thormeyer, and Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson. 

The trio all competed for Canada at this past summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and along with fellow T-Bird Emily Overholt – who is injured and won’t compete this weekend – were the only active Canada West athletes to compete at the Games.

Seltenreich-Hodgson is no stranger to Canada West competition, as she was named the conference swimmer of the meet at last year’s championship thanks to her three individual gold medals (200 back, 200 free and 400 IM), two relay golds (4x100 free and 4x200 free) and one silver (200 IM). 

Thormeyer enters the weekend as one of the most highly touted Canada West recruits in years, and comes into the 2016-17 season expected to boost an already strong UBC relay team after he helped Canada to a seventh place finish in the 4x100m freestyle relay in Rio. 

Along with their Olympians, UBC also boasts plenty of other medal contenders, including Keegan Zanatta, who earned individual Canada West men's gold in the 100m, 200m, and 400m free, along with relay gold in the 4x100m free relay, 4x200m free.

In total, eight Canada West schools are sending swimmers to the Alberta capital for the conference championships, with UBC (35 swimmers) and Calgary (36) taking the largest squads to the event. 

The host Bears and Pandas are putting forward 24 swimmers, including triple gold winner Nick Kostiuk, who topped the conference podium in the 50m breastroke, 100m breastroke, 200m breaststroke last season. 

Also bringing large contingents to Edmonton are the Lethbridge Pronghorns (32), and Victoria Vikes (29).

Sending smaller teams are the Regina Cougars (17), Manitoba Bisons (16), and Thompson Rivers WolfPack (5).

The 2016 Canada West Swimming Championships open Friday, November 25th with heats beginning at 4:00 p.m. The event runs until Sunday, November 27th with the finals slated to start at 3:00 p.m. 

A full championship schedule can be found here and live results will be available here.

The championships will be streamed in their entirety on CanadaWest.tv, with event passes available for $7.50 CAD.

 

RECENT CANADA WEST AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

MEN'S CHAMPIONS

SEASON (click for year in review)

CANADA WEST CHAMPION (total CW titles won)

NATIONAL CHAMPION (titles won by CW schools)

2015-16

UBC (16)

Toronto

2014-15

UBC (15)

UBC (14)

2013-14

UBC (14)

Toronto

2012-13

Calgary (19)

Toronto

2011-12

UBC (13)

UBC (13)

2010-11

UBC (12)

Calgary (15)

 

WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS

SEASON (click for year in review)

CANADA WEST CHAMPION (total CW titles won)

NATIONAL CHAMPION (titles won by CW schools)

2015-16

UBC (26)

Toronto

2014-15

UBC (25)

UBC (20)

2013-14

UBC (24)

UBC (19)

2012-13

UBC (23)

UBC (18)

2011-12

UBC (22)

UBC (17)

2010-11

UBC (21)

Calgary (3)

 

TEAM PREVIEWS

UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA GOLDEN BEARS AND PANDAS

2015-16 CW finish: 3rd men's, 3rd women's

2015-16 CIS finish: 4th men's, 10th women's

 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 1995 / 9 (men’s), 1992 / 8 (women’s)

Last national championship / total national championships: 0 (men’s), 1975 / 2 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 24 total (15 men, 9 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men:

Josiah Binnema – 50M Butterfly

Joe Byram – 50M Backstroke

Nick Kostiuk – 50M Breaststroke

Josiah Binnema – 100 Butterfly

Joe Byram – 200M Backstroke

Nick Kostiuk – 100M Breaststroke

Joe Byram – 100M Backstoke

Nick Kostiuk – 200M Breaststroke

Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay Team

 
 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown):

Men:

Skyeler Kerr – Backstroke/Butterfly

Chris Baker - Butterfly

Women:

Madalyn Smith – Breaststroke

Georgia Kidd - Butterfly

 

Key performer:

Nick Kostiuk

4th-year

Edmonton, Alta.

Despite missing last year’s CIS National Championship training for the Olympics, fourth-year swimmer Nick Kostiuk remains Alberta’s best shot to not only medal at the conference championships in Edmonton, but also potentially break multiple school and conference records. The local product has accumulated six Canada West gold medals, and six CIS medals over the past three seasons, and currently holds the school records for the 50, 100, and 200m breaststroke. Kostiuk, along with Josian Binnema and Connor Bayne give the No. 4-ranked Golden Bears a legitimate shot and ending their 20 year conference title drought this year.

 

UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA THUNDERBIRDS

2015-16 CW finish: 1st (men’s), 1st (women’s)

2015-16 CIS finish: 2nd (men’s), 2nd (women’s)

 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2015 / 16 (men’s), 2015 / 26 (women’s)

Last national championship / total national championships: 2015 / 14 (men’s), 2015 / 21 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 35 total (18 men, 17 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men:

Keegan Zanatta – 100, 200, 400 free, 4x100 free relay, 4x200 free relay

Jon Brown – 200 IM

Carson Olafson – 4x100 free relay, 4x200 free relay

Kevin Nelson – 4x200 free relay

Women:

Jacomie Strydom – 100 fly, 200 fly, 4x100 medley relay

Erin Stamp – 50 breast, 100 breast, 200 IM, 4x100 free relay, 4x100 medley relay

Maia Brundage – 400 free, 800 free, 4x100 free relay, 4x200 free relay

Mckenzie Summer – 4x100 medley relay

Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson – 200 free, 200 back, 400 IM, 4x100 free relay, 4x200 free relay

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown):

Men:

Markus Thormeyer / backstroke, freestyle / 1 / Delta, B.C.

* Back after a year’s absence:

Yuri Kisil / freestyle / 2 / Calgary, Alta.

Coleman Allen / butterfly, freestyle / 5 / Spokane, Wash.

Luke Reilly / individual medley / 3 / Richmond, B.C.

Luke Peddie / freestyle / 4 / Edmonton, Alta.

Stefan Milosevic / freestyle / 3 / Burnaby, B.C.

Women:

Name – event

Emily Overholt / individual medley, freestyle / 1 / West Vancouver, B.C.

Ingrid Wilm / backstroke, freestyle / 1 / Calgary, Alta.

 

Key performer:

Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson

4th-year

Ottawa, Ont.

Seltenreich-Hodgson is a decorated swimmer, coming off her first appearance for Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was the U Sports (formerly CIS) Swimming Women's Athlete and Rookie of the Year for the 2013-14 season. Seltenreich-Hodgson was the Swimmer of the Meet at the Canada West championship last year. She is versatile athlete across a number of events including the individual medley, freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.

 

Key performer:

Markus Thormeyer

1st-year

Delta, B.C. 

Thormeyer is one of the most talented male recruits to enter U Sports swimming, since world record-setting athlete Brian Johns. Thormeyer earned a seventh-place finish in the 4x100-metre freestyle relay with Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics. He also won silver with the same 4x100 free relay squad at the Pan American Games in 2015, while also making the final of the 100 back event. In addition to the individual races, Thormeyer will play a big role in UBC’s relays.

UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY DINOS 

2015-16 CW finish: 2nd (men’s), 2nd (women’s)

2015-16 CIS finish: 3rd (men’s), 3rd (women’s)

 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2013 / 20 (men’s), 2009 / 8 (women’s)

Last national championship / total national championships: 2011 / 15 (men’s), 2011 / 3 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 36 total (18 men, 18 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men:

Christian Ng (200 Butterfly)

Tristan Cote (400 IM, 1500 Free)

 

Women:

Leah Smal (100 Backstroke)

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown):

Men:

Peter Brothers – 1500 free, 200 backstroke, 200 free, 100 free, 100 back, 400 free

Women:

Danica Ludlow – 800 free, 50 free, 200 back, 200 free, 100 free, 400 free

 

Key performer:

Josh Dow

3rd-year

Fort McMurray, AB

Josh Dow returns to the Dinos for this third season. At last year’s U Sports Championships, Dow set a new record in the 50m backstroke with a time of 25.98. 

 

UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS

2015-16 CW finish: 5th (men’s), 5th (women’s)

2015-16 CIS finish: 15th (men’s), 19th (women’s)

 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 0 (men’s), 0 (women’s)

Last national championship / total national championships: 0 (men’s), 0 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 32 total (15 men, 17 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men: 0 

Women: 0

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown):

Men:

Adam Stromberg / 50 & 100 Freestyle / 1 / Fort Frances, Ont.

Women:

Tricia Fair / 50 & 100 Freestyle / 1 / Salmon Arm, BC

 

Key performer:

Scott Hunter

5th-year

Hanna, Alta.

 

Joel Robinson

3rd-year

Regina, Sask.

Two returning Canada West medalist will lead and anchor the Pronghorn swim team in 2016. Scott Hunter (silver medal in 50 fly) and Joel Robinson (bronze in 50 breast) are the key for setting the table for individual results for the entire team and are the core of the men’s relays.

 

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA BISONS

2015-16 CW finish: 7th (men’s), 7th (women’s)

2015-16 CIS finish: 16th (men’s), 20th (women’s)

 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 0 (men’s), 0 (women’s)

Last national championship / total national championships: 0 (men’s), 0 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 16 total (8 men, 8 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men: 0

Women: 0

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown):

Men:

Alex Shogolev / freestyle / 2 / Winnipeg, MB 

Women:

Kelsey Wog / breaststroke, freestyle, IM / 1 / Winnipeg, MB

 

Key performer:

Kelsey Wog

1st-year

Winnipeg, Man. 

After a very successful summer of strong performances, Bison rookie women’s swimmer Kelsey Wog has continued to impress during her first couple of meets at the university level, as she is ranked first in numerous events heading into the championship. 

In the first competition against Canada West conference competition in the 2016-17 season, the Bison swimming team competed at the Odlum Brown College Cup - Pacific at UBC in Vancouver on the Nov. 5-6 weekend. Wog had five victories and set three meet records over the two-day meet. Wog was first in the women’s 50m freestyle (26.06), first in 100m freestyle (55.34 – meet record), first in 50m breaststroke (31.33 – meet record), first in 100m breaststroke (1:07.29 – meet record), and first in 200m breaststroke (2:22.54).

She is poised to compete for individual titles in all four events that she will swim in at the 2016-17 conference swim championship.

The Winnipeg native was also named to the national team for the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Windsor, Ontario from Dec. 6-11, 2016.

Wog, 18, is a rising star in only her first season at Manitoba.

 
 

Alex Shogolev

2nd-year

Winnipeg, Man.  

Bison second-year men’s swimmer Alex Shogolev returns to Manitoba after swimming at U of Calgary last season. The Winnipeg native has already shown his impressive talent as he had Top 5 finishes in freestyle events at the Odlum Brown College Cup - Pacific at UBC in Vancouver (Nov. 5-6). 

Shogolev, 18, will have potential to medal in a deep field in the individual events and will be part of several relay teams.

 

UNIVERSITY OF REGINA COUGARS

2015-16 CW finish: 6th (men’s), 6th (women’s)

2015-16 CIS finish: 17th (men’s), 14th (women’s)

 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 0 (men’s), 0 (women’s)

Last national championship / total national championships: 0 (men’s), 0 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 17 total (10 men, 7 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men: 0

Women: 0

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown):

Men:

Jacob Korpan / backstroke / 1st / Regina, Sask.

Jong Hoon Lee / freestyle / 1st / Toronto, Ont.

Brian Palaschuk / multiple / 1st / Regina, Sask.

Women:

Kendall Horan / multiple / 1st / Prince Albert, Sask.

Georgia Kaluznick / butterfly / 1st / Calgary, Alta.

 

Key performer:

Noah Choboter

3rd-year                   

Regina, Sask.

Noah Choboter burst onto the national scene last year, winning gold medals in both the 100-metre and 200-metre backstrokes at the CIS Championships and being named the University of Regina’s Male Athlete of the Year. He’s already hit national standards in both of those events this season, and looks to lead the Cougars to new heights at this weekend’s Canada West meet. The supporting cast around Choboter has improved depth with the Cougars ranked just outside of the U Sports Top Ten. Choboter is the U of R’s record holder in all three backstroke events.

 

Key performer:

Georgia Kaluznick

1st-year

Calgary, Alta.

Though she’s only a rookie, Georgia Kaluznick introduced herself to the rest of Canada West at the Colleges Cup earlier this month at UBC. She had a pair of strong third-place finishes in the butterfly, and hit the national standard in both the 100 fly and the 200 fly. She also wasted little time etching her name into the U of R’s record book, breaking the school mark in the 200 fly. The additions of Kaluznick and Kendall Horan to the Cougars along with returners Mikayla Amundsen, Lexy King, and Eva Madar have the women’s team – like the men’s team – just outside of the top ten in Canada.

 

THOMPSON RIVERS UNIVERSITY WOLFPACK

2015-16 CW finish: 8th (men’s), 8th (women’s) 

2015-16 CIS finish: N/A (men’s), N/A (women’s)

 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 0 (men’s), 0 (women’s)

Last national championship / total national championships: 0 (men’s), 0 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 5 total (1 man, 4 women)  

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men: 0

Women: 0

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown):

Women:

Breena Rusnell / 200 IM , 50 fly, 50 free and 100 Free / 1 / Fort McMurray, Alta.

 

Key performer:

Breena Rusnell

1st-year

Fort McMurray, Alta.

She returned to pool for the first time in two years and in her first meet set Canada West standard times after starting the season as a member of the TRU cross country team.

 

Jagdeesh Uppal

5th-year

Kamloops, BC: 

Swimming in 100 and 200 meter breaststroke, 50 fly, 50  and 100 m free.

Uppal won the Canada West Student-Athlete Community Service Award last season.  He has improved his times in the pool.  Uppal was the TRU Male Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2015-16.  He spent this summer doing research India and was recently a finalist for Rhodes Scholar for BC. 

NOTE: This is the largest team TRU has ever sent to CW swim championships. They will also compete for the first time in a women’s relay event:  Rusnell, Joelle Young (Fort McMurray, AB), Taylor Carmichael (Merritt, BC) and Gabrielle Dagasso (Kamloops, BC).

 

UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA VIKES

2015-16 CW finish: 4th (men’s), 3th (women’s)

2015-16 CIS finish: 8th (men’s), 11th (women’s)

 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 0 (men’s), 1980 / 1 (women’s)

Last national championship / total national championships: 0 (men’s), 0 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 29 total (18 men, 11 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men: 0

Women: 0

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown): 

Men:

Eric Hedlin / 400m freestyle / 2 / San Diego, CA

Josh Zakala / 50m backstroke / 1 / Kelowna, BC

Women:

Danielle Hanus / 200m freestyle / 1 / Newmarket, Ont.

 

Key performer:

Jon McKay

Third year

Victoria, BC 

Jon McKay was a standout for the Vikes last year, capping off the season with a gold medal in the 1,500-metre freestyle. It was his third medal in a row in the event at the CIS championship, as he picked up silver in 2014 and bronze in 2015. With a strong CIS season in the bag, McKay went on to the Canadian Olympic Swim Trials in Toronto, where he placed fifth in his marquee event.