SWIM: UBC race to front on Day 1 of CW Championships

SWIM: UBC race to front on Day 1 of CW Championships

Calgary Sports Information

CALGARY – The UBC Thunderbirds swam to the top of the leaderboard as Day 1 of the Canada West Swimming Championships wrapped up at the University of Calgary Aquatic Centre Friday. 

In the women’s team race, UBC built a commanding 70-point lead, 222-152, over the host Calgary Dinos, with Alberta (131), Victoria (118), and Manitoba (93) rounding out the top five. The men’s race is tighter, but the Thunderbirds still enjoy a double-digit lead, 211-178 over the Dinos with Victoria (136), Alberta (107), and Lethbridge (102) also breaking the century mark. 

“We were hoping for this position,” said UBC head coach Steve Price. “We always try to put ourselves in an advantageous position after the first day, now we have to keep building on it.” 

The ‘splash-and-dash’ 50-metre sprints highlighted the opening day’s action, with the distance freestyle events and the longest relay on the docket providing a counterbalance. The lone CW record broken came in the men’s 50-metre backstroke, when Markus Thormeyer of UBC breaking the 10-year-old conference mark set by Callum Ng in 2008 (24.64) in the 50-metre backstroke, touching the wall in 24.45 to make one of his three trips to the podium. Thormeyer added a bronze in the 50-metre butterfly and joined his teammates to win gold in the 4x200-metre freestyle relay.

Josiah Binnema of UBC also had a strong performance, capturing two individual medals and swimming under the previous record of 24.64 in the 50m backstroke. Thormeyer and Binnema were neck and neck in the race, but it was Thormeyer who captured the gold with a time of 24.35 and Binnema took silver with 24.53. 

“I didn’t even know what the record was,” said Thormeyer. “He beat me in the 50 fly earlier and I didn’t want to lose to him so I just went for it.” 

In women’s action, Manitoba’s Kelsey Wog was just off the record in the 50-metre breaststroke, but her time of 30.56 fell just two hundredths off her own Canada West record, set in 2016. 

The first medal of the night was captured by UBC’s Megan Dalke in the 800-metre freestyle with a time of 8:37.73 while teammate Emily Overholt took silver and Marit Anderson of Calgary took bronze. The other long race on Day 1, the men’s 1500-metre freestyle, went to Victoria’s Eric Hedlin in a time of 15:28.11. 

“I thought we swam pretty well,” said Calgary coach Mike Blondal, who will look to keep his men’s team within striking distance as the Dinos look to snap UBC’s five-year stranglehold on the CW banner. “The first day with the sprints is not typically our best day, but we had some outstanding swims and we’ll get better as the meet goes on. It’s close, it’s always good competition with us and all the Canada West teams, so I’m pretty excited.” 

The host Dinos captured a total of six medals on the day, winning bronze in the women’s relay and silver in the men’s. In addition to Anderson’s bronze, Peter Brothers captured bronze in the women’s 800 free and the men’s 1500 free, respectively, while Robert Hill finished third in the 50 backstroke. Steven Calkins also earned a silver medal for Calgary in the 50 butterfly. 

The Canada West Swimming Championships continue Saturday, with preliminaries at 10 a.m. MT and finals at 5 p.m. MT. All sessions will be streamed live on CanadaWest.tv.




1. UBC, 222 pts.

2. Calgary, 152

3. Alberta, 131

4. Victoria, 118

5. Manitoba, 93

6. Regina, 59

7. Lethbridge, 52

8. Thompson Rivers, 1



1. UBC, 211 pts

2. Calgary, 178

3. Victoria, 136

4. Alberta, 107

5. Lethbridge, 102

6. Regina, 54

7. Manitoba, 42

8. Thompson Rivers, 4



Women’s 50-metre butterfly

1. Hoi Lam Tam, UBC (27.16)

2. Ingrid Wilm, UBC (27.18)

3. Dora Modrcin, Manitoba (27.52)


Men’s 50-metre butterfly

1. Josiah Binnema, UBC (23.91)

2. Stephen Calkins, Calgary (24.20)

3. Markus Thormeyer, UBC (24.32)


Women’s 50-metre backstroke

1. Danielle Hanus, Victoria (27.42)

2. Dora Modrcin, Manitoba (28.21)

3. Olivia Ellard, UBC (28.96)


Men’s 50-metre backstroke

1. Markus Thormeyer, UBC (24.45) *Canada West Record

2. Josiah Binnema, UBC (24.53)

3. Robert Hill, Calgary (25.46)


Women’s 50-metre breaststroke

1. Kelsey Wog, Manitoba (30.56)

2. Madalyn Smith, Alberta (31.46)

3. Renae Ledoux, Alberta (31.84)


Men’s 50-metre breaststroke

1. Joel Robinson, Lethbridge (28.09)

2. Jaren LeFranc, UBC (28.60)

3. Ruishen Yu, UBC (28.69)


Women’s 800-metre freestyle

1. Megan Dalke, UBC (8:37.73)

2. Emily Overholt, UBC (8:47.54)

3. Marit Anderson, Calgary (8:48.84)


Men’s 1500-metre freestyle

1. Eric Hedlin, Victoria (15:28.11)

2. Hau-Li Fan, UBC (15:29.70)

3. Peter Brothers, Calgary (15:41.94)


Women’s 4x200-metre freestyle relay

1. UBC (8:04.16) – Maia Brundage, Emily Overholt, Hillary Metcalfe, Megan Dalke

2. Victoria (8:18.90) – Danielle Hanus, Lauren Taylor, Allison Ballantyne, Kaitlin Gervais

3. Calgary (8:19.39) – Marit Anderson, Ana Kolaric, Robyn Lee, Allison McCloy


Men’s 4x200-metre freestyle relay

1. UBC (7:18.73) – Alexander Pratt, Josiah Binnema, Markus Thormeyer, Justin Konik

2. Calgary (7:23.44) – Peter Brothers, Stephen Calkins, Teddy Kalp, Paul Latkovic

3. Victoria (7:29.95) – Buzz Mallender, Eric Hedlin, Austin Phillips, Josh Zakala