The Dinos swim team came up short--by a mere 200 points or so--earning only second place on both the men's and women's sides at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Swimming Championship in Edmonton Feb. 25-27. The Dinos' long-time rivals, the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, won the competition on both the men's and women's sides.
Despite the seventh consecutive second place finish to UBC for the men and the fourth consecutive second place finish to the T-Birds for the women, the Dinos walked away with five team gold medals, 473 points on the women's side and 526 points on the men's side.
"We're a little bit disappointed," said women's team captain Juliana Heinz. "But, we did have five gold medals and have five qualifiers for the [Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire] Games. We weren't going in expecting to win--UBC is really strong."
The FISU Summer Games unite top international university athletes and will be held in Izmir, Turkey Aug. 11-21. Dinos qualifiers for the FISU games, and CIS gold medal winners, were fifth-year Dena Durand in the 400m IM, fifth-year Emma Spooner in the 100m breaststroke, second-year Chad Hankewich in the 200m freestyle, fifth-year Richard Cormack in the 400m freestyle and rookie Elizabeth Hendrick in the 50m breaststroke.
"It's pretty awesome to make that event and there are also four other team members that made the event," said FISU qualifier and men's team captain Richard Cormack.
The surprise star of the show was young rookie Liz Hendrick who, at the tender age of 17, won gold in the women's 50m breast with a time of 32.49. Her time was fast enough to earn her a spot at the FISU games.
"I'm overwhelmed," said Hendrick of her berth in the FISU games. "It's finally sunk in now, but Turkey is a long ways away."
Another highlight came on the men's side with a win in the 4X200m freestyle relay, beating out the evil T-Birds with a time of 7:21.85.
Despite the end of the varsity season, there is no rest for the team. The majority of the Dinos swim year-round and are right back to training for the upcoming summer club season.