Jasmine Raines continues her great season at the OUA championships

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Contributed Image (Jasmine Raines centre)

Following a series of enormously competitive races, as well as some adequate results across the board, Golden Hawk Jasmine Raines made a number of impressive splashes at this weekend’s OUA Swimming Championships, held at Western University.

The event, as has been the case for the past 15 years for men and five years for women, was dominated by University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues.

But the Golden Hawks put up a consistent, decent effort over the weekend taking eighth place overall for women’s and ninth place for men’s with 157 and 139 points respectively.

The meet began with a pace-setting slow start on Thursday, although there were some highlights: Raines beat her own record in the 100m breaststroke — although that was only good enough for a second place finish, falling to McMaster’s Olivvya Chow.

Laurier’s men’s team was present, but their success was less pronounced: only Max Hughes competed in any Thursday final, finishing 13th in the 400m individual medley.

Still, the 4x100m medley relay team of Ethan Locis, Kenney Tam, Nicholas Misner and Jacob Eby was able to finish in sixth, setting a new school record with a time of 3:53:83.

“The people that we did have … we did an outstanding job,” coach Hans Witolla said.

Just keep doing what I’m doing. I would say also … but winning the 200-meter breast all four years I’m here would be pretty cool.

“We had five — six actually — team records were set at the meet, which was pretty good.”

Despite overall average scores, Witolla reflected on the significance of individual performances: thanks to leadership from within the team, communicating realistic goals to motivate everyone for the event, 41 personal best times were set at the meet.

Capitalizing on her success last year where, as a rookie, Raines won two gold medals and also set an OUA record in the 200-meter breaststroke, she continued an exciting streak by beating her own record in that race by 0.13 seconds with a final time of 27.50 seconds.

Fortunately, this was more than enough to take the gold medal for that event. Raines, the Golden Hawks’ highest charting swimmer this year, feels good about the successes that Laurier had.

“We did very, very well,” she said, outlining successes both on her part and on that of her teammates, which at least trended toward individual improvements for our athletes, if not significant victories across the board.

For Raines, her own success, especially in her win, was something she was excited about. She sees positive results to her efforts, and this is something she hopes to continue, as outlined by her simple future plans:

“Just keep doing what I’m doing,” Raines said. “I would say also, I mean, we’ll see where the next year takes us and stuff, but winning the 200-meter breast all four years I’m here would be pretty cool.”

Feb. 22-24 will hold the next event for the swimmers: Raines, along with Connor Norval, will participate in the national U Sports Championships, which will be held at University of Toronto’s Varsity Pool.

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