Norval caps off a tremendous rookie year with an impressive U-Sports showing

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If they haven’t already, Laurier athletics fans should soon get to know Connor Norval as a household name.The first year student at Wilfrid Laurier University capped off an extremely impressive rookie season in late February by being the only male swimmer to represent Laurier at the U-Sports Championships in Toronto.

At this competition, which featured the top collegiate swimmers in Canada, Norval posted personal best times in all four events that he competed in. These personal best performances were good enough to give Norval two top-30 finishes: in the 200m Butterfly and the 1500m Freestyle.

Norval additionally competed in the 100m Butterfly and the 200m Freestyle, where he finished 43rd and 38th respectively. Earlier in 2018, at the OUA Championships at Western University, Norval finished 11th in the 1500m freestyle and 14th in the 200m butterfly.

These two top-16 finishes placed Norval amongst the elite male swimmers in Ontario and allowed him to qualify for the U-Sports Championships.

When asked about his late season success, Norval stated that he “changed up [his] technique with about a month left in the season,” which really allowed him to push himself to another level.

These technique changes additionally reaped their benefits during the 4x200m Freestyle Relay final at the OUA Championships, where Norval swam alongside teammates Tyson MacDonald, Ethan Locis and Matt Kotasinski to an eighth place finish.

“Just being on the team this year was a highlight,” Norval, who picked up two impressive first place finishes during his rookie season, said.

These gold medal finishes both came in the 200m Butterfly: one in October at the Brock University Invitational and the other in late January at the Laurier Invitational.

Norval also picked up two second place finishes and one third place finish, capping off  his rookie season with five podium placements. When asked about personal goals for next season, Norval said that “a big [goal] would be to make the ‘A’ finals at OUA’s and just make finals in general at U-Sports.”

In order to achieve these goals, Norval stated that he needs to “incorporate more drylands and gym workouts into the training regime” throughout next season.

With changes like these along with the experience of having one swim season under his belt, it will be very exciting to see how Norval can progress next season.

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