Swimmers prepare for provincial competition

Photo by Cristina Rucchetta
Photo by Cristina Rucchetta

Fourth-year Renee Dijk will be patiently waiting to see who will accompany her at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championship in late February.

After Sunday’s preview of the potential, the Wilfrid Laurier swim team will look to have more athletes qualify at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships Feb. 7-9.

“So far we’ve had great potential because we’ve had good rookies that have come in,” said second-year swimmer Kaitlyn Patterson. “So we’ve placed a lot of top eight, which unlike last year, we’ve had a lot more than we had then. So far it’s been a really great season.”

“I think the season’s actually gone pretty well,” added fellow second-year Jade Scognamillo. “I think that we’re a lot more spirited than we have been in the past years and we have a strong rookie team that came in this year so I think everyone’s been training hard and staying motivated.”

Over the weekend, WLU hosted the annual Laurier Invitational tournament at the Athletic Complex pool.

Accompanied by the McMaster Marauders, the Waterloo Warriors, the York Lions, the Laurentian Voyageurs and the Guelph Gryphons, 30 events took place.

With a successful performance, the Hawks had numerous top-eight finishes. In the women’s events, four athletes placed within the top eight in all of their individual events.

Six male athletes also finished within the top eight in their events.

Scognamillo also recorded a personal best in the 100-metre backstroke with a time of 1:11.35. This is her best time in over three years.

Laurier’s relay teams also put on a strong performance Sunday. The men and women’s teams both finished second, sixth and seventh place in their respective events. Patterson says the relay will be a major part of Laurier’s performance at the OUA championship.

“Overall we have some incredible relays for OUAs. We also have rookies that should be placing coming up soon,” Patterson said.

With strong finishes for the Hawks over the weekend and a third place finish earlier in the year, the focus shifts to the provincial competition.

Patterson says she hopes more athletes will join Dijk at the national level later in the month.

“Hopefully we’ll be getting [national] qualifiers out of it,” she said. “We’ve had a couple transfer students that are previous CIS qualifiers, so hopefully they’ll be key runners and we have some rookies coming in that have already qualified with CIS times.”

Scognamillo added that she’s impressed by the motivation in the team this year and that it’s hard to distinguish key players.

“Everyone’s [had] their minds set around swimming for the past few weeks for sure and over training camp, everyone’s been really focused,” Scognamillo said. “I think everyone’s come on a lot to be honest; I think it’s difficult to really pick one person or two people.”

But despite their performances, both Scognamillo and Patterson stressed the support that the Laurier swim team has for each of their members.

“We’re all very close and supportive,” Scognamillo said. “We all keep each other in high spirits, which is really nice.”

“I know the team’s very supporting and last year I suffered from an injury and was out for half the year,” she said. “The team’s always been very supporting.”


Top five finishers at Laurier Invitational

Women 200 metre medley relay
2. WLU: Renee Dijk, Veronica Davis-Freeman, Alana Corrigan, Victoria Rawn

Women 400 metre IM
5. Lily Godawa

Women 200 metre backstoke
1. Renee Dijk
4. Miranda Smelt

Women 50 metre freestyle
4. Victoria Rawn

Women 100 metre breaststroke
2. Veronica Davis-Freeman
4. Jade Scognamillo

Women 50 metre backstroke
1. Alana Corrigan

Women 100 metre freestyle
5. Renee Dijk

Women 200 metre IM
3. Miranda Smelt

Women 50 metre breaststroke
4. Veronica Davis-Freeman

Women 100 metre backstroke
2. Renee Dijk
3. Alana Corrigan
4. Miranda Smelt

Men 200 metre medley relay
2. WLU: Christopher Courtis, Luke Summerhayes, Scott Mcauley, Christopher Caldwell

Men 50 metre freestyle
5. Christopher Caldwell

Men 100 metre breaststroke
1. Graham Smith

Men 50 metre backstroke
1. Scott Mcauley

Men 100 metre freestyle
2. Christopher Courtis

Men 50 metre breastroke
2. Graham Smith
4. Christopher Courtis

Men 200 metre freestyle
5. Scott Mcauley

Men 100 metre backstroke
2. Luke Summerhayes

Men 200 metre breastroke
2. Richard Naylor

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