Third place team result at home

The Wilfrid Laurier University swim team brought home some serious hardware this past weekend.

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros
Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

The Wilfrid Laurier University swim team brought home some serious hardware this past weekend.

They won 24 medals at the 2014 Ontario University Athletics Tihanyi Divisionals meet at home and finish third with a combined team score of 1131.

They fell behind the Laurentian Voyageurs in first with 1837 points and the Waterloo Warriors with 1680 points at the seven-team meet.

The team was led by strong performances from second-years Kate Vanderbeek and Dean Bennett.

Vanderbeek led the women’s team, winning gold in all three backstroke events and receiving medals in two relay events and the 100-metre freestyle. Her performance in the 50-metre backstroke, where she won in 29.18 seconds, qualified her for her third race at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships in March.

“I’m pretty happy with today,” she said. “To get my best time in my 50 [metre backstroke] this early in the season is great.”

Third-year Miranda Smelt and first-year Kristen Thompson also had strong showing for with Smelt winning four medals including three silver and one bronze and Thomson winning three medals, all bronze.

Dean Bennett won two gold and three silver medals. He won gold in both the 50-metre and 100-metre and silver in the 100-metre butterfly and the 50-metre free.

He rounded out his weekend winning silver in the 200-metre medley relay.

First-year Andrew Beaton-Williamson and fourth-year Scott McAuley had excellent performances for Laurier. Beaton-Williamson won gold in both the 50-metre and 100-metre events and won silver medal in the medley relay alongside Bennett and McAuley. McAuley won five medals over the weekend, winning an additional three silver medals and a bronze.

Laurier’s men dominated in the 100-metre butterfly with Beaton-Williamson,

Bennett and Nicholas Misner winning gold, silver and bronze respectively for the Hawks.

In his first season coaching the team, Mike Thompson was pleased with the team’s performance but feel they have some a way to go before CIS championships in February.

“I think we did very well. Everyone on the team achieved at least two personal best times ever in the history of what they have done … I think we have made from great steps and I think the culture of the team is changing very positively,” he said.

Changing the culture is something Thompson wanted to bring to the program, and in what can sometimes be a very individual sport, he believes on focusing on the team aspect.

Really what we have to base it on right now is whether or not these guys are going to be a good team or are going to be a bunch of individuals that just happen to swim on the same team,” he said.

According to Vanderbeek, with Thompson at the helm, the culture shift is definitely apparent.

“I am so excited to have him. Last year it was kind of a little more laid back. Mike really is going a good job like getting like getting on people … he is really trying to get everyone going,” she said.

“I am super excited for the year coming with him here.”

The Golden Hawks wrap up their fall semester competition schedule on Saturday when they head to Brock for the Brock Badgers Invitational.


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