Champagne, Casarin lead men, Vandal leads women

The nationally seventh-ranked Gee-Gees Men’s Swimming team has been putting up strong performances all season, always staying in the U Sports top 10. Ranked second in their conference, they were poised to pick up some medals.

The Gees lived up to their expectations early on, winning a gold medal on the first day of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) finals in London, Ontario. The early hero was Davide Casarin, an international student from Mirano, Italy, who took home gold in the men’s 200 metre freestyle race with a time of 1:47.25. While it wasn’t his best time, it was enough for first place. Not content with just one medal, Casarin would go on to win a bronze medal as part of the men’s 400 metre medley relay team, alongside Montana Champagne, Miles Ruttan, and James Cormier.

But it was on day two of the finals that the team really exploded, winning a total of eight medals. Early Friday evening, Delphine Vandal won a silver medal in the women’s 400 metre freestyle, while fellow Gee-Gee Mackenzie Finkbeiner took the bronze. The pair would set the tone for the evening.

But they weren’t finished, taking bronze in the women’s 200 metre freestyle relay team event with teammates Alina Yli-Juuti and Morgan McCartney to rack up the Gees’ medal count.

The day would also see a strong performance from Casarin, who started off by winning gold in the men’s 400 metre freestyle.

Not to be outdone, Champagne would win a gold of his own in the men’s 200 metre butterfly, edging out Casarin, who took silver.

Overall, it was a great day for many Gee-Gees. Ruttan would win bronze in the men’s 100 metre backstroke, and Marco Tanasijevic, along with Champagne, Casarin, and Ruttan, would take silver in the men’s 200 metre freestyle relay.

Day two also saw many Gees put on strong performances and top 10 finishes. James Cormier took fifth in men’s 400 metre freestyle, Samantha Mallow took eighth in the women’s 200 metre breaststroke, with Lauren Shearer coming in ninth.

Dawson Konrad came fifth in the men’s 200 metre breaststroke, with Ethan Rice coming in sixth and Isaac Jacob in ninth. Claudie Richard came eighth in the women’s 200 metre butterfly.

In addition to their strong performances in the OUA finals, many Gee-Gees qualified to compete at the national U Sports championships.

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