Head coach Dave Heinbuch hopes team builds off early success. Photo: Amitesh Malhotra.
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New recruits are the driving force behind strong start, high expectations

Both of the University of Ottawa swim teams have reason to be optimistic through the start of the 2016–17 season.

Last year, the women’s and men’s teams finished 13th and 9th, respectively, in the national final standings. However, after a strong start, both teams are picking up steam as they both broke into the U Sport Top 10 last week.

For the women’s swim team, it’s the first time they have cracked the Top 10 in over a year, coming in at the tenth-rank after the recent Ottawa Invitational on Oct. 28. 

Head coach Dave Heinbuch is excited to start the year with both teams ranked so high, with the men’s team debuting at seventh in the nation.

“It definitely feels great to have both of our teams in the Top 10 at this time of the year,” said Heinbuch. “We hope we can build on these rankings going forward.”

A number of young swimmers have shown promise for both clubs, and will be expected to be key contributors this season.

First-year swimmer Terry Wang said the team has really gelled early on, and recognized the veterans for helping his adjustment going into his first year.

Heinbuch said the goal is to secure a second-place spot in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference this year.

The Gees’ next meet of the year is set to take place on Nov. 19 in Québec City, where they will face off against a strong Université de Laval team, whose male and female teams are ranked fourth and sixth, respectively.

“Our goal going into our meet against Laval is to win. That’s our mentality heading into the meet,” said first-year swimmer Samuel McPhail.

On Oct. 28, the Gee-Gees achieved a new team record in the men’s 4×50-metre event at the Ottawa Invitational in Montpetit Hall, lead by a strong performance from first-year member Trae Parsons.

Heinbuch said strong recruiting has been key to the Gee-Gees’ strong start.

“It is nice to get the record. We haven’t had great sprinters in the last couple of years, but we recruited well this year.”

With their young swimmers leading the way, the teams will look to build on an already impressive start.

The Gee-Gees compete next at Université de Laval on Nov. 19 at 11 a.m.