Photo: Parker Townes.
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After big performances at home, Gees ready for more

The new year has only just begun, but the University of Ottawa swim team is already making a splash. With big wins at a University of Toronto invitational earlier in January, and an outstanding performance against Carleton University on Jan. 26 to finish off their regular season, the Gee-Gees are looking strong going into the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) finals from Feb. 8-10 at Western University.

By all accounts, things have been going swimmingly for the aquatic squad so far.

It started with a strong showing at the Winter Invitational at the U of T on from Jan. 21-22, where the team cashed in on a whopping 26 podium finishes competing against teams from the U of T, McMaster, Western, Waterloo, Laurentian, Guelph, Queen’s, Laurier, Brock, and York.

It was a team performance, with 13 Gee-Gees swimmers nabbing top three finishes. The Men’s team, which is ranked seventh in the OUA, saw a strong performance from Montana Champagne, who came first in the 100 metre breaststroke, where he edged out the previous year’s champion, and the 100 metre butterfly, where he won by narrowly edging out his teammate Davide Casarine. Casarine put on a good show as well, edging out Champagne to take the 200 metre backstroke.

For the Women’s team, Delphine Vandal, who was an OUA bronze medallist last year, took home the win in the 200 metre freestyle, and took second place in the 800 metre freestyle and 400 metre freestyle, losing only by fractions of a second.

Back home in the Montpetit pool, the Gees proved it was no stroke of luck that they performed so well in Toronto.

Facing off against the Carleton Ravens on Jan. 26, the women completed the sweep, winning all 14 of their races, while the men came within one race of the same outcome, winning 11 out of 12 races. Both teams had races where it was only Gees on the podium.

Delphine was again among the top finishers, winning the 100 metre freestyle, Champagne won the 100 metre freestyle and 50 metre freestyle, and Casarine won the 200 metre breaststroke.

Other top finishers were Alina Juuti, who came first in the 200 metre freestyle and 200 metre breaststroke, Miles Ruttan, who came first in the 100 metre backstroke, and Erin Power, who won the 100 metre backstroke.

The team will be buoyed by their success, but it will be sink or swim for the Gee-Gees at OUA finals in February.