Ten Gees have strong finish in CIS championships in Victoria
Photo credit: Marta Kierkus
For the first time ever, both the men’s and women’s Gee-Gees swimming teams placed in the top 10 at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships amidst competition from about two dozen schools across Canada.
The men’s team finished ninth, the best result the team has ever had in national standings. The women’s team finished 10th overall and was third among Ontario universities.
“I was proud of the great racing the Gee-Gees put forth this weekend, and also proud of the five years of racing I have done over my career,” said fifth-year Eryn Weldon. “The men’s and women’s team placed in the top 10 with only six girls and four guys—very proud to be a Gee-Gee.”
The tournament also marked a first for 10 Gees swimmers who faced an extra challenge at the University of Victoria, competing for the first time in a 50-metre pool instead of their regular 25-metre track.
On the first day, Audrey Prayal-Brown broke the Gee-Gees record in the 100-metre breaststroke preliminaries, swimming 1:10.48 to qualify for the final. She shaved almost two seconds off her best time to break the record, which had stood since 1994. Prayal-Brown finished 10th in the finals.
Robert Bonomo won a medal for Ottawa during the second day of competition, as he took bronze in the 50-metre butterfly, finishing six one-hundredths of a second before the fourth-place finisher. This marks Bonomo’s second career CIS bronze medal, his first being in the 200-metre backstroke just last year.
Weldon finished seventh in both the 200-metre butterfly and the 200-metre breaststroke. This was her best finish in the butterfly at nationals during her career. Weldon ended her Gee-Gees career on Feb. 21, finishing sixth in the 200-metre individual medley. The 20-time provincial medalist appeared in four “A” finals this season, her personal best.
“Competing in my final CIS championships was a bittersweet moment for me,” said Weldon. “I was excited going into the meet, and ready to race the best in the country. Overall, I was happy with my performance at nationals this year.”
Finally, first-year Montana Champagne finished sixth in the men’s 200-metre individual medley during the last day of competition. In the morning swim, Champagne broke a Gee-Gees record with a time of 2:02.53.
The hard work from all ten Gee-Gees paid off during the championships, as they excelled and performed well at the national level. The swim team will now enter into their off season training until next October.