Men finish fourth as women take fifth in team standings
Photo: Marta Keirkus
The Gee-Gee swimming teams had an exceptional weekend Feb. 5–7 at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships, where the men finished fourth and the women in fifth.
The University of Ottawa hosted the championships at Montpetit, which brought out many supporters, alumni, and fans to cheer on the teams. The pool was packed and loud during all three days of competition.
“I think it really meant a lot to them, we had a lot of our alumni here tonight, and I think it gives that feeling of belonging,” said head coach Dave Heinbuch. “And, obviously in your own pool you have that home pool advantage. It was a lot of fun.”
Eryn Weldon was the star female for the Gee-Gees as she topped the podium in the 400-metre individual medley during the final day of competition. She took a quick lead in the breaststroke segment of the race againt Vanessa Treasure from the University of Toronto, which secured her gold medal.
Weldon had strong competition, but defeated them with a final time of 4:46.18. It was Weldon’s second OUA gold but first in the 400-metre race.
“This is something she’s worked for,” said Heinbuch. “She won the 200 IM two years ago, and she really wanted to win the 400 IM, so this caps off her OUA career for sure.”
“It was a great feeling of accomplishment,” said Weldon. “Vanessa and I have been racing side by side in these events for the past five years, and I have usually taken the second place position.” “Going into this swim meet at our home pool with the support of my team, I was able to push myself to get my hand on the wall first,” she added.
Weldon finished off the tournament with a silver medal in the 200-metre breaststroke and a bronze in the 4×200-metre freestyle medley relay.
Audrey Prayal-Brown also made an impressive finish as she broke the Gee-Gee’s record of 33.34 seconds from 1994 to win gold in the 50-metre breaststroke, with a winning time of 32.62. Carolyne Godon also joined her on the podium with bronze.
The men’s star was Robert Bonomo, who not only won silver in the 100-metre butterfly and bronze in the 4×100-metre medley relay, but three gold medals in total throughout the weekend in the 100-metre backstroke, 200-metre backstroke, and the 50-metre fly.
“I think the highlight for us was that we won 17 medals, and that’s three or four more than last year,” said Heinbuch. “That just shows we’re going in the right direction.”