Not just splashin’ around

By Sean Nyilassy

The Dinos swim team was drenched by a perfectly executed University of British Columbia Thunderbirds cannonball at the 2006 Canada West Swimming Championship Jan. 27-29. While the T-Birds dominated like the only able-eared kid in a deaf kids’ game of Marco Polo, the Dinos were certainly second.

The UBC men were a tsunami hitting the third-world. They cleaned up with a 948-point total to the Dinos’ 569.5 points. The Dinos were, however, an easy hundred points ahead of the third-place finishers–the University of Alberta Golden Bears–who had 458.5 points.

Individually, Chad Hankewich earned the Dinos some major credit. He edged out a UBC competitor by 0.04 seconds to win the 100-metre freestyle in 50.11 seconds. He earned a second gold in the 200-metre freestyle and proved an oil-based spread can still fly with a second-place finish in the 50-metre butterfly.

Michael Dreldger, too, was amphibious enough to steal some fire from the T-Birds. He was mere molecules ahead in the 400-metre individual medley, winning by 0.04 seconds. He also won the 1500-metre freestyle and took bronze in the 400-metre freestyle.

Other notable individuals included Kevin Gillespie, who placed third in both the 100- and 50-metre freestyle events, Kyle Sorrenti, who swam to third in the 200-metre IM, and Michael Derban, who was third in the 1500-metre freestyle.

As for the Dino’s relay teams, like the World Trade Centre, some flying objects brought them down. In the case of the Dinos, it was T-Birds, not airplanes. The Dinos placed second to UBC in the 400-metre medley relay and 400- and 800-metre freestyle relays. The Dinos ladies’ relay teams suffered an identical fate.

Our individual ladies too were trounced by the UBC swimmers. Final point tallies put the Dinos behind the T-Birds 864-507, but well ahead of the third-placed University of Victoria Vikes’ 366-point total.

Laura Grant was the ladies’ shining star. She won the 50- and 100-metre freestyle events and took bronze in the 200-metre freestyle.

Kim Hirsch snagged a triplet of medallions as well, with a silver performance in the 50-metre breaststroke and bronzes in each of the 100- and 200-metre breaststroke events.

Hanna Kubas made the right backstroke to claim third in the 50-metre with a time just over 0.7 behind the winner. Katy Murdoch bronzed herself in the 200-metre backstroke.

To the Dinos’ credit, these results were incredible considering their dominant competitors. The T-Birds have had the Canadian swimming scene in their grasp for ages and appear to be tightening their grip. Their point totals in both the men’s and women’s categories were the highest in CW history, and the win margins the largest. Proof that these stats are not just due to lacklustre competitors comes with the new records set at this meet. Swimmers from UBC broke 12 and tied one CW record. Wowie zowie.

The Dinos swimmers dive back into competition Feb. 24-26 for the 2006 Canadian Interuniversity Sport Swimming Championship at Universite Laval. While chances of drowning the T-Birds are slim, the Dinos have a great shot at retaining second place nationally.

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