U Sports Championships

Ray Betuzzi

The Dinos competed at the U Sports Championships recently in Victoria. It was a great weekend filled with fast swimming! Below is a recap of the weekend day by day written by our very own Lauren Teghtsoonian

Day 1 – The Dinos men are sitting in second and the women hold third after a four-medal performance on night one of the 2020 U SPORTS swimming championships at Saanich Commonwealth Place. 

With the meet format a combination of short course (25 m) preliminary heats and long course (50 m) finals, it makes for interesting and exciting competition throughout the weekend.

In the first event of the evening, Danica Ludlow captured the silver medal in the 200 m freestyle, clocking in at 2:00.02. Marit Anderson touched first to win the B final, while University of Akron transfer Avery Movold rounded out the B final in 16th place. Anderson clocked a new personal best time in the morning, nearly breaking the 2-minute barrier in the preliminaries.

Peter Brothers was the Dinos top performer in the men’s 200 m freestyle after holding onto his seventh place position from the morning. Teddy Kalp and Paul Mckenzie represented the Dinos from the B final, taking 13th and 15th respectively, while Emil Goin and Paul Latkovic raced to 23rd and 24th in the C final. Both Pauls set new personal records in the short course event in the morning, with McKenzie breaking the one-minute 50-second barrier for the first time in 1:49.61.

Egyptian-born Samiha Mohsen set a new Egyptian national record in the women’s 50 m backstroke (29.26), finishing just shy of the podium in fourth position. After advancing to the B final, Winnipeg native Erin Fones touched for 14th, while rookie Nadine Daoud finished 23rd overall. 

Robert Hill from North Vancouver grabbed the Dinos their second silver medal of the evening in the men’s 50 m backstroke, touching in 26.10. Hill’s teammate Anders Klein joined him in the A final, racing to fifth. Three Dinos men raced in the B final, fifth-year Jarod Tsang, Daniel Gerlach and rookie Sebastian Castillo swam to 12th, 14th and 16th respectively.

After setting a personal best time in the morning swim, rookie Madison Macor placed 13th overall in the women’s 100 m breaststroke B final, while Ana Kolaric rounded out the C final in 24th position.

The only Dino in the men’s 100 m breaststroke was fifth-year Benjamin Blackmon who was out like a rocket, touching first at the 50 m wall. After fading slightly in the second 50, he managed to hold on within the last 25 m to grab the bronze medal for the Dinos in a new personal best time, 1:03.50. 

Rookie Laura Albers won the 100 m butterfly B final for the women, finishing 9th overall in 1:01.81. Albers was joined by Helena Neise in the B final, who finished 15th, while Demetra Sicoli raced to 19th for the Dinos. All there Dinos women clocked new personal best times in the morning to help advance them to the finals.

Hill raced again for the Dinos in the 100 m butterfly, finishing just shy of the podium in fourth with a 55.70. Other Dinos in the 100 m event were Emil Goin and Alexandre Crook who raced to 15th and 24th, respectively.

In the women’s 400 m individual medley, Allison McCloy clocked a new personal best time, 4:51.57, and successfully defended her bronze medal from the 2019 U SPORTS championships. Emma Mitchell joined McCloy in the A final, finishing 8th. Fifth-year Lauren Teghtsoonian won the B final for the Dinos, while birthday girl Mackenzie Wallich moved up into 12th position. Rookie pair Macor and Daoud finished in 16th and 18th, respectively.

Richie Stokes managed to hold on for fifth place in the men’s 400 m individual medley, finishing in 4:30.93. Matthew Ketchin won the C final, finishing 17th overall, while Chris Paproski and Blackmon touched for 22nd and 23rd.

In the final event of the evening, the 4x200 m freestyle relays, the women’s team of Movold, Ludlow, Anderson and Albers finished just off the podium in fourth place, while the men’s team of Parry Chirakorn, Brothers, Kalp and Latkovic placed 8th.


Day 2 - The Dinos hauled in nine more medals on the second night of competition at the 2020 U SPORTS Swimming Championships on Vancouver Island.

The first event started out with a bang with Akron-transfer Avery Movold and rookie Nadine Daoud winning the B and C finals of the women’s 100 m backstroke, respectively. Samiha Mohsen was the Dinos top performer, placing 5th in the A final, touching in 1:03.46. Academic All-Canadian engineering student Mackenzie Wallich and Erin Fones swam to 21st and 24th positions overall.

Robert Hill climbed the podium again, picking up his second silver medal of the weekend in the men’s 100 m backstroke in 56.05. Teammate Anders Klein joined Hill on the podium, picking up the bronze for the Dinos in 56.18. Fifth-year Jarod Tsang, Daniel Gerlach and rookie Sebastian Castillo filled the B final, placing 12th, 14th and 16th, respectively. Second-year Richie Stokes out-swam the competition in the C final, taking the top spot in 57.57.

After setting a new personal best time in the preliminaries in the women’s 50 m butterfly, Helena Neise held on for 11th overall, touching in 28.19. Rookie Laura Albers joined Neise in the B final, finishing 14th overall.

As the lone sprinter in the men’s 50 m butterfly finals, Emil Goin raced to 14th overall, touching in 26.00.

Freestyle specialists Danica Ludlow and Marit Anderson added to the medal haul on the women’s side, picking up silver and bronze in the women’s 400 m freestyle. Allison McCloy, Emma Mitchell and rookie Sarah Courson also represented the Dinos in the event, finishing in 11th, 16th and 20th, respectively.

Men’s team captain Peter Brothers grabbed his first medal of the weekend, a bronze in the men’s 400 m freestyle in 3:56.56. Fifth-year Teddy Kalp showed incredible grit in his race, holding on for 10th in the B final, while Rookie Paul McKenzie and birthday boy Christopher Paproski moved up a few spots to finish 19th and 22nd, respectively.

In a new personal best time, rookie Madison Macor touched for sixth in the women’s 200m breaststroke in 2:35.83, and was the only woman racing for the Dinos in the breaststroke final.

Fifth-year Schulich student Benjamin Blackmon collected his second silver medal in as many days in the men’s 200 m breaststroke, clocking in at 2:17.66. Blackmon was joined by Matthew Ketchin in the A final, who placed 7th for the Dinos.

With a wild finish, Samiha Mohsen found herself in a three-way tie in the women’s 50 m freestyle splash and dash. Mohsen tied with Toronto’s Rachel Rode and Dalhousie’s Isabel Sarty for the bronze, all hitting the wall in 26.47. Movold and Ana Kolaric finished 15th and 24th, respectively.

Sprint specialist Paul Latkovic clocked a new best time in the men’s 50 m freestyle, touching for 7th in 23.78, while Parry Chirakorn represented the Dinos in the C final, finishing 18th overall.

Laura Albers won the women’s 200 m butterfly B final in 2:20.21, followed by Winnipeg native Lauren Teghtsoonian, who touched for third in the B final.  Demetra Sicoli raced to 18th overall, and Neise rounded out the C final in 24th position.

Goin and Ketchin raced again in the men’s 200 m butterfly, finishing in 12th and 18th, respectively.

In the final event of the evening, the 4x200 m freestyle relay, both the Dinos men’s and women’s relays picked up the silver medals. The women’s team of Anderson, Ludlow, McCloy and Albers were just edged out by the UBC Thunderbirds, in the final metres of the race by .15 seconds. The men’s team of Brothers, Kalp, McKenzie and Hill held on in the last few metres to out touch the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.


Day 3 - After three days of competition and a 19-medal haul at the 2020 U SPORTS Swimming Championships, both the Dinos men’s and women’s swim teams finish their varsity season ranked top three in the nation.

The Dinos men brought home the team silver, behind Canada West rival UBC Thunderbirds (1087 - 873), while the women moved up onto the podium to bring home the team bronze behind UBC and the University of Toronto (1092.5 – 978.5 – 864).

Dinos head coach Mike Blondal was proud of his team’s performance over the weekend, noting it was the “highest percentage of best times we have ever had at the competition,” and that the swimmers “took advantage of all the racing opportunities and just killed it.”

On the final night of racing, the Dinos picked up six more medals, including their first and only gold of the weekend.

Distance freestyle specialists Danica Ludlow and Marit Anderson climbed the podium to claim the gold and silver medals in the women’s 800 m freestyle. Allison McCloy, Sarah Courson and Emma Mitchell placed 9th, 14th and 15th overall, while fifth-years Lauren Teghtsoonian and Robyn Lee raced to 21st and 27th, respectively.

Fifth-year Benjamin Blackmon raced to 9th in the men’s 50 m breaststroke, while Ana Kolaric finished 22nd overall on the women’s side.

The Dinos men stacked the 200 m backstroke A final and it paid off with Richie Stokes and Anders Klein snatching the silver and bronze medals, respectively and Sebastian Castillo, Daniel Gerlach and Jarod Tsang who finished 6th through 8th. Peter Brothers and Mark McKenzie raced to 20th and 24th overall.

In the women’s 200 m backstroke Avery Movold was the Dinos top performer, finishing 6th overall. Marit Anderson touched for fourth in the B final and Nadine Daoud won the C final for the Dinos. Winnipeg-born Erin Fones rounded out the C final in 24th.

Sprinter Paul Latkovic raced to 7th in the men’s 100 m freestyle, touching in 51.78.

In the women’s 100 m freestyle, Ludlow touched for 5th in the A final, clocking in at 57.40. The Dinos women had three representatives in the C final, rookie Laura Albers, Helena Neise and fifth-year Robyn Lee, who touched for 18th, 21st and 23rd, respectively.

Robert Hill picked up his third individual medal of the weekend, a bronze in the men’s 200 m individual medley, touching in 2:04.74. Matthew Ketchin and Tsang raced in the C final, finishing 18th and 24th, overall.

A trio of Dinos women raced in the 200 m IM B final, with McCloy touching second, and Emma Mitchell and Mackenzie Wallich rounding out the B final in 15th and 16th. Teghtsoonian finished 19th overall.

In the final individual event of the evening, Peter Brothers raced to a 4th place in the men’s 1500 m freestyle. Earlier in the day Teddy Kalp, Paul McKenzie, Christopher Paproski and Mohamed ElDeeb also swam the event, picking up more team points for the Dinos.

In the final event of the competition, the 4X100 m medley relay, the women’s team of Samiha Mohsen, Madison Macor, Neise and Albers touched sixth, while the men’s team of Klein, Benjamin Blackmon, Hill and Paul Latkovic picked up their final bronze medal of the weekend beind the UBC Thunderbirds and Toronto Varsity Blues.

The Dinos honoured eight fifth-year and graduating athletes at their final U SPORTS Swimming Championships, ending their varsity careers. Four five-year Dinos finished off their varsity careers, Benjamin Blackmon, Danielle D’Aoust, Lauren Teghtsoonian and Jarod Tsang spent all five years with the Dinos. Robyn Lee transferred from Simon Fraser University for her second year of eligibility, completing four years at UCalgary, along with Robert Hill and Teddy Kalp, who each used one year at the University of Victoria and Indiana University, respectively. Christopher Paproski raced four years with the Dinos, but will be graduating this year.