CIS SWIM CHAMPIONSHIPS (Day 1 of 3): McGill's Bielby golden, Caldwell bronzed
Steven Bielby and Katie Caldwell, both swimmers from McGill University, reached the medal podium on Day 1 of the 2013 CIS swimming championships at the University of Calgary Aquatic Centre, Thursday.
The event continues Friday with preliminaries set for 10 a.m. MST with finals slated for 6 p.m. MST. All morning and evening sessions are webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv. Live results are also available on the championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/swim/index.
Bielby, a fifth-year engineering senior from Pointe Claire, Que., captured his school record seventh career CIS gold medal, his third in the 400-metre individual medley in a time of four minutes, 15.14 seconds, more than four seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
"He swam the race to win," said McGill head coach Peter Carpenter of McGill's most decorated swimmer, who previously won one CIS silver and four bronzes and has now qualified for his third appearance at FISU world university games, which will be held in Russia during the summer. "He is still building back to his best-ever form after taking a five-month hiatus this past summer. His main focus coming in to the meet was to win a gold in order to qualify for the Games. It was nice to get that done on the first night of the meet"
Caldwell, an 18-year-old secondary education freshman from White Rock, B.C., claimed bronze in the same event, crossing the finish line in 4:44.83. Calgary's Tianna Rissling won the race in a CIS record time of 4:37.81. Toronto's Vanessa Treasure claimed silver in 4:42.88.
"Coming into the meet, Katie had very high expectations that had been set after her record-setting weekend at the RSEQ championships in Quebec City two weeks ago," said Carpenter. "She struggled to find the same form here in Calgary but there was certainly no lack of effort. We are extremely proud of her and of our two-medal night."
Pierre-Alexandre Renaud, a sophomore from Laval, Que., broke a McGill record in the 200 freestyle and became the first member of the Redmen to dip under the 1:50 mark with a clocking of 1:49.70. He finished third in the consolation final (11th overall) in what was certainly the most competitive event of the night.
"It is no surprise that our hardest worker would be one of the eight members of the team to go a lifetime best time this morning," noted Carpenter. "He deserves absolutely every good thing that comes his way."
Other McGill results from Day 1 included Montrealer Marc-Andre Benoit, who finished eighth in the 100 fly (55.58), Monica Mastromatteo of Saskatoon was 10th in the 100 fly (1:02.31, personal best) and Sophie Overney-Ragan of Beaconsfield, Que., was 14th in the 100 fly (1:03.59, personal best).
In the relays, the Martlets 4x100 free finished 12th with Taryne Landry of Vancouver, B.C., in leadoff, followed by Grace Quinn of Knowlton, Que., Valerie De Broux of Montreal and Caldwell.
The Redmen 400 free relay was sixth with Benoit in the leadoff leg, followed by Renaud, Michael Luck of Montreal and Bielby.
After the opening day, the Redmen sit seventh of 21 teams overall with 63 points, while the Martlets are ranked 13th with 34 points.