HALIFAX, N.S. - This past weekend the Acadia swim team travelled to Halifax to compete in the second annual Kemp /Fry Invitational. This championship format included 6 teams from the Atlantic region plus power house McGill. The meet was the first big focus for athletes trying to attain their CIS standards. This years Championships will be held in Sherbrooke , Quebec at the end of February.
The meet was fast and furious and competition was at the highest level. The overall meet title was a battle between top 10 ranked teams Dalhousie and McGill. After two and one half days of competition, Dal took the womens crown and McGill the Mens crown. Combined title went to Dalhousie.
The Axemen were in tough but rose to the challenge at every stage. The men's squad were at their best with a great showing of both veterans and freshmen . As a team the men's squad came a strong third place and out distanced the rest of the Atlantic teams by 100 points. Leading the way was freshmen Brett Liem with one victory and two second place finishes. He broke 3 varsity records and earned his second CIS standard in the 50 Breast stroke. His best the event, the 50 free currently has Brett ranked top 5 in the country. Other standouts for the men's squad were Adam Deutsch, Brendan Viber and Ben Henger. Each swimmer was placing very high in the finals. Adam Deutsch came very close to his first CIS standard in the 400 IM and a very solid third place finish in the 200 breast. Ben Henger broke the Varsity record in the 100 Fly. The mens relays were also very competitive in all 3 events with a Varsity record in the 4X100 Free Relay.
The other surprise was the amazing improvement of all 8 male freshmen. I think they swam close to 90% best times and kept the excitement of the meet forthcoming quoted Coach MacDonald. Team spirit was at a fever pitch all weekend with some amazing improvements.
On the womens side, the battle was also very exciting with some incredible performances. Alison MacEachern led the way with 4 finals and a top placing of third in the 100 fly and a CIS standard in the 50 fly. The 50 Fly was also a Varsity record. Freshmen , Nicole Windsor was also on fire with 4 finals and a solid 2nd place finish in the 100 fly getting ever so close to the CIS cut. Rookie Arielle Mersiadis-Carrier surprised a few with a very speedy 50 free and a 4th place finish. Second year swimmer Hannah Doiron also had an outstanding weekend of Breaststroke swimming with 3 - 4th place finishes and 3 varsity records . As a team the girls finished a very close 5th place and were narrowly behind three other Atlantic teams. With two swimmers missing and one severely sick the squad hopes to challenge at the AUS Championships in February.
Over all the team had an improvement rate of about 80% and that is absolutely amazing according to Coach Macdonald for this time of the season. The squad will back off for a few weeks as they get ready to write exams and then will gradually pick up where they left off. The squad will be travelling to Montreal post Christmas for a grueling 10 day training camp to get better prepared for the second part of the season. Our goal is to be top two in both mens and womens at AUS Champs plus the addition of several more CIS qualifiers.