SWIMMING ROUNDUP: Toronto men and women come out on top

Toronto Varsity Blues: Dual-Meet, Western
The Varsity Blues men’s and women’s swimming team defeated the Western Mustangs in dual-meet action on Saturday, December 4 at Varsity Pool.

The women came from behind to defeat the OUA defending champion Mustangs 84-78, while the men handily won 101-60.

"I love meets like this," said Blues head coach Byron MacDonald. "Whenever you can get two teams so close that each race has key results, it puts the pressure on the athletes and it’s great to see who responds."

The U of T women were trailing right off the bat, 11-4, after the opening relay. It wasn’t until half way through the meet that the Blues would mount their comeback.

A 1-2 finish in the women’s 200-metre backstroke by Bermuda native Rebecca Sharpe and Andrea Jurenovskis of Timmins, Ont., would start things off before second-year standout Paige Schultz added a gold-medal performance in the 50-metre freestyle to bring the score to within two points.

The Blues took the lead, 53-50, as fourth-year swimmers Heather Maitland and Melanie Davis finished 1-2 in the 800-metre freestyle.

Toronto need to win the remaining three races to remain in contention and one-by-one, the Blues responded.

Rookie Vanessa Treasure of Mississauga won her third gold medal of the day, this time in the 200 breaststroke. Maitland jumped up on the block after just winning the 800 freestyle 15 minutes earlier and upset the Western star Hayley Nell in the 200 freestyle.

Jurenovskis knew the pressure was on her and she stepped up in a big way, defeating Jen Trung to win the 100 backstroke event.

As expected, the Mustangs won the relay to earn nine points, but the Blues finished second and a surprising third to secure the win with six additional points.

In men’s action, a few early miscues saw U of T trailing badly after two events, 17-9.

"You never want to dig a hole early in a swim meet," said MacDonald. "Sometimes it gives the other team that window of opportunity and you can’t climb back out of it. This was a learning lesson for them."

This time, the Blues could pick up gold medals in most of the remaining events.

Third-year co-captain Zack Chetrat of Oakville, Ont., won the 100 butterfly, 200 backstroke and 800 freestyle, while butterflier and St. Catharines, Ont., native Mike Smerek displayed his versatility in winning the 200 individual medley (IM) and 100-metre backstroke.

Jeremie Holdom was first in the 200-metre breaststroke, George Soules earned goal in the 50 freestyle, Andy Townsend won the 200 freestyle, Curtis Samuel finished first in the 200-metre butterfly and Steven Hibberd won the 100-freestyle to round out Toronto’s gold medalists.
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