Vikes host Canada West swimming championships at Commonwealth Place

Swim meet has different meanings for UVic Vikes swimmers

UVic Vikes swimmer Craig Dagnall during a practice at the Commonwealth Pool.

After six kilometres of lengths, Rachael Newman and Ian Mattock were among the few remaining UVic Vikes still swimming at Saanich Commonwealth Place on Tuesday.

Newman and Mattock have already qualified for the CIS swimming championships in Calgary next month. So instead of tapering down this week, they’re training right on through as though the Canada West swimming championships weren’t at Commonwealth Place today (Jan. 25), tomo

rrow and Sunday.

“It’s exciting to have the (Canada West) meet at home, with friends and family here. But I’ll  probably be a bit too tired to be on the podium,” Mattock said.

Swimmers this weekend will be of two different intentions.

“It’s an odd mix in that some of the swimmers will go super fast, some have already qualified will be resting, so to speak,” Mattock said.

Some Vikes still need to qualify for the CIS championships. To help their chances, they tapered down from 3.5kms of laps on Tuesday, to a rest day on Wednesday, then 2.5km on Thursday.

Mattock, a fourth-year from Sidney and Newman, a rookie out of Oak Bay, are part of the other group. They’ll compete to their best ability this weekend and use the meet as a barometer, knowing they want to peak for Calgary for the CIS national championships in February.

It won’t be the first time this season that Newman swims as hard as she can without worry of hitting any targets. The former Pacific Coast Swimming club member was named the Vikes Athlete of the Month for November for her record-breaking attempt to make the finals in every event of a two-day meet hosted by Simon Fraser University, Nov. 3 and 4.

Known as the rookie challenge, the unofficial event is part of the SFU meet, and challenges rookies to swim in every single event, which Newman nearly did. She hit 32 of a possible 34 races, heats, finals and relays.

“I didn’t win anything but, I have to admit, it might be because I was a bit worn out,” Newman laughed.

Session one begins at Commonwealth today at 5 p.m. The last session begins Sunday at 2 p.m.










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