By: John Mignelli- Assistant Sports Editor
On November 24 at the Eleanor Misener Aquatic Centre in the Walker Complex of Brock University, the 2013 Brock Cup for varsity swimmers was held before a crowd of enthusiastic fans and athletes.
This meet comes after both Rachel Nogard (Hamilton, Ont.) and Chris Biilman (Toronto, Ont.) collected medals at the Tihanyi Divisional Championships on Nov. 17 and 18 at McMaster University. Nogard earned two bronze medals for her performance in the 100m and 200m butterfly events and Biilman was awarded silver in the 1500m freestyle event.
When asked about the significance of competing at Brock, and the expectations for this meet, Badgers’ swim coach Peter Bradstreet said, “We just came off our Divisional Champs last weekend we are rested enough that we expect some swimmers to go fast since they are in their home pool”.
Despite higher expectations, both the men and women’s teams both finished in fifth place at the Brock Cup.
Biilman placed first in the 200m butterfly event for Brock with a time of 2:10.63 and Wezley Wright (Oakville, Ont.) finished the same event with a time of 2:17.63. Biilman also finished second in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:11.25. Both of Biilman’s times in these two races were the best by a Badger male swimmer all season. Conor Grant (Newmarket, Ont.) finished third in the 100m freestyle.
Michael Kreuk (St. Catharines, Ont.) set a time of 25.05 seconds in the 50m freestyle event, a great time which is the best of performances in this category by any Brock male in 2013, capping off the men’s races.
For the women, Nogard set the season record for Brock in the 200m freestyle competition with a time of 2:11.89, good enough for third, although she topped this achievement with a second-place finish in the 100m butterfly competition. The other top-three female for Brock was Laura Perry (Kingston, Ont.) who landed third place for her time in the 100m backstroke.
Results at the Brock Cup contributed to the updated national rankings, which feature Brock’s men’s team at 26th, and the women’s team at 29th in the country. The University of Toronto (U of T) ranks first in the men’s standings and the University of British Columbia are at the top of the women’s standings.
Coming up next for the Badger men and women is a meet in Guelph on Jan. 12, followed by the Ontario Cup, which will be held in Toronto on the weekend of Jan. 18 and 19. After, the Badgers will compete at Western on Jan. 25, before the OUA Championships begin at Brock.
The 2013 OUA Championships will run from February 6-8 in the Walker Complex at Brock. Bradstreet is happy about the location of the tournament, saying “[It’s] always nice to race at home. [There’s] something comfortable about it. We like having the OUA’s here at Brock – it is a good spot for it”. Considering that the Aquatic Centre was just renovated this autumn, it was a smart choice to have this year’s provincial championships at Brock and it should be a very exciting event.
Afterwards, the CIS Championships will wrap up the 2013 season on Feb. 22 at U of T.