rising heading into provincials
By Marshall Bellamy
IT’S TIMES LIKE THIS I WISH I HADN’T PEED IN THE
POOL. An unidentified member of Western’s swim team gets
a mouthful of “water” this past weekend at Thames
Hall in their meet against the Waterloo Warriors.
The term “sleeping with the fishes” is usually used
by nefarious and portly Italian gangsters in reference to snitches
and guys who sleep with their sisters, not about the Western swimming
team. Well, at Friday’s dual meet, the swimming Mustangs
proved that point and did everything but sleep.
So while much of Western’s beer-drinking community were
boggie- woggieing it up on dance floors around town, the Mustangs’ swimming
squad drowned the Waterloo Warriors at the Thames Hall pool in
what seemed like a typhoon of first place heat finishes.
“We rocked Waterloo,” said Mustangs’ women’s
captain Steph Corker.
While Waterloo’s squad managed to finish first in several
of their heats, the meet was largely dominated by Western swimmers,
who are now looking to their real rivals in the coming weeks.
“Waterloo’s not our tough competition; [Toronto] is our
big competition,” she added, referring to the Ontario University
Athletics championships, which are to be held on Feb. 13-15.
Corker had a first place finish for the women’s 800-metre
freestyle event and a second place finish in her heat for the 400-metre
Men’s team captain Ben Hedley said the dual meet was a great
opportunity for the team to prepare for the OUA championship.
“Basically today we were just starting the process for the
big meets, so it was more to see how well we can swim — it’s
just trying to get in proper racing mode again.”
Hedley, who placed first in his heats for the 200-metre and 100-metre
freestyle, indicated that there were good performances from all
of the Mustangs, especially considering the heavy training the
team has been enduring.
Western head coach Paul Midgely was quick to point out the importance
of small dual meets, such as the one on Friday against Waterloo.
“You can’t hide. In a workout sometimes you can hide
a performance. Not here. You stand up, you go and the watch doesn’t
lie. It lets them know what they’ve got to work on and what’s
working right and what they’ve got to do better,” he
Waterloo’s swimming coach, Ryan Cartlidge, echoed Midgely’s
sentiments of the small dual meets throughout the year.
“They’re very important in terms of the preparations
for getting ready for the championships, and if we didn’t
have them, it would be like asking the basketball team to not have
any of their league games and then go into the tournament championship,” he
While the swimmers are looking to the provincial championships,
Midgely is thinking about the difficult Canadian championships
being held in Ottawa this March.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do; we’ve got to
be able to show the top athletes of the country that this is a
viable program and it’s one that they can come to not just
to maintain their performance, but actually get better,” Midgely
“When we’ve done that then we’ll be able to
compete with Calgary and UBC and some of those top schools,” he
said, adding recruitment has been the essential key to the swimming
squad’s success and will be the deciding factor in the provincial
and Canadian championships.