2023 U SPORTS Swimming Championships Preview: Rivalries Run Deep, Banners Up For Grabs

2023 U SPORTS Swimming Championships

  • February 23-25, 2023
  • Saanich Commonwealth Place – Victoria, B.C.
  • Defending Champions: Toronto (Women), UBC (Men)
  • Start Times: 10:00 am prelims/6:00 pm finals (PST)
  • SCM (25 meters) Prelims/LCM (50 meters) Finals
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results
  • Livestream

Event Schedule


  • 50 free
  • 100 back
  • 50 breast
  • 400 free
  • 100 fly
  • 200 IM
  • 400 medley relay


  • 200 free
  • 50 back
  • 100 breast
  • 400 IM
  • 50 fly
  • 4×200 free relay


  • 200 fly
  • 100 free
  • 200 breast
  • 200 back
  • 800 free
  • 1500 free
  • 4×100 free relay

2022 Final Standings


  1. Toronto – 1359.50
  2. UBC – 1039.00
  3. Calgary – 888.00
  4. McGill – 700.50
  5. Manitoba – 439.00
  6. Victoria – 355.00
  7. Western – 311.50
  8. uOttawa – 301.00
  9. Montréal – 208.50
  10. Alberta – 186.00
  11. Dalhousie – 174.50
  12. Guelph/Laval – 150.00
  13. McMaster – 121.00
  14. Waterloo – 99.50
  15. Lethbridge – 42.00
  16. Regina – 38.00
  17. Sherbrooke – 31.00
  18. Acadia – 10.00
  19. New Brunswick – 4.00


  1. UBC – 1207.00
  2. Calgary – 917.50
  3. McGill – 757.00
  4. Toronto – 723.50
  5. uOttawa – 637.00
  6. Victoria – 373.50
  7. Laval – 334.00
  8. Alberta – 274.00
  9. Lethbridge – 270.00
  10. Western – 264.00
  11. Waterloo – 183.50
  12. Dalhousie – 180.00
  13. Montréal – 134.00
  14. Acadia – 103.00
  15. Regina – 63.00
  16. Manitoba – 43.50
  17. Thompson River – 35.00
  18. Wilfrid Laurier – 34.00
  19. McMaster – 26.00
  20. Carleton – 17.00
  21. Guelph – 10.50
  22. Brock– 5.00
  23. Sherbrooke – 4.00

The UBC Thunderbirds men’s team will be seeking their sixth consecutive U SPORTS Swimming title this weekend in Victoria, B.C. The University of Calgary Dinos will surely put pressure on the T-Birds after the men’s team won their 21st conference title at the 2022 Canada West Championships in November.

On the women’s side, the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Thunderbirds will be going head-to-head again this year. At the 2022 U SPORTS Swimming Championships in Laval, Que., the Blues broke UBC’s banner streak, winning their first women’s title since 2016. The T-Birds will be looking to re-establish themselves as U SPORTS champions.

McGill University has risen through the ranks over the past few seasons. The Martlets led the women’s team point scores in the RSEQ Conference throughout the 2022-2023 season. The Redbirds were in a closer point battle with the uOttawa Gee-Gees men’s team. At the 2023 RSEQ Championships, McGill won all three team point categories for the third consecutive year. They will be looking to challenge the Big Three teams (UBC, Toronto, Calgary) at U SPORTS this weekend.

U SPORTS has slightly different restrictions compared to the NCAA—pro swimmers are eligible to compete, and student-athletes have up to five years of eligibility rather than four (the NCAA has recently allowed student-athletes to use a fifth-year if they competed during the COVID-interrupted 2020-21 season).

The 2022 U SPORTS Swimming Championships was a return to in-person racing after the 2020-2021 event was canceled due to COVID-19.



Toronto – Aleksa Gold (4y – back/free), Ainsley McMurray (4y – free/fly), Nina Mollin (1y – fly/IM)

The Toronto women will be looking to defend their national title this year after a successful 2022 season. Leading the way will be 4th-year Varsity Blue and OUA Female Swimmer of the Year Aleksa Gold. At the 2023 OUA Championships, Gold swept the backstroke events. She also won the 200 free in 1:58.54. At U SPORTS, Gold will be attempting to defend her title in the 400 IM after winning the event in 2022 in 4:38.88.

Fellow 4th year Ainsley McMurray placed 1st in the 50 free in 2022 in 25.21. She also earned bronze in the 100 back in 59.66. At the 2023 OUA Championships, McMurray helped the Varsity Blues to their women’s team title with her wins in the 50 free, 100 free, 50 fly and 100 fly.

Keep an eye on OUA Female Rookie of the Year Nina Mollin this weekend. Mollin, who was also awarded the Dr. Jeno Tihanyi IM Excellence Award, won the 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 fly at her first OUAs.

UBC – Emma O’Croinin (2y – free), Eloise Allen (1y – breast/back), Josie Field (3y – fly)

After winning the conference title at the 2022 Can West Championships, the UBC Thunderbirds will be chasing down the U SPORTS women’s title. World Championship bronze medallist Emma O’Croinin will be a strong contender in the distance events. O’Croinin won both the 400 free and 800 free in 4:07.84 and 8:33.35 at the 2022 U SPORTS Championships. At the Can West Championships in November, O’Croinin brought home the gold in those events, as well as a pair of silvers in the 100 and 200 free.

Rookie Ladybird Eloise Allen demonstrated her strength in the breaststroke events at the Can West Championships, with a gold in the 100 breast in 1:07.48 and a silver in the 50 breast in 31.13. Allen will be up against some of U SPORTS top breaststrokers, including teammate Alicia L’Archeveque, Victoria’s Sophie Tarrant, Western’s Shona Branton and Montreal’s Tatyanna Goyette.

The Manitoba Bisons lost recent graduate Kelsey Wog this year, who was a big point scorer in the breaststroke events. However, this opens up some exciting opportunities for breaststrokers to fight for medals across all three events

Upper-year Josie Field will try to defend her 2022 title in the 200 fly. Field won the gold in the 200 fly at the Can West Championships in 2:11.71, a time just slightly faster than her 2022 U SPORTS time of 2:11.77. After placing 3rd in the 100 fly in 2022, Field will be chasing a higher placement in 2023.

Calgary – Rebecca Smith (3y – free/fly), Hannah Johnsen (2y – back)

2020 Olympic silver medallist Rebecca Smith dominated at the 2022 U SPORTS Championships. As a second-year, Smith won the 100 free in 52.90, the 50 fly in 26.39 and the 100 fly in 57.18. She also won gold and set a U SPORTS record in the 200 free in a time of 1:53.19. This season, Smith won individual Can West titles in the 50 fly, 50 free, 100 free and 200 free. The third-year Top 8 Academic All-Canadian will be an important point-scorer for the Dinos.

Teammate Hannah Johnsen was an A-finalist in all three of the backstroke events in 2022. At Can West, Johnsen won the 50 back in 27.90 and the 100 back in 1:00.21. Johnsen’s results from this season establish her as a medal-contender at this year’s championships.

McGill – Isabel Sarty (5y – free), Daphné Danyluk (4y – back), Elizabeth Ling (3y – back/free)

The McGill Martlets had another incredible run in the 2022-2023 season after winning all four of the RSEQ Cup Meets leading into the RSEQ Championships at the beginning of February. In her 5th year of U SPORTS eligibility, Isabel Sarty led the Martlets at the provincial championships. Sarty won six gold medals and was named RSEQ Female Swimmer of the Year. The former Dalhousie Tiger broke school records in the 50 free in 25.26 and the 100 free in 55.10. Sarty has previously podiumed at U SPORTS in the 50 free.

One of McGill’s top-performing swimmers Daphné Danyluk will be an important player in the backstroke and medley events. In 2022, Danyluk captured silver in the 200 back in 2:09.01. Earlier this month, she won five golds and a silver at the RSEQ Championships, including her 1st place finishes in the 100 back in 1:01.51 and the 400 IM in 4:50.33.

Sprinter Elizabeth Ling burst onto the U SPORTS stage at last year’s championships, earning a bronze in the 50 free in 25.54. Having finished 4th in the 100 free in 53.95, Ling will be looking to improve on her placement this weekend. Don’t count her out of the 50 back either. Ling won gold and broke McGill’s school record at the RSEQ Championships in 27.95.

Manitoba – Dora Modrcin (5y – free/fly), Megan Mozill (3y – back)

The Manitoba Bisons performed well at the 2022 U SPORTS Swimming Championships, earning themselves a 5th place finish in the team rankings. This year, the Bisons also ranked well at the Can West Conference Championships, with the help of 5th-year Dora Modrcin. Throughout her career as a Bison, Modrcin has won 12 Can West medals. At this year’s championship, she collected a silver in the 50 fly in 27.08 and two bronzes in the 50 back in 28.55 and the 50 free in 26.05. At U SPORTS in 2022, Modrcin placed 2nd in the 50 back in 27.35.

Third-year Megan Mozill was a finalist in both the 100 and 200 back in Laval, Que. After a bronze-medal performance in the 100 back at Can West in 1:01.06 and a pair of silvers in the 100 and 200 back at the Odlum Brown Colleges Cup at UBC earlier in the season, Mozill will be a powerful up-and-comer to watch at this year’s national championships.


UBC – Blake Tierney (2y – back/free), Liam Clawson-Honeyman (2y – free), Justice Migneault (2y – breast/IM)

In the hunt for their 6th consecutive U SPORTS title, the UBC Thunderbirds are being led by three 2nd year athletes. As a rookie, Blake Tierney was in full control in 2022, with wins in the 200 free in 1:44.34, the 100 back in 51.84 and the 200 back in 1:53.32. After strong performances at Can West, Tierney will be aiming to defend those titles this weekend.

Justice Migneault will be looking to prevent teammate Tierney from taking his title in the 200 IM. Migneault won the event in 2022 in 1:58.12. Migneault completed his set of medals with a silver in the 200 breast in 2:08.58 and a bronze in the 100 breast in 59.02. He will face two more aggressive racers in the breaststroke events, with Canadian Record holder Apollo Hess of Lethbridge and Tokyo Olympian Gabe Mastromatteo of Toronto currently ranked high in the psych sheets.

Calgary – Charlie Skalenda (1y – IM), Stephen Calkins (3y – free/fly), Richie Stokes (4y – back)

Rookie Dino Charlie Skalenda made a name for himself at his first ever Can West Championships earlier in the season. Skalenda was recognized as Can West Male Rookie of the Year for his point contributions to the Dinos championship title. He won silver in the 400 IM in 4:19.23 and bronze in the 200 IM in 2:01.72. Be sure to keep an eye on him at his first U SPORTS Championships.

Stephen Calkins is expected to perform well in the sprint free and fly events this weekend after his results at the 2022 Can West Championships. Calkins won both the 50 fly in 23.74 and the 100 free in 47.71. Last summer, Calkins also represented Canada at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where he helped the mixed 4×100 free relay to a bronze in the final.

Fellow Dino Richie Stokes also represented Canada last summer after qualifying for the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest. Stokes placed fourth in the 200 back at last year’s U SPORTS Championships and will be fighting for a place on the podium this year. At Can West, the 4th year earned a bronze in the 200 back in 1:56.70 and the 400 IM in 4:20.48. He also contributed to Dino gold in the 4×200 free relay in a final time of 7:14.57.

McGill – Pablo Collin (2y – free), Hazem Issa (2y – free/fly), Tristan Schanz (1y – free)

The McGill Redbirds rose through the ranks to a third place finish at last year’s championships. McGill’s men’s team will face an added challenge this year with the graduation of 2022 U SPORTS Male Swimmer of the Year Clément Secchi. Without Secchi, other Redbirds will be expected to step up.

Pablo Collin of Marseille, France was recognized as RSEQ Male Swimmer of the Year for his four golds and two silvers at the provincial championships. The 2nd year won the 200 free in 1:48.23 and the 400 free in 3:49.53. At the 2022 U SPORTS Championships, Collin tied for bronze in the 100 free in 49.53 and helped the Redbirds to an out-of-the-blue gold in the 4×100 free relay in 3:14.37.

Another 2nd year on the team, Hazem Issa was also on last year’s gold medal 4×100 free relay with Collin. Issa won an individual bronze medal in the 50 free in 22.40 in 2022. This year, Issa will be competing for a spot on the podium in the sprint free and fly events.

Rookie Redbird Tristan Schanz recently qualified for the 2023 U SPORTS Championships after winning bronze in the 1500 free in 15:51.72 at RSEQs earlier in the month. Schanz was named RSEQ Male Rookie of the Year.

Toronto – Carter Buck (2y – back), Benjamin Loewen (1y – fly/back/IM), Bernard Godolphin (3y – free)

On the men’s side, the Toronto Varsity Blues got bumped out of the top three at last year’s national championships. The Blues won their 19th consecutive men’s team banner at the 2023 OUA Championships at the beginning of February and will be focused on getting back into the top three.

After sweeping the back events at both the 2022 Championships and winning gold in the 50 and 100 back in 2023, 2nd year Carter Buck will have his sights set on a podium finish at nationals this year.

OUA Male Rookie of the Year Benjamin Loewen is another important point-scorer for the Varsity Blues. Loewen won gold in the 200 fly in 1:58.59 and the 200 back in 1:58.08 at the provincial championships. He also collected a silver in both the 200 and 400 IM. Loewen is currently ranked 2nd in the 200 fly heading into prelims this weekend.

Third-year Varsity Blue Bernard Godolphin won the 200 free at OUAs in 2023 in 1:48.94. This year, he will be defending his title in the 100 free after winning the event in 2022 in 49.01. Godolphin also won a bronze for the Blues in last year’s 400 free in 3:47.85. His current psych sheet rankings place him in the top 3 in the 100, 200 and 400 free heading into Thursdays prelims.

uOttawa – Hugo Lemesle (2y – breast), Alexandre Perreault (2y – fly)

The uOttawa Gee-Gees had a spectacular season in the RSEQ Conference. Since leaving the OUA Conference to join the RSEQ for the 2018-2019 season, the Gee-Gees have increasingly put pressure on the top-ranking McGill Redbirds.

In a breakout season, 2nd-year Hugo Lemesle swept the breaststroke events at the provincial championships. His times of 27.87 in the 50 and 2:12.19 in the 200 broke two team records previously held by teammate William Barrett. Lemesle will be in the mix against Migneault, Mastromatteo and Hess for a podium position in all three of the breaststroke events.

Alexandre Perrault will also be working to improve on his 2022 rankings. The 2nd year won gold in the 100 fly in 54.69 and bronze in the 50 fly in 24.49 at RSEQs. Last year, Perreault won bronze in the 50 fly at U SPORTS in 23.73. Shortly after, Perreault took home the gold in the 50 fly at the 2022 Bell Canadian Swimming Trials.

The 2023 U SPORTS Swimming Championships is shaping up to be an exciting weekend of Canadian university racing. The University of Victoria Vikes are hosting this year’s event at Saanich Commonwealth Place from February 23 to 25 2023.


Ella Milloy is a reporter, digital content creator and former competitive swimmer based in Ottawa. Her work has appeared in Capital Current, The Canadian Baseball Network and The McGill Tribune. She has also done coverage for Swimming Canada, Swim Alberta and SportBrand Canada Inc.

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9 months ago

How do we stream this in the USA

9 months ago

by the way, the meet is SCM for heats and LCM for finals, psych sheets list SCM times. Last year’s meet was SCM for both heats and finals. This could make for some interesting movement in standings between heats and finals.

Canadian Swimmer
9 months ago

Go Dinos

9 months ago

Excited for some fast swimming!

Vikes Alum
9 months ago

Well written take, looking forward to seeing some fast swimming this weekend !!