Emma O’Croinin, Alexanne Lepage Deliver Dominant Performances At Odlum Brown Colleges Cup

2023 Odlum Brown Colleges Cup

  • November 4-5, 2023
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • UBC Aquatic Centre
  • SCM (25 meters)
  • Live Results

The best swimmers in western Canada converged at the UBC Aquatics Centre in Vancouver last weekend, with university teams using the meet as a tune-up for the upcoming Canada West Swimming Championships later this month.

The UBC Thunderbirds reigned supreme in the team race, topping their rivals from the University of Calgary by 149 points on the men’s side and over 400 for the women.

Leading the charge for UBC was third-year Emma O’Croinin, who went a perfect four-for-four individually with wins in the women’s 50 free (25.31), 100 free (53.89), 200 free (1:56.03) and 400 free (4:07.10), with the 50, 100 and 200 swims marking new lifetime bests.

O’Croinin, who featured on Canada’s 5th-place finishing 800 free relay at the 2023 World Championships, won U SPORTS titles in the 400 and 800 free last season.

Highlighting the action for the Calgary Dinos was first-year Alexanne Lepage, who is coming off a breakout performance at the World Junior Championships in September.

Lepage was also perfect individually, winning the women’s 100 breast (1:07.39), 200 breast (2:25.93), 200 IM (2:13.50) and 400 IM (4:42.43), setting new personal bests in all four.

On the men’s side, the top performer was Canadian Olympian Finlay Knox, who is now training out of High Performance Centre – Vancouver based out of UBC.

Although he was racing exhibition, Knox still produced the fastest times in the field in the men’s 200 free (1:46.96), 100 back (50.50), 200 breast (2:08.68) and 200 IM (1:54.23), with the 200 breast swim marking a new lifetime best (and the 100 back falling just shy).

The 22-year-old notably edged out one of the country’s top breaststrokers, James Dergousoff (2:08.99), in the 200 breast.

Dergousoff did put up the top time overall in the men’s 100 breast, firing off a 58.90 to come within four-tenths of his lifetime best set at the 2022 SC World Championships.

Representing the Langley Olympians Swim Club, former NCAA D2 champion and Pan Am medalist Collyn Gagne logged a new personal best of 4:08.90 in the men’s 400 IM, downing his previous PB by exactly four seconds.

Gagne won silver in the 400 IM at the Pan Am Games last month in Santiago, Chile.

In addition to O’Croinin, also piling up individual wins for UBC were second-year Eloise Allen, third-year Ethan Hemeon and second-year Siu Lun Ho (listed as Frank Ho on UBC’s roster), who all claimed three apiece.

Allen, the reigning U SPORTS champion in the women’s 50 fly, won that event in a time of 26.88, and added victories in the 50 back (27.62) and 100 IM (1:00.81), both in lifetime best fashion.

In the 100 IM, she edged out former University of Victoria star Danielle Hanus (1:00.99), who was representing the Richmond Rapids Swim Club.

O’Croinin and Allen teamed up to help UBC break a pair of British Columbia Provincial Records in the women’s relays, as Allen (25.74), O’Croinin (25.09), Rose Garcia (26.13) and Anna Dumont-Belanger (25.67) clocked 1:42.63 in the 200 free relay to lower a 20-year-old record set by the UBC Dolphins Swim Club in 2003 (1:42.94).

In the 200 medley relay, Allen (27.67), Alicia L’Archeveque (31.08), Garcia (27.72) and O’Croinin (25.03) put up a time of 1:51.50 to edge out the previous Provincial Record of 1:51.54 set by the UBC Dolphins Swim Club in 2012—a squad that notably featured Olympians Martha McCabeNoemie Thomas and Heather Maclean.

Hemeon, a Saskatoon native and former member of UVIC, won—not including exhibition swims—the men’s 50 breast (28.45), 100 breast (1:01.10) and 200 breast (2:12.88), nearing his PB in the 200 breast, finishing just 12 one-hundredths shy.

Ho, a Hong Kong native, soared to victory in the men’s 50 free (22.61), 50 fly (23.94) and 100 fly (52.99), with the 100 fly swim marking a half-second PB. He also took 2nd to Calgary’s Stephen Calkins in the 100 free, with Calkins blasting his way to a time of 48.20 and Ho clocking 49.38.

UBC third-year Blake Tierney also performed well, winning the 100 back (53.80) and 400 IM (4:20.67) while taking 2nd to Ho in the 100 fly (53.95).

Tierney won individual bronze last month at the Pan Am Games in the 100 back, while his teammate Hugh McNeill, who won the 200 back in a time of 1:58.26, won bronze in that event in Santiago.

UBC, Calgary, and the other U SPORTS schools competing will renew hostilities at the Canada West Swimming Championships Nov. 24-26 in Calgary.

TEAM SCORES

Women

  1. UBC, 1422
  2. Calgary, 1015
  3. Team Swim BC, 797
  4. Alberta, 490
  5. U of Victoria, 487

Men

  1. UBC, 1075
  2. Calgary, 926
  3. Alberta, 747
  4. Team Swim BC, 654
  5. U of Victoria, 511

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Canaswim
3 months ago

Yes!!!! Go Emma!!! So excited to see you performing so well.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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