Inspired By NCAA, Inaugural Loughborough Vs Toronto Duel Is Born


  • Saturday, November 3rd
  • Loughborough University/British Swimming National Centre
  • Races begin at 5pm local
  • SCM
  • Dual Meet Start List

An exciting new meet concept is headed to Britain this weekend, as Loughborough University is hosting its first-ever duel in the pool against the University of Toronto. A 36-strong Toronto squad featuring the likes of powerhouse Olympian Kylie Masse and World Junior Championships medalist Rebecca Smith are set to descend upon the British Swimming National Centre on Saturday, November 3rd to contest 28 events, including 4 relays.

Loughborough Coach Ian Hulme described the inspiration for the meet, which he hopes will grow into a regular aquatic attraction. “During my time training in America, I was always fascinated by the US Collegiate system and the hype and excitement around dual meets. Our University system works different in the UK and we don’t compete in dual meets so to be able to have the Toronto University fly over to the UK and go head to head with us is extremely exciting for our sport.

He continued, “We are always looking to promote the sport of swimming to a wider audience and hopefully this meet could be the catalyst for something bigger in the future. We’d love for other programmes around the world to be involved and hopefully one day have a quad meet with 4 University programmes from 4 different countries all over the world”

Each swimmer may race a maximum of 3 individual events at the inaugural duel, with points scored by the fastest 2 swimmers from each university assigned 5-3-2-1, respectively. Relays earn double points. Although there will be some exhibition swimmers, only those studying at University will be eligible to score points.

Among those on Loughborough’s squad are 200m breaststroke Commonwealth Games champion James Wilby, European breaststroke silver medalist Imogen Clark and Marie Wattelwho studies at Loughborough, but represents France internationally. Swimmers Joe Litchfield and Molly Renshaw are set to make exhibition appearances.

Director of Swimming Loughborough, Andi Manley, says of the upcoming competition, “We are delighted to welcome the University of Toronto – Canada’s leading university swimming programme, to Loughborough for what promises to be both an exciting and a first of its kind Dual Meet. The meet looks like it will be highly competitive across all 24 individual and 4 relay events with over ten international athletes matching up in this early season encounter.

“We have a great deal of admiration for coaches Byron and Linda and their Toronto team and after the success of our “virtual dual meet” last season, we are thrilled they have made the journey across to the UK. Our team are bouncing off this meet into the BUCS Swimming Championships next week in Sheffield and are sure that this experience will give our athletes the ideal preparation through sharpening up of racing skills and firing up their competitive spirit”

Byron Macdonald, Head Coach Toronto, echoed the sentiments, commenting, “The University of Toronto is extremely excited to take our historic virtual meet with Loughborough last year to an on-site meet this year. Loughborough is a phenomenally strong team and while they are favoured to win the meet, the racing will be superb for all involved. Going somewhere different against totally unfamiliar faces (and avoiding the same old hotels and pools) is something that I feel very strongly about and I believe this trip will enrich our swimmers lives in and out of the pool.”

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4 years ago

Have a great meet! Good luck!

M Palota
4 years ago

UofT is Canada’s leading USports swimming programme??!! UBC has dominated the Varsity Blues for the better part of a decade!!

Coach John
Reply to  M Palota
4 years ago

UofT women = 15 wins
UBC women = 22 wins

UofT men = 19 wins
UBC men = 15 wins

last decade = 5 vs 4 wins for UBC vs. UofT men
last decade = 7 vs. 1 wins for UBC vs. UofT women

4 years ago

Why is there a photo of Ross Murdoch instead of James Wilby

Reply to  JamesWilbyFan
4 years ago

Given that the photo was taken at the 2018 European Championships, seems rather unlikely that it’s Ross Murdoch, unless it was a training session between races…

Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

It is definitely *not* James Wilby. Those pale arms definitely look like Ross’ (he did compete at Euros, in all three events I think) haha…

Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

That’s what I get for trying to do pictures. I’ll stick to words.

Replaced with Masse, because I’m definitely confident that’s her!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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