The University of Montreal Carabins won both the men’s and women’s competition at the RSEQ Swimming Championships which acts as the conference meet for five schools located in the province of Quebec.
On the men’s side Montreal topped Laval University 292-200. The women’s team, which is one of the best in the CIS, racked up a total of 355 points to take down second place finisher McGill university. McGill put forth an effort of 182 points to stay ahead of Laval’s 155.
Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Katerine Savard was named the rookie and female athlete of the year based on her performance. Savard came home with five golds and a silver, and broke two RSEQ records along with one CIS record in the 100m fly.
For full meet results click here.
The biggest star on the men’s side was Vincent Fontaine of Laval who earned himself four individual gold medals spanning a wide range of freestyle events and the 100m fly.
He won the 100 through 400 freestyles, a difficult feat, and managed to swim a fairly solid 200m freestyle with a time of 1:49.98. Lafontaine has already been a 1:49.29 this year and sits seventh overall in the CIS rankings in the event.
In the 100m fly Fontaine was a 55.29 to take gold. The time was slower than the 54.47 he’s already been. The 400m freestyle on the contrary was a season best for Fontaine and put him in the top 20 in the CIS this season. His success was a big reason that Laval was able to pull ahead of McGill in the overall standings.
Laval wasn’t the only school to have a star swimmer as Sherbrooke’s Jonathan Naisby displayed his breaststroke prowess and swept all three breaststroke races. In the 50 he was a 28.80 and in the 100 a 1:02.87. His most impressive victory came in the 200m breaststroke where he went a 2:15.26 to win the event over Montreal’s Julien Pedneault by almost four seconds.
Where Montreal truly shone were the medley events where the Carabins took titles in both the 200 and 400 IMs. It was Maxime Landry in the 200, winning in a time of 2:07.88 over Nicolas Gange who locked in the 1-2 Montreal finish with a 2:09.52.
Landry came second in the 400 behind teammate Jerome Boucher. Boucher rocked a 4:35.36 en route to gold. Montreal finished 1-4 in the 400m IM with Louis Leroy picking up the bronze ahead of Vincent Lachance.
Montreal also grabbed individual wins in the 1500m freestyle (Xavier Desharnais), the 50m backstroke (Thibault Delecluse), and the 200m backstroke (Titouan Boquet).
McGill’s sole individual victory came in the 50m freestyle at the hands of Michael Luck. Luck was a 23.06 to win the event, and was a crucial component to the McGill relays.
McGill won the two sprint freestyle relays and set the sole RSEQ record of the meet on the men’s side in the 4x50m freestyle relay. There, the McGill team collectively swam a 1:31.96 to break the previous record held by Rouge Et Or Universitaire by over a full second.
They couldn’t hold on for a win in the 4x200m freestyle relay where they were bettered by Laval, but were still able to beat Montreal by over 10 seconds.
Where Montreal showed up the rest of the schools was in the medley relays. They put up some great fights with Laval to win both the 4×50 and 4×100 medley relays. In the 4×50, Montreal was behind Laval at the 150m mark but Yannick Sorel made up ground with a solid 22.38 anchor split to win it for the team. They were about seven-tenths off their own RSEQ record. In the 400 medley relay they swam a solid back-half to beat LAval 3:45.17 to 3:45.51.
The Montreal squad displayed why they’re one of the best teams in the CIS at the current time, absolutely slaughtering their competition.
Montreal had a total of five multi-event winners, with 100m fly Commonwealth Games champion Katerine Savard leading the way with a CIS record.
Savard won the 50m fly in 26.57 over teammate Sandrine Mainville, but the 100m fly is where she demonstrated her absolute dominance of the fly events. Savard dove in and swam a 58.46 to break the previous CIS record held by Erin Miller at 59.12 from 2012. The record doubled as a RSEQ record, breaking the 59.36 mark set by both Canadian fly-star Audrey Lacroix and Marie-Pier Couillard by almost an entire second.
As impressive as the time was, it’s not out of the ordinary for Savard considering that she’s the Canadian record holder in the event with a time of 56.35.
Savard was out like a rocket in the 200m fly as well where she came very close to Audrey Lacroix’s CIS record of 2:08.69 with a winning time of 2:08.96. Savard swept the fly events and will head towards both the CIS Championships and the Canadian World Championship trials as a major threat in all three butterfly races.
Sandrine Mainville, who won the sprinters cup at the CIS Championships last season for her wins in the 50 and 100m freestyles, dominated the splash-and-dash with a 25.09. Her sister Ariane Mainville was second overall in 25.54.
Ariane went on to win the 100m freestyle in 54.87 with fly star Katerine Savard second just one one-hundredth behind her in 54.88.
Ariane grabbed another individual medal in the 200m freestyle where she placed second overall in 2:00.11. Her time solidified a 1-2 finish for Montreal as freestyle star Barbara Jardin rocked a 1:57.74 en route to gold. Jardin also won the 400 free in 4:10.89, beating teammate Jade Dusablon by over 10 seconds as she grabbed silver in 421.66.
The 800m freestyle, which is another won of Jardin’s specialties, went to Sarah-Lee Hevey of Montreal in a swift 8:55.52. Hevey won three events at the meet with a 2:29.09 200m breaststroke victory as well as a 2:14.60 to win the 200m IM.
Marie-Solei Jean-Lachapelle was Montreal’s last multi-event winner. Jean-Lachapelle took wins in both the 50 and 100m breaststrokes. In the 50, she clocked in at 31.38 for the win. Her 100m breaststroke was her best race however, as she took down Sherbrooke’s Alexandra Naisby en route to a RSEQ record of 1:08.49.
Prior to the meet Jean-Lachapelle held the RSEQ record at 1:08.82. Naisby was out like a rocket in the race, splitting a 32.59 to Jean-Lachapelle’s 32.93 on the first 50. Jean-Lachapelle came back on her very quickly, splitting a 25.56 to her 36.15. Naisby was also under Jean-Lachapelle’s previous record with her time of 1:0874.
Laval was the only team to show any sort of dominance in other events as they took control of the backstrokes. Marie-Pier Couillard swept the backstrokes, beating teammate Genevieve Cantin in the 50 and 100. In the 200 however it was Barbara Jardin of Montreal who she beat, doing so by over three seconds. Cantin didn’t go the whole meet without a gold however, as she took the 400m IM in 4:43.35.
To add insult to injury the Montreal women won all five relays, breaking two more RSEQ records in the process. Their time of 8:02.54 gave Savard, Hevey, Ariane Mainville, and Jardin all another gold, and an RSEQ record. Savard was also part of the 4x50m medley relay which broke an RSEQ record, splitting a 26.52 on the fly leg on the way to a 1:50.99 Montreal victory.
The next stop for the RSEQ teams is the CIS Championships which will be held in Victoria February 19-21.