2018 DUEL IN THE POOL – LOUGHBOROUGH VS UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
- Saturday, November 3rd
- Loughborough University/British Swimming National Centre
- Races begin at 5pm local
- Dual Meet Start List
Inspired by the thrilling NCAA dual meets that take place in the American collegiate system, Loughborough University hosted the University of Toronto for a first-ever head-to-head competition.
A 36-strong Toronto squad featuring the likes of powerhouse Olympian Kylie Masse and World Junior Championships medalist Rebecca Smith descended upon the British Swimming National Centre to contest 28 events, including 4 relays. They battled against Loughborough standouts James Wilby, Jocelyn Ulyett, Thomas Fannon and others in the 2-team pursuit.
Each swimmer was able 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 earned double points.
Loughborough got out to an early lead and never looked back, leading its visiting rival 96 to 58 through 12 events and increasing that to a total of 124 to 74 after 16 events. Loughborough wound up winning the competition with a total of 210 points to Toronto’s 142, but the excitement and fast-paced action of the meet ensured a terrific competition for both the fans and athletes.
The home squad of Loughborough got off to a quick start by winning both the women’s and men’s 4 x 50m medley relays. The host team’s ‘A’ squad registered a winning mark of 1:47.37 for the women, while the ‘A’ team for the men logged a winning effort of 1:37.02.
Kylie Masse produced the first win for the University of Toronto, tackling the women’s 400m freestyle with finesse. The 22-year-old backstroke national record holder punched a winning time of 4:03.26 to top the podium ahead of two Loughborough swimmers in Abbie Wood and Alice Dearing.
Wood finished in 4:07.28, while Dearing touched the wall 10 seconds after that in 4:17.94 to give Loughborough additional points.
Masse was also in form for the women’s 200m backstroke, a race in which she won by over 6 seconds. Stopping the clock in 2:04.04, Masse scored the 6th fastest time in the world this year to add to the Toronto points kitty. Teammate Aleksa Gold notched 2:11.00 for bronze, with Loughborough athlete Candice Hall splitting the two in 2:10.63 for silver tonight.
The women’s 100m back also fell to Masse, as the Canadian blasted a winning time of 57.40 for the top prize. Crushing the field by more than 4 seconds, Masse managed to crank out the 8th fastest time in the world.
The first Toronto win for the men came courtesy of Cam Kidd in the men’s 50m freestyle. Kidd clocked 22.18 for the victory over national junior record holder Fannon, who registered 22.38 for silver. Loughborough teammate Sam Irvine rounded out the top 3 in 22.76.
National record holder Joceyln Ulyett proved to be a critical component of Loughborugh’s squad, taking both the women’s 100m and 200m breaststroke events. Ulyett clocked 1:07.95 in the 100m and 2:23.32 in the 200m to easily take the duel meet titles and give her team 10 quick points in the process.
Commonwealth Games medalist James Wilby followed suit, giving Loughborough another 10 points across the men’s edition of the aforementioned breast events. Wilby touched in 58.48 in the 100m to earn gold and check-in with a time just outside the top 10 performances in the world this year.
In the longer distance, Wilby finished in 2:10.73, beating Toronto’s Eli Wall by just .21. Wall settled for silver in 2:10.94, while Loughborough’s Adam Brown claimed bronze well back in 2:20.57.
Loughborough-trained French swimmer Marie Wattel was another dynamo who got on the board more than once, starting with the 100m butterfly. Wattel topped the podium in 57.89, the 11th fastest mark in the world this year. Wattel is the reigning Short Course European Championship silver medalist int his event, holding a personal best of 55.97 from 2017.
Toronto’s Rebecca Smith was also under a minute in the 100m fly with 58.68, the 5th fastest time of her career.
The women’s 100m free was Wattel’s 2nd victim, with the Loughborough athlete hitting the wall in 54.15. Wattel holds a personal best mark of 52.25 from the 2017 European Championships final where she finished 6th, but her outing was enough to beat runner-up Ainsley McMurray of Toronto by a solid margin. McMurray touched in 55.09 for silver, with Emily Crane of Loughborough rounding out the top 3 in 55.58.
Loughborough’s Dan Cross doubled up in the backstroke on the men’s side, winning the 200m distance in 1:58.10 while taking the 100m sprint in 54.65.
Toronto’s Smith busted out 2 golds on her own, coming out on top of the women’s 200m IM in a time of 2:11.47 and diving back in to win the 200m free in 1:57.25.
Additional Winners on the Day:
- The men’s 100m fly saw Loughborough’s Kevin Wallbank lead the pack, touching the wall first in 54.09.
- Emily Barclay gave Loughborough a solid 5 points in the women’s 50m freestyle, topping the field in a winning effort of 24.93, the only mark under 25 seconds in the final.
- A Loughborough sweep in the men’s 200m IM was led by James Brown, with the swimmer earning gold in 2:00.75.
- Dearing of Loughborough won the women’s 800m free handily, touching the wall in 8:39.35 to take gold by over 10 seconds.
- Loughborough took the men’s 800m free as well, thanks to Caleb Hughes who topped the podium in 8:19.14. His teammate Ross Hill fell just less than a second shy of the win, touching in 8:19.80, while Toronto’s Max Murphy was right there as well, settling for bronze in 8:19.88.
- The men’s 100m free saw Sam Irvine take the title for Loughborough in 49.27, the only sub-50 second time of the field.
- Toronto’s Hannah Genich proved too quick in the women’s 200m fly, touching in 2:12.12 for the victory.
- Toronto took the men’s edition of the 200m fly as well, with Osvald Nitski leading the way to gold in 2:01.54.
- Toby Robinson of Loughborough was tonight’s 400m freestyle winner, touching in 3:47.47 and winning by over 10 seconds. Robinson took the men’s 200m free as well in a time of 1:50.02.
- Loughborough ended the meet with wins in both the women’s and men’s 4 x 50m freestyle events. The women’s squad touched in 1:39.18 for gold, while the men followed in 1:29.51 to also come out as the winner.