Rebecca Smith Leads Calgary To First CAN West Title Since 2009; UBC Men Repeat

2021 Canada West Swimming Championships

  • November 26-29, 2021
  • Kinsmen Sport Centre, Edmonton, AB
  • SCM (25m)
  • Championship Central
  • Results
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “Canada West Championships 2021”

University of Calgary second-year Rebecca Smith put on a dominant display at the 2021 Canada West Swimming Championships in Edmonton, winning six gold medals to help lead the Dinos to their first conference championship title since 2009.

On the men’s side, the UBC Thunderbirds rolled to an eighth straight title, led by a seven-medal haul from Blake Tierney.

Women’s Recap

Smith won four individual events, all in Canada West meet record fashion, and also contributed on both of Calgary’s winning relays.

Smith, who won an Olympic silver medal this past summer on the Canadian women’s 4×100 freestyle relay, won the 100 free (53.10), 200 free (1:53.93), 50 fly (25.79) and 100 fly (57.14), shattering records in all four events by decisive margins. The lone event in which she set a new best time was the 50 fly, erasing her previous mark of 26.14 set in 2017.

Smith’s times in the 100 free, 50 fly and 100 fly were also new Alberta Provincial Senior Records.

“This was my first Canada West Championship, and it was so much fun,” Smith said. “We were behind after the first day, and we did such a good job of motivating each other on Saturday and Sunday.”

Smith also led the Dinos to victory in the 4×100 free and 4×100 medley relays, erasing a 2.7-second deficit on the free relay with a 52.35 anchor to lead Calgary (3:42.72) to the win over UBC (3:43.14). In the medley, Smith had the fastest fly leg in the field by more than three seconds (57.30) as the Dinos topped the Thunderbirds by almost a second (4:05.08).

In the 800 free relay, Smith led off in 1:54.34 for the Dinos, and the team finished first but was ultimately DQed, giving UBC a 19-second victory in 8:05.80.

Calgary’s win put an end to UBC’s 11-year run of victories that dates back to 2010.

“That banner is so special, and so important for this program,” added Smith. “Everytime I dove into that pool, I was doing it for the team. Regardless of my time, I just wanted those team points.”

Also winning multiple individual events on the women’s side was Manitoba’s Kelsey Wog, who matched Smith with four victories of her own.

Wog won the women’s 50 breast (31.26), 100 breast (1:07.25), 200 breast (2:24.34) and 200 IM (2:11.74).

UBC was led by first-year Emma O’Croinin, who placed first in the 400 free (4:13.08) and 800 free (8:43.32) while adding runner-up finishes to Smith in the 100 and 200 free.

Women’s Team Scores

  1. Calgary, 823.0
  2. UBC, 740.0
  3. Victoria, 464.5
  4. Manitoba, 460.0
  5. Alberta, 259.0
  6. Lethbridge, 196.5
  7. Regina, 57.0
  8. Thompson Rivers, 8.0

Men’s Recap

UBC first-year Blake Tierney led the Thunderbirds to an eighth-straight team title with four individual wins and three more on relays.

Tierney topped the men’s 50 free (22.51), 100 free (48.93), 100 back (52.47) and 200 back (1:53.21), hitting new personal best times in all four while lowering the Canada West meet record in the 200 back.

He led off UBC’s winning 400 free (3:18.40) and 800 free relays (7:15.39) while anchoring the 400 medley (3:33.39).

Also getting multiple first-place podium finishes for UBC was Dmitriy Lim, who claimed the 50 fly (24.00) and 200 fly (2:00.66).

Lethbridge’s Apollo Hess set a pair of new Canada West records in the men’s 50 breast (26.97) and 200 breast (2:08.91), downing the previous marks held by Nick Kostiuk from 2016 (27.76/2:09.97).

Calgary was the runner-up team, led by Nathan Versluys who picked up a couple of wins in the 200 free (1:47.33) and 400 free (3:50.71).

Men’s Team Scores

  1. UBC, 947.0
  2. Calgary, 772.0
  3. Victoria, 386.5
  4. Alberta, 302.0
  5. Lethbridge, 292.5
  6. Regina, 223.0
  7. Manitoba, 115.0
  8. Thompson Rivers, 33.0

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

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 …

Read More »