Road To The CIS Championships: Savannah King


  • University of British Columbia
  • 5th Year
  • Hometown: Vernon, BC
  • Faculty: Kinesiology
  • Height: 5-8
  • Age: 22

To stay on top of our coverage of the CIS this weekend, bookmark our Canadian channel here.

FUN FACT: “Nothing much comes to mind with this one. When I was captain in my third year the assistant captain and me referred to ourselves as Batman and Robin.”

Savannah King has been one of the best distance freestylers, not just in the CIS, but in Canada for some time now. Last season she took home a win in the 800m freestyle final, second in the 400, and was a big part of the winning women’s 4x200m freestyle relay at the CIS Championships in Toronto.

With last year’s victory in the 800m freestyle, King solidified a four year winning streak. With this being her last year in the CIS, there’s a lot at stake to win that event one more time.

“My main goal for CIS is around the 800,” said King. “I’ve won that event my first four years, and it would be a huge honour to go five for five. I’ve been training a lot of distance lately so I hope it’s a strong event. Even with that training my speed has kept up, so I think it’ll be a good meet all around.”

Five straight wins in an event earns a swimmer a ‘Major Grand Slam award.’ The last person to win one of those was Zack Chetrat from the University of Toronto in the 200m fly last season.

The CIS is very important to King, and is a huge part of her mental set up heading towards the World Championship trials in April. “CIS swimming has built a lot of confidence in me. During the Olympic year I swam fast at CIS and then doubled back and swam fast at Trials. It’s the positive energy of swimming for your team and wanting to be the best you can be for them that gets you going at your full potential,” said King.

Over the years King has certainly brought her ‘A’ game to the UBC team, and heading into the meet they’re the repeat favourites to win it all. With the University of Montreal boasting some top swimmers however, the Thunderbirds are aware that a win is not guaranteed.

“Our women’s team has shown dominance for a few years, and we have some powerhouse names. Though we’re going to be stacked up against some tough teams to beat this year, like Montreal and their top ranked females, I am confident in my team to be able to step it up when the time is needed,” said King.

One place where UBC has always dominated has been in the relays. Last season they won all three, and with the depth of the UBC roster there is no denying that they have the possibility to do the same this year.

“You can expect our relays to be in top form I think. Our main problem is deciding who to put on our relays because we have so many options. Our team has really good depth which means that it’s tough to pick who are going to be the top four people on that day,” said King.

The relays are also some of the most emotional swims, and one of the 2012 relays doubles as King’s favourite CIS memory. “I think many people on my team will say the men’s 4×100 medley relay in Montreal in 2012 is their favourite CIS memory. It came down to the last event for the men’s side to win it. When they touched the wall first our team went nuts. I was jumping so much my phone flew into the pool, and we broke the bleacher seat in half. We actually tried to take the broken piece of wood home with us but they wouldn’t let us take it on the plane.”

King will have one more championships to create more memories with her team, and then it’s off to Toronto in April for trials. The trials are King’s main focus right now, “In terms of my own races I want to set myself up well for trials. I missed the team last year by a few tenths and it was heartbreaking. If I can build my confidence and put up some pretty good times this weekend I am going to be on the right track.”

With one last go in the CIS, King has her eyes on the prize. “We have our eyes on that banner for this year, and years down the road.”

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Thanks for the great coverage leading up to CIS champs. As a first time fan about to attend in Victoria, I appreciate all of the swimmer profiles.

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile is a former Canadian age group swimmer who was forced to end his career early due to a labrum tear in his hip and a torn rotator cuff after being recognized as one of the top 50 breaststrokers his age in Canada. He competed successfully at both age …

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