TERA VAN BEILEN
- University of British Columbia
- Fourth Year
- Hometown: Oakville, Ont.
- Faculty: Kinesiology
- Height: 5-11
- Age: 21
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NICKNAME/ FUN FACT: “My nickname has always been TVB. I’m good at baking, impersonating people and telling stories.”
UBC FUN FACT/ FAVOURITE CIS MEMORY: “For lunch one day we had chili, and let’s just say we blame everything on the chili now.”
Canadian female swimming has typically had some top notch breaststrokers and fitting right into that category is UBC’s Tera Van Beilen. Van Beilen, a 2012 Canadian Olympian, has had plenty of success in the breaststroke events and is a favourite to make the World Championships roster this summer.
Van Beilen made the semi-finals in the 100m breaststroke at the 2012 Olympic Games where she tied for eighth with Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson. There, Van Beilen finished second in the swim-off taking a ninth place finish overall.
Last summer, Van Beilen competed at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships picking up a bronze medal in Glasgow as part of the 4x100m medley relay team.
Van Beilen is one of Canada’s top competitors on the international scene, and one of the most dominant breaststrokes overall in the CIS. She’ll be swimming all three breaststroke events as well as the 400m IM this year, and will have stiff competition in all of those races. Over the years, her biggest CIS rival in the breaststrokes has been Calgary’s Fiona Doyle.
“Fiona and I have had fun over the years battling it out in all the breaststroke races. It’s great to have competition like that within the CIS and that battle will definitely continue over this coming weekend,” said Van Beilen.
The long course finals shouldn’t change the competitiveness of the races one bit, as both are international competitors and used to competing in the longer pool. Van Beilen prefers long course meets, however stated that she did enjoy the short course format of the CIS Championships leading up to trials.
As one of the favourites to make the Worlds team, Van Beilen is using this meet as preparation for Trials which will take place in Toronto starting April first.
The new long course format of the championships has given her a chance to train more long course as the meet approached. “We’ve been doing more back-to-back practices long course. Also this year, instead of doing our race set-up short short course we did it long course.” As for special preparation, Van Beilen included UBC’s Valentines Day plans, “we also baked cupcakes and wrote poems for the guys team on Valentines day, and they gave us roses and chocolates.”
The team camaraderie at UBC is one of the reasons that they’ve been so successful. The women are going into the meet looking for their fourth straight title, something that they have only done once before during the decade of dominance.
“Our team has grown so strong as a cohesive group over the last couple months, and I think we have the depth and talent to do amazing things this weekend,” said Van Beilen. “The UBC women’s swim team is like a second family to me, and the incredible experiences we’ve shared throughout the years are some that I will remember for a lifetime.”
Van Beilen has played a major role as a leader on the UBC roster, and although her talent stretches far beyond the CIS, she’s still constantly trying new things such as new events and having fun with university swimming. “I haven’t ever raced the 400m IM long course with some rest so that will be a fun race.”
As soon as the CIS Championships are finished, Van Beilen will be heading to back to UBC to prepare for trials. She believes that this weekend will be a great opportunity to see where she’s at in her preparation.
“For the breaststroke events, it will be a good opportunity to get some solid short and long course racing in before trials. We use this meet every year as a preparation for trials.”
As for trials Van Beilen said that there, “should be some more great racing in just over a months time.”