UBC Women, Calgary Men Hold #1 U SPORTS Rankings Heading Into 2024

The UBC women and Calgary men hold the top spot in the recently released midseason U SPORTS rankings, with Canadian university competition winding down until we move into the new year.

WOMEN’S RANKINGS

The UBC women rank #1 on the heels of their Canada West Championship title last month in Calgary, outpacing the runner-up Dinos by 143 points with a standout performance from second-year Eloise Allen.

The Thunderbirds won the CAN West title despite the absence of star swimmer Emma O’Croinin, the reigning U SPORTS champion in the women’s 200, 400 and 800 free.

UBC holds the fastest time this season across nine individual events, including O’Croinin owning four despite not racing at the team’s biggest meet to date. Allen ranks #1 in the 50 back and 50 fly, while Bridget Burton (100 back), Sela Wist (100 fly) and Anna Dumont-Belanger (200 fly) also own top rankings.

The two-time defending national champion Toronto Varsity Blues rank 2nd, having cruised to a ninth straight Ontario divisional title in late November.

There’s an argument to be made that UBC has had a full-on taper meet and Toronto hasn’t—the Ontario Championships aren’t until February, which is the equivalent to the Canada West Championships—but nonetheless, UBC looks strong.

Calgary ranks 3rd, led by standout first-year swimmer Alexanne Lepage, and McGill and Western round out the top five.

Lepage is the fastest swimmer in U SPORTS this season in the women’s 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM and 400 IM.

MEN’S RANKINGS

Just like the UBC women, the Calgary men hold the top spot in the national rankings after winning the Canada West title, having rolled to a dominant victory over the Thunderbirds by 237 points.

The Thunderbird men have won six straight U SPORTS titles, but the Dinos are the ones to beat for the time being after standout showings from Stephen Calkins and Nathan Versluys in November.

Between Calkins (50/100 free, 50 fly), Versluys (400 free, 400 IM) and Paul McKenzie (200 free), Calgary owns the top time in the country in six individual events.

UBC also has six top times coming from five different swimmers, with Hugh McNeill the only one with two in the 100 and 200 back.

They rank 2nd, while Toronto sits 3rd after Ben Loewen and Graeme Aylward led them at the Divisional Championships in November.

Alberta, led by Frederik Kamminga, ranks 4th, while McGill is the top team from Quebec at #5.

McGill led the men’s rankings early in the season, but they haven’t had a true taper meet yet and thus slide to #5.

Teams in Ontario, Quebec and in the Maritime provinces (AUS) will hold their championship meets in February before the 2024 U SPORTS Championships from March 7-9 at McGill in Montreal.

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OldManSwims
2 months ago

UBC Men might be toppled at U-Sports for the first time since 2016, to my knowledge they only have one HPC athlete coming in to help them at nationals (Blake Tierney), the others aren’t listed on the roster right now. Might not be enough based on the margin Calgary beat them by at Canada West.

Not to mention Toronto and McGill have a lot of talent on paper that hasn’t put forward any big swims yet, not really sure what to think of their chances at this point. Last time any team not named UBC, UofT, or UofC won the men’s side was in 1979 so McGill winning would be a pretty wild story, especially at home.

Hshjshshsja
Reply to  OldManSwims
2 months ago

Tierney apparently isn’t swimming Usports this year

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 …

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