The University of Toronto Varsity Blues travelled to Hamilton, Ont. on October 18th to face the McMaster Marauders in their second meet of the season. The end result had the Varsity Blues men and women both coming home with wins.
The men won 194-171.5 whereas the women took down the McMaster team 207 to 179.
In the men’s competition, the McMaster team was able to stay afloat against the reigning CIS Champions due to their roster depth. Without winning a single event, they kept it decently close. The best placing for a male McMaster swimmer was a second place finish which came at the hands of Dominic Walter in the 400 freestyle.
Head coach Andrew Cole was pleased with the performance of his team saying, “It was good chance to have an early season meet to test where everyone is. Toronto is always strong and we have some promising athletes that have decided to really commit themselves.”
Recently, McMaster added two new members to its coaching staff with Canadian Olympic flyer Joe Bartoch and Jamaican national team coach Jacqueline Walter. With the two new coaches, Cole has described the training environment as, “one of the best opportunities for athlete development in Canada.”
The McMaster squad, who placed fourth (men) and 10th (women) respectively at the CIS Championships last season, had a few of their standout swimmers crack the top three at the dual meet.
Other than Walter, Zhaoxin Zhou was able to come home in 4:22.72 to take third in the 400m freestyle. Ben Stubbs threw down a 2:05.67 in the 200 back to finish third behind Keith Eriks and Ben Kuiack of the University of Toronto.
Mohamed Eldah demonstrated his fly prowess on the McMaster squad with a third place finish in the 50 with a time of 25.28 as well as a second place finish in the 100 behind Edward Liu. In the 100, Eldah touched the wall in 56.07 to beat University of Toronto’s David Riley who finished third.
The women were able to come home with two wins as Olyvvia Chow clocked in at 35.13 to win the 50m breaststroke, and Brittany Pask narrowly won the 50m backstroke with a swift 30.76.
Hanna Dvorski was also able to post some solid times as she finished second in both the 100 and 50 fly events. In the 100 fly she was well behind winner Paige Schultz with a time of 1:06.71, however in the 50 fly she kept it close. The winning time for eventual winner Kylie Masse was a 29.00, and Dvorski came home in 29.46 to claim second.
Overall however, the University of Toronto team was successful in preventing McMaster swimmers from grabbing a top three finish at the meet. UofT head coach Byron MacDonald was impressed with the result stating, “we swam faster than I thought.”
MacDonald’s stars all performed, the best performance coming from Matt Myers, the University of Toronto backstroker, who showed that he can swim more than just the backstroke events. Myers started off the meet with a win in the 100 freestyle, taking down freestyle sprinter Mitchel Ferraro in the process. Myers was a 51.24 to Ferraro’s 51.84.
Myers then went on to finish third in the 50m breast, and take gold in the 200m IM with a time of 2:04.20.
When asked about his multi-event success MacDonald said, “Backstroke will always be Matt’s bread and butter. The 200 will be the event he vies for international teams and rankings, but, he is a good IM’er so cross-training will certainly not be a detriment to his backstroke.”
MacDonald said that the 100 freestyle wasn’t a main focus, however he’s trying to get on the 4x100m freestyle relay which is one of the best in the nation. When asked about the 200 IM, MacDonald said that it’s not off the table at the CIS Championships and that previously he didn’t swim it due to scheduling. This season there’s a definite possibility of Myers swimming it according to MacDonald.
Other than Myers, Eli Wall was the only other male to come home with more than one win as he took both breaststroke titles over teammate Chris Manning. He won the 50 in 29.93, being the only swimmer under 30 seconds and won the 100 in 1:04.45.
Freshman Oliver Stasynzski had a great meet as well, finishing second in the 200 freestyle behind David Riley 1:50.27 to 1:51.08. After his second place finish, Stasyznski won the 400 freestyle by a sizable margin, being the only swimmer under 4:00 with a 3:58.44.
As for the Toronto women, Kylie Masse, Paige Schultz and Vanessa Treasure were able to come home with two wins each.
Masse, a Toronto freshman, won the 200 back in 2:15.78 and the 50 fly in 29.00. Masse had an amazing age-group career which included demonstrating her backstroke and butterfly talents at numerous high-level competitions across Ontario and Canada. She’s adapting well to the college atmosphere, and will be an important asset to the University of Toronto team as she was one of the top ranked recruits heading into this season.
Co-Captain Vanessa Treasure, who specializes in the IM events, won the 200 IM in 2:18.51. Later on she took the 100 breaststroke title with a time of 1:12.07. Treasure has been one of the top swimmers on the Toronto roster for some time now, having multiple CIS titles under her belt along with making the finals in events such as the 200 breast and 200 fly. This season, she’s going into her returning senior year which makes it her last year of competition with the Varsity Blues.
Paige Schultz who’s been a Toronto sprinting guru won both the 100 free and 100 fly. She clocked in at 57.82 in the freestyle and 1:03.
Both teams put up some impressive swims and showed that they’re two of the top forces that will be battling it out for the OUA title later this season. Both University of Toronto teams are the defending OUA Champions, which only shows how well McMaster swam against two of the best teams in Ontario.
The University of Toronto will return to competition on the 25th of October when they host the Laurier Golden Hawks and the York Lions at a tri-meet held at the Varsity Blue’s home pool. McMaster won’t race until November 8th when they head to Buffalo, New york to face the University of Buffalo.
For full meet results click here.