Mounties make waves at AUS swimming Championships

Mount Allison’s varsity swim team posted a strong showing at their last swim meet of the season at the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Swimming Championships last weekend, hosted at the University of Prince Edward Island. Both the men’s and women’s teams competed with 70 other student athletes from five other swim teams.

When the water had settled at the end of the weekend, the women’s team stood in second place overall in the standings and the men’s team, with the second smallest roster at the meet, stood in fifth place overall. “These were the best team results I’ve seen in the past four to five years,” said head coach John Peters, who just marked his 23rd AUS Championship.

The swim team had a number of outstanding performances from individual swimmers. Allison Loewen won one gold and two silvers in her individual events as well as two bronzes and one silver in the relays, leaving the championships with six medals in total. Loewen’s gold-medal race in the 50-metre freestyle also qualified her for the USports National Championships in two weeks, where she will compete alongside teammates Geraint Berger and Olivia Feschuk. This will be the most swimmers Mt. A has sent to the USport National Championships in over a decade.

Swimmers Maddy Henry, Loewen, Feschuk, Berger and Dylan Wooley-Berry won the team’s 11 individual medals out of the team’s 24 total medals. Collectively, the team had a personal-best rate of 85 per cent, making this meet the most successful showing of the year. “It was great to see so many amazing accomplishments made by my teammates this past weekend,” fourth-year captain Brenna Rothfuss said. “All the gruelling hours we’ve spent training in the pool since September certainly paid off. Everyone performed above and beyond what was expected and I am very proud to be a part of this team.”

The meet was also bittersweet, as it marked the departure of four of the team’s veteran swimmers. Last weekend marked the last AUS-sanctioned swim meet for graduating students Loewen, Rothfuss, Wooley-Berry and Laurel White.

Former varsity swimmer and assistant coach Nic Sunderland-Baker praised the performances and attitudes of the senior swimmers. “It was wonderful to see our fourth-years all achieve best times at their final AUS. While I trained and competed with [them], I noticed they were talented, hard-working and respectful of the sport. While I helped coach the Mounties I noticed that in showing these qualities at everyday practices and at competitions, the four senior athletes shaped the rest of the team’s attitude to the sport. The Mt. A swim team has enjoyed four years of commitment from these four incredible athletes and will continue to benefit from their legacy of sportsmanship.”

This marks the second year in a row that the Mt. A swim team has had the most retiring swimmers out of all the teams in the AUS.

“We had a very successful year as a team and I know we can carry this success into next year’s swim season. We are hoping to get some new talent on the team next year,” Henry said.

While the season maybe over for most of the team, Loewen, Berger and Feschuk will represent the Mounties at the USports championships that will take place from Feb. 24 to 26 , at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec.      

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