SWIMMING: Canada West’s top swimmers race for podium in Lethbridge

Usually they’re on the hunt, but this time it’s the student-athletes of the University of Calgary women’s swim team who are being chased.

From east and west, some traveling by air, some by land, they all go after the Calgary Dinos. And the only way out is in the waters of southern Alberta.

This is where the Canada West Swimming Championships will take place, from Friday (November 25) to Sunday (November 27), at the Max Bell Regional Aquatic Center in Lethbridge. Watch all the action live and on-demand streaming at Canada West TV.

A year after ending the UBC Thunderbird’s unprecedented 11-straight title streak, the Calgary women’s swim team is looking to stay ahead by staying ahead of a field that includes the host Lethbridge Pronghorns.

“It’s always good to win a championship and it always gets everybody going…and beating UBC and knocking them off the near post gets everybody excited,” said Dinos swim coach Mike Blondal. We are looking forward to strong competition this year and hopefully we can repeat.

UBC had won every Canada West women’s swimming title since 2009 until last November in Edmonton, where 2021 Canada West Swimmer of the Year Rebecca Smith helped propel Calgary to the championship.

But while one streak ended last year for UBC, another remains intact: The men’s T-Birds have won every Canada West title since 2013, and another this weekend would be their ninth straight, moving just two short of tying the record eleven straight men’s swimming championships set by Calgary from 1980-1990.

“We don’t talk about the streak a lot with our men’s team, we just go one day at a time and do our best,” says T-Birds swim coach Derrick Schoof. “There’s a huge tradition at UBC around success and excellence in the pool, so there’s always an expectation that we’re going to win. We just look at this year and we haven’t looked back; we stay in the moment and do what we can to try to win this year.

Over the past month, teams have competed in the Dino Cup in Calgary and the Odlum Brown Colleges Cup at the UBC Aquatic Centre. In both cases, the Dinos and T-Birds finished in the top two spots, with the host team winning the encounter each time.

“We’ve raced UBC twice already this year, just trying to figure out who’s doing what, so it’s an opportunity to see what everyone really likes, because both teams are going to try to win,” Blondal said. “And there are other players on the court: Lethbridge is swimming very fast at the moment, as is Victoria, so the cards will be played differently than normal this year.”

The Max Bell Regional Aquatic Center is located in the University of Lethbridge’s 1st Choice Savings Center for Sport & Wellness and features an Olympic-sized pool with an adjacent viewing gallery that can accommodate 350 people, providing a spectacular atmosphere with energetic spectators.

“It brings back fond memories of 2019, when Lethbridge last hosted the Canada West Championship,” said Schoof. see another very good competition this time. I think it’s going to be tight, and we’ll see where the chips fall.


Tickets for the 2022 Canada West Swimming Championships can be purchased in advance by click here or by calling 403-329-2706. Day passes will also be available for purchase on-site during the event.


Watch all the action live and on-demand streaming at Canada West TV.

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