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Flashback Friday (Dec 15)

Flashback Friday (Dec 15)

by Mckenzie Holden

This week’s Flashback Friday goes to the 2007-08 AUS champion women’s swim team

Back (Left to Right): Sarah Miles (Assistant Coach), David Wilkie (Manager), Gary MacDonald (Assistant Coach), Katie Archibald, Kristen Vandenberg, Alexis Marshall, Gemma Lawson, Becky Harrison, Magda Gawlik, Renata Jaciw-Zurakowsky, Chantelle Percival, Josh Ballem (Assistant (Coach), David Fry (Head Coach), Kris Andrews (Strength and Conditioning Coach)

Front (Left to Right): Maggie Jones, Johannah Profit, Rebecca Easton, Terri-Lynn Benison, Bevan Haley, Jenn Brown, Catherine Boyd, Lauren Dorrington, Stephanie Flynn, Lauren Brent, Danielle Adam

The 2007-08 women’s swim team was motivated to bounce back after not finishing in the top ten the year before at nationals. With 18 returning members and only two rookies, the chemistry was all still there and they were ready to start the season strong.

Start strong is exactly what this team did, winning all 17 events at the first AUS swim meet in Fredericton. Lauren Dorrington had a fantastic start to her season, winning all five of her events A week later the team headed back to UNB where they would win decisively for the second time in as many weeks. The Tigers were an unstoppable force early on in the season and looked to carry that momentum to the main competition of the fall term, the AUS invitational hosted at Dal.

The Tigers put on a show in their home pool. In addition to winning every event, the Tigers qualified six athletes for nationals in Vancouver. Dorrington continued her success winning all four events, and hitting the qualifying time in three of them. Teammate Kristen Vandenberg also had a great showing, picking up three event wins all under the CIS time standard. Danielle Adam, Magda Gawlik, Bevan Haley, and Terri-Lynn Benison rounded out the group of women who punched their ticket to represent the Tigers in Vancouver.

Just a week later, the Tigers trio of Dorrington, Vandenberg and Benison travelled to Toronto for the University Challenge Cup, a meet which pitted some of the best swimming schools in the country against one another. Even after such great results a week previously, Dorrington once again stepped up, setting a new school record in the 50m breaststroke. All three Tigers had a fantastic meet setting lifetime bests in their respective events.

After a heavy training Christmas camp in Nassau, the Tigers had reached the peak of the year, with the AUS championship and nationals on the horizon. At the AUS championship, the Tigers won the team title by the largest margin of victory ever recorded, winning by almost 300 points. Dorrington, continued her winning ways swimming to four wins and Vandenberg took home swimmer of the meet honours on the back of  her two wins in the distance freestyle events

The Tigers all season had been a close knit team, and this didn’t prove to be more accurate then at the CIS championships. All nine members Tigers squad scored points in B finals at the  meet and the Tigers collectively finished in ninth position in the team standings, a big accomplishment and gave meaning to the term “a team effort”.

The Tigers had realized their goals of breaking back into the top 10 nationally, and for these efforts Dave Fry was awarded AUS Coach of the Year. The Tigers lost four to graduation but knew that with this mix of women, they could accomplish anything in the seasons to come.