Coaches’ Season Review, Lance Cansdale
On a team of very good swimmers, the star this season was the sum of the parts. Dalhousie’s women’s varsity swim team displayed dominance over its competition, the quality of which had not been seen in the AUS for decades. Finishing the season undefeated, winning the AUS championships, and finishing fifth at the CIS championships are all fantastic results for the Tigers. It was a year that saw how truly deep the Dal program has been for years.
The season started with an easy victory at the AUS Invitational UNB Amby Legère, as the varsity women displayed versatility with quality wins in their off-event swims. The victory streak continued with team wins of a dominant fashion in the AUS Jack Scholz at Acadia and the Dal AUS Invitational. The fall ended with a credible scoring performance at the Canada Cup Toronto national competition with seven scoring performances by three Dal women.
It was the Christmas break where the women really found their ‘stroke’ as they completed a very challenging training camp that totaled over 160km in 20 days (along with the men as well)! It was then on to the winter meets at the Acadia Senior Invitational and the AUS Invitational at Dal where the Tigers came out with top place finishes in both. The AUS championships at UPEI proved to be a real show as the Tigers women won all but one event (18 wins out of 19 events) en route to capturing their 12th AUS championship in a row.
The racing now took 15 women swimmers out west for the CIS championships being held at the University of Calgary Aquatic Centre. The quality of the field was top-notch with many of our swimmers holding their own. All in all, Dal swimmers came home with nine individual final swims and three relays all placing in the top five. Once the final race was complete, the 2012-13 Dal Tigers women’s varsity swim team finished just shy of fourth place overall. To top it off, the women ended the season with a completely new record board as they wrote 16 new Dalhousie records, along with many AUS and Nova Scotia standards.
With the best CIS finish in years under their belt, the women’s squad showed what they were able to do and that they will be a national force to be reckoned with for many years to come. But, as the year finished, we had to say goodbye and thank you to graduating student-athletes Julia Gow and Michelle Campbell (co-captains), Emmalina Corriveau and Audrey Prayal-Brown, whose example and leadership will be hard to replace not to mention their points and dependability. That being said, I am pretty sure the Tigers women will once again growl as we can return 13 CIS qualifiers with the added quality of new talent in a good recruiting class.