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UVic swimmers best 12 school records at first U Sports championship since pandemic

Sophie Tarrant takes bronze in 200-metre breaststroke at Quebec City meet
First-year Vikes swimmer and breaststroke specialist Sophie Tarrant competes at the U Sports Swimming Championships in Quebec City last weekend. Tarrant won bronze in the 200-metre final and set new school records in three different events. (Don Voaklander/courtesy of University of Victoria)

The University of Victoria’s swim team ended the 2021-22 season with 12 new school records, set over the course of the three-day U Sports Swimming Championship in Quebec City.

Vikes first-year swimmers Sophie Tarrant and Maxwell Fang, and the men’s 4 x 100-metre medley relay team shatter Vikes records on the meet’s final day Saturday (March 26).

Tarrant, coming off a bronze medal-winning performance Friday in the 200-metre breaststroke final, placed fifth in the 50m breast A final on Saturday in 31.90, one-tenth of a second faster than previous Vikes record holder Jamie Hellard (2019). Tarrant’s 200-metre time of 2:27.44 broke UVic Sports Hall of Famer Christin Petelski’s 1998 mark by .45 seconds.

After Tarrant cracked the school’s 100m breast record and finished fourth in the Thursday’s final in 1:07.74, just .15 seconds off the podium, Vikes coach Ryan Clouston said, “she continues to rewrite the record books and approach the nation’s best swimmers.”

Among the Saturday Vikes school record breakers, Fang’s 100m freestyle time of 50.30 seconds in the C final, shaved .10 seconds off the previous mark, while the medley relay team of Fang, Jacob Rambo, Padric Mckervill and Ethan Hemeon placed sixth in the final in 3:38.75, more than four seconds faster than the previous Vikes standard set in 2018.

Besides Tarrant, two other Vikes cracked multiple UVic marks over the first two days of the championships.

Mckervill lowered the standard in both the 50m and 100m butterfly in prelims, then broke his own marks in finals, going 54.19 in the 100 on Thursday and 24.17 in the 50 on Friday. He was also a part of the record-setting 4 x 100m free relay team including Ricky Millns, Rambo and Fang, who clocked a 3:20.80 time. Along with his relay work, Rambo set then lowered a school mark in the 50m backstroke Thursday, going 25.36 in the B final, then lowered the 100m back time, touching the wall in 54.48 to take second in the B final.

Hemeon contributed a personal best time to the dozen new marks with a 1:01.31 swim in the 100m breast on day 1 of the meet, good for fourth in the B final.

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“For most of our team, it’s their first U SPORTS experience, similar to many teams here. This meet is always the loudest and most exciting meet by far for our athletes, so it’s nice to see them get a chance to experience it,” Clouston said of the U Sports meet, held for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

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