Dalhousie is sending 18 women and 12 men to Montreal for CIS championships Feb. 23-25 (Photo: Matthias Brennan)

Dalhousie right at home for AUS championships

First day sees all Tigers swimmers qualify for final events

Some cats do like water. The Dalhousie Tigers swim team is especially enjoying its home pool this weekend. Today was the opening day of competition at the 2012 Subway Atlantic University Sport swimming championships at Dalplex.

Today was split in half with a qualifyer meet in the morning and the finals in the evening.  Swimmers took advantage of the whole day, some made personal best times in the morning, some tonight too. 

The black suited, yellow-capped Dalhousie crew was the fastest last year. This time around is much the same, even this morning's preliminary rounds showed no exception, not even one.

All Tigers' swimmers entered in this morning's races qualified for tonight's finals.

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With CIS championships in sight, competing at home maintains their routine. (Photo: Matthias Brennan)

Dalhousie captured 43 entries this morning out of a possible 80 for tonight's 10 individual events, despite being in the middle of a grueling training period for Canadian Interuniversity Sport nationals..                 

Coach David Fry and his team are enjoying the home tank.

"There's nothing like going home and being able to have a rest in your own bed...they know the pool... we're confident it's a very fast pool."   

Molly Wedge continues to lead her pack with a consistent 100-metre butterfly time of 1:02 posted at tonight's final. Good results this weekend would be a big boost for nationals.

"Everyone's really excited even for this meet and for CIs too." 

Her teammate Meagan Bernier swam 4:59 finishing two seconds behind another Tiger, Katie Webster, in their 400-metre individual medley final. This morning, Bernier took off nearly seven seconds from a previous best time.

The women's team is surpassing expectations having qualified a full 18-swimmer roster for the CIS championships in Montreal at the end of this month.

The women rank seventh in the nation and the men sit fifth.

On the men's side, Colin Liebold became the 30th Dalhousie qualifier to book his seat for the trip to Montreal.

The first-year varsity swimmer says it was unexpected.

"I didn't think I had gone out that quick, when I touched the wall I had all my fellow teammates cheering for me." The race was extra good news for Liebold as he's just recovering from a groin injury.                          

Aodhan Somers shaved nearly three seconds off his fastest time in the men's 200-metre free-style event.

Derek Sonnichsen is improving with the best times in his 100-metre breaststroke race this morning and in his 400-metre individual medley race tonight.

The men's backstroke events come down to a competition between Dalhousie's David Sharpe, Dmitry Shulga and Kit Moran.

Moran won the AUS 50-metre title last year, but Sharpe came out on top tonight showing why he holds all AUS backstroke records and won the national CIS 50-metre competition in 2011.

Saturday and Sunday's schedules are much the same with preliminary races in the mornings at 10:00 a.m. and final races at 6:00 p.m. at night. Each night's action concludes with two spirited relay races.

For an updated list of results, visit Swim Nova Scotia.

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