Bielby golden at Quebec championships; four more McGill swimmers qualify for Nationals
QUEBEC CITY - Steven Bielby of Pointe Claire, Que., won one
gold, three silvers and a bronze medal as the McGill men's swim
team finished third of four schools at the Quebec university
championship meet over the weekend.
Bielby, a 20-year-old engineering sophomore, earned all-conference honours by finishing atop the podium in the grueling 1500m freestyle, clocking in at 16 minutes, 5.77 seconds. His second-place finishes came in the 400m freestyle, 400m individual medley and 4x50m freestyle relay. He was third in the 100m backstroke.
Freshman Myriam Donato, also from Pointe Claire, was McGill's top performer on the women's side, winning three silvers (200 butterfly, 200 IM, 4x50 IM) and a pair of bronze medals (400 IM, 4x100 freestyle).
Over the weekend, the Redmen ended up with one gold, five silvers and three bronze medals, while the Martlets came away with six silvers and seven bronzes.
Laval captured the overall men's title with a combined score of 285.6 points over the five Quebec Cup league meets, finishing ahead of Montreal (172.85), McGill (80.20), Sherbrooke (32.05) and UQTR (0).
The women's championship was won by the Montreal Carabins with 249.65 points. The Rouge et Or were second with 144.75, followed by McGill (107.90), Sherbrooke (21.5) and UQTR (0).
"We finished third overall, as predicted, well in front of Sherbrooke but with lots of work to do next year to start catching Laval or Montreal." said Peter Carpenter, who was appointed head coach at McGill only weeks before the season began last September. "But more importantly, I'm particularly thrilled that we qualified four more athletes for the CIS swim championships."
Three members of the women's squad and one from the Redmen qualified on Saturday, in the first portion of the two-day meet.
Martlets who reached the standard were freshmen Valerie Grand'Maison (400m freestyle, 4:25.97) from Town of Mt. Royal, Que., and Elana Evans (50m backstroke, 30:90) of Calgary, plus Maxime Charron (200m backstroke, 2:40.79), a junior from St. Lambert, Que.
Meeting the standard for the Redmen was sophomore Hector Hernandez (400m freestyle, 4:01.62) of West Bloomfield, Michigan.
McGill has now qualified a dozen swimmers (six men, six women) for the CIS Nationals in Toronto, Feb. 18-20.
"My primary goal this season was to increase the number of qualifiers from eight last year to 12," said Carpenter, who previously coached the famed Pointe Claire Swim Club. "Going into the conference championship meet in the wake of a cold virus that ran through the group over the last two weeks, I was a little nervous, so having the day we had on Saturday truly ranks among a shortlist of career highlight days for me since I was appointed last fall."
McGill Athletics & Recreation