Back in the pool for CIAU hopefuls

Women - 5th place, OUAs.
Men - 7th place, OUAs

1999 CIAU Qualifiers

Miranda Rose
Chris Vanderwater
Jackie Hutchings

The Gaels swim team, class of the Eastern division since the provincial athletic association split into three regions five years ago, should again dominate the traditionally weak division. Once at provincials, they will be in tough against McMaster and Toronto, who finished 1-2 in both the men’s and women’s divisions at last year’s OUA Championships in Guelph.

Head coach Ken Anderson already has that event, to be held in Toronto on the second weekend in February, marked on his calendar.

“Our training through the year is fitness-oriented,” Anderson said. “In-season swimming [times] give you some indicators as to how you’re doing, but it doesn’t really mean much. We try to hit our stride at the OUAs, and taper that right into the CIAUs.”


The class of the perennially weak Eastern division, Queen’s should have no trouble defending their title against typically weak rivals RMC, Ottawa U., Carleton and Trent. With just one finish off the podium top in the past five years, and all three national qualifiers from last year returning, the Gaels are hoping to up their contingent at the CIAUs.

Births there are granted off a time standard, that can be broken at any official meet on the schedule. All three CIAU qualifiers from last season return, including standout rookie Chris Vanderwater, and Anderson’s recruiting class, while talented, fell a little shy of its potential.

“Three of my top swimmers who I was hoping for, didn’t get in. We’re definitely at a disadvantage here because of the academic standard, but the other side of that is once we get someone, they usually stay for the full four years,” Anderson said.

Ann-Marie Pelletier, a first-year student who Anderson envisions as a top sprint freestylist, was the only touted recruit to make the academic grade.

Jason Singer, captain of the men’s team, did his undergraduate work at UBC before enrolling in the law program at Queen’s.

“Because of our top graduate programs, we get a lot of students who swim for us after they finish their undergraduate degree,” Anderson said.

A more rigorous schedule this year should help the team, as meets are clustered together instead of spread out. In the past, the length of the OUA meet meant that most swimmers, competing in several different events, began to tire and swim weakly by the last day.

“This year, we’ve arranged a lot of dual meets to try and prepare for that,” Anderson said. “Travelling and staying in hotels is a part of it. It’s something we have to adjust to and prepare for.”

While he will not don the requisite cap and goggles, Anderson himself needs to be sharp strategically at the events.

Wins in individual events net the team 20 points, while relay wins are worth double that.

Factor in that each swimmer can only compete in three events per meet, and Anderson is forced to juggle his top swimmers around.

“We’re a team without any real superstars, but a lot of depth, so we traditionally do very well in relays,” said Anderson in offering his outlook on the coming season. “I’d like to see both teams get into the top five at the provincials. I think we can do that.”

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