Swimming to the podium

Women’s team finishes fifth overall

When Golden Gael swimmers Katy Perry and Brittany Segeren began training camp this season, they promised each other that they would dominate the podium at the OUA championships in February.

By the end of last weekend’s OUA championships in Sudbury, Perry and Segeren had stood beside each other on three occasions, en route to helping the women’s team place fifth overall.

In the 50-metre backstroke, Perry won the gold medal and Segeren won bronze. In the 100-metre breaststroke Perry again took the gold and Segeren grabbed the silver. In the 200-metre race the two Gaels completed their hegemony in the breaststroke events: Segeren won gold and Perry won the bronze.

Both Segeren and Perry were named first team OUA all-stars earlier this week.

“This is the best team I’ve coached in my four years here,” said Vicki Raymond, swimming head coach. “It was fantastic. [The women’s team] usually vie for sixth through overall, but we were in the running for third, fourth and fifth (overall) all day.”

The women’s team also won a bronze medal in the 200 metre freestyle relay, which was raced by Jennifer Arthur, Basia Pajerski, Faye Ling and Perry. The 200-metre medley relay team of Katie Sax, Jessica Kelly, Arthur and Perry missed out on the bronze, finishing in fourth.

The team will now look to the CIS championships at Laval University in Quebec on Feb. 24 and 25, where Perry and Segeren have qualified to race in all of the breaststroke events, and rookie Jenn Arthur has qualified to race in the 50-metre freestyle. Faye Ling will join Arthur, Perry and Segeren to complete the 200-metre individual medley relay team.

“I think every year the women’s team is just getting stronger and stronger,” Segeren. “This year we had some great rookies who made our team a lot more well-rounded than last year.”

The men’s team did not fare quite as well as the women this year, finishing ninth overall at the OUAs, and not winning any medals. However, Adam MacLellen qualified to compete in the 100 and 200-metre breaststroke at the CIS championships.

Segeren said Arthur is ranked third in the 50-metre freestyle going into the nationals, and she’s only a rookie.

“It’s really nice to see rookies doing that well already,” Segeren said.

Perry also had high praise for her teammates.

“Look for this team in the year’s to come,” she said. “There is a lot of potential here.” Raymond said she has high expectations for the swimmers representing Queen’s at the CIS championships.

“I wouldn’t doubt if [Perry] and [Segeren] won medals,” she said. “[Perry] narrowly missed breaking a 15-year old record at the OUAs, and they are both swimming faster than they ever have.” Segeren said she was happy with her performance at the OUAs but she is planning to do even better at the CIS championships.

“I thought it went really well—I had two personal bests in the 100 and 200-metre [breaststroke], but the 50-metre [breaststroke] didn’t do as well as I wanted it to,” she said. “I’m hoping to improve on my time from the OUAs and hopefully make the finals.”

Segeren added that although she would like to, she is not expecting to win any medals at the CIS championships. Only in her second year as a Gael, Segeren will most likely have a couple more opportunities to win at the national level.

For the graduating Perry, next weekend’s national championships will be particularly significant: it will be her final meet as a Gael.

The 22-year-old has been swimming for 17 years and said that when she graduates from Queen’s this year she will be moving on from competitive swimming.

“My goal is to medal in the 50 and 100-metre breaststrokes at the nationals,” Perry said. “I’m going in ranked fourth and fifth, so I think it’s possible. I’m just trying to stay focused.”

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