SFU swimming seizes the moment at Clan Cup

The annual Clan Cup International on November 18–20 at the Margaret and Paul Savage Pool was a success for SFU, as the team led every day of the tournament. “The competition was very successful, with SFU winning the Clan Cup,” said head coach Liam Donnelly. Coach Donnelly definitely has a lot to be happy for, as many new records were set by the swimmers and quite a few surpassed expectations.

On day one, SFU closed the night with three wins out of eight against Whitman College and the SFU Aquatic Club. Swimmer Mackenzie Hamill set a new time record in the finals of the 800m freestyle, surpassing Adrian VanderHelm’s record from last year’s event. With a couple more wins from other swimmers, SFU stood at 335 points.

Day two brimmed with victories, as the men and women’s team dominated the competition by securing 13 of 16 events. Notable performances were executed by swimmers Jessie Gibson, Meaghan Frenks, Lauren Diehl, and Sidney Peake of the women’s team. The day finished with 901 points for the Clan as the team held its ground at the top position.

The Clan did not fail to impress on the last day: eight different swimmers seized individual titles, while the men and women’s team raced to win the 400m freestyle relays. Day three of the Clan Cup International ended with a high score of 1,401. Breaking down this score, the women’s team brought home 783 points while the men achieved 618 points.

“Jessie Gibson achieved an ‘A’ standard for the NCAA National Championships and automatically qualifies to compete in early March in Birmingham, Alabama,” said Donnelly. Senior Claudia Mathieu said, “It really showed what the swim team was made of. People were tired and beat by the end of it, but right until the last relay everyone gave it their all. With already one woman making the ‘A,’ and a dozen making ‘B’ cuts, it could only mean great things for the team.”

Gibson, Hamill, and VanderHelm broke SFU records at the end of the Clan Cup. Donnelly added that 28 “B” standards were achieved by 11 different swimmers: Kristen Olvet, Lauren Swistak, Miranda Stever, Meaghan Frenks, MacKenzie Hamill, James Cormier, Adrian VanderHelm, Andrew Woinoski, Gabriel Lee, Tim Woinoski, and Daniel Kilmaster.

“I think the team has seen what they are capable of accomplishing and it’s given us great confidence going into our next big swim meet next weekend in Seattle,” said Mathieu.