UPEI boasts home-pool advantage

Jason Malloy
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AUS swimming championships get underway today at CARI pool

Pierrre Lafontaine, left, new CEO of Canadian Interuniversity Sport who was CEO and head coach of Swimming Canada, is welcomed to P.E.I. by Blythe Martin and William Calhoun, head coach of the UPEI swim team. Martin organized a fundraising banquet for the varsity swim team held Thursday in Charlottetown. Lafontaine was guest speaker in support of general operating costs for the 20-member swim club and to help kick off the AUS swimming championships at the CARI Pool.

The UPEI Panthers have an advantage this weekend at the Atlantic University Sport swim championship in Charlottetown, said Geneviève Cormier.

“We get to sleep in our own beds, which is a huge advantage. There’s no travelling . . . (and) homemade meals are nice,” said the Stratford swimmer. “We are used to the pool. It’s a fast pool, so I’m really excited.”

The fourth-year bachelor of science student, whose major is in psychology and minor is in biology, is competing in the 50-, 100- and 200-metre backstroke and 50-metre butterfly.

She has her goals set for the weekend.

“I’d like to finish in the top-eight for my 50 butterfly and my other goal would be to break the UPEI record for the 200 backstroke,” she said, which currently is 2:34.

She hits the pool this morning at the CARI Complex in one of the competition’s first events.

The three-day championship has preliminaries daily starting at 10 a.m. with finals at 6 p.m.

This is Cormier’s third AUS championship and has finished in the top-16 in most of her events the previous years.

She said staying properly hydrated and mentally prepared would be important this weekend. Some swimmers picture the race in advance.

“While you’re trying to go to sleep, you’re visualizing your race, that’s important too,” she said. “It’s very mental.”

This will be the last chance for swimmers to qualify for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship.

The fact this could be her last university swim meet is not lost on Cormier.

“This is really exciting, as my graduating year, to be able to swim at our home pool,” she said.

“It is bittersweet that it’s ending. It’s really exciting. I know a lot of people are anxious to start the weekend and get going and have a really good meet. It’s going to be sad when it’s all over as well. For most of us it’s the last meet of the year.”

During Thursday's banquet, Dalhousie's Kit Moran and UNB's Monica MacDonald received the community service awards.

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