REDS Prep For Conference Championships

UNB's Elodie Martin competes in a backstroke event at the UNB Invitational, Saturday, in Saint John. (PHOTO: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics)
UNB's Elodie Martin competes in a backstroke event at the UNB Invitational, Saturday, in Saint John. (PHOTO: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics)

(SAINT JOHN, NB) The host UNB REDS saw mixed results on the first day of their UNB Invitational swim meet, at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre, in Saint John.

The meet is the fourth of the 2023-24 Atlantic University Sport swimming season and the last before the conference championships, in February.

The REDS lone victory of the day came in the men's 50-metre breaststroke where Blake Kingston touched the wall first, beating Dalhousie's Keilen Bellis by 6/10ths of a second.

"I'm pretty happy with it," said Kingston. "Coming off training camp, I've had a lot of speed so I'm really happy with how it worked out." UNB's Ethan Nestoruk was third, just 3/10ths back of Bellis.

"It's great to see," added Kingston. "We've both had pretty rough years and going into the tail end of the season, it's good to see that we're both back out on top again."

There were two sessions on Saturday.

In the first, Dal swimmers won eight of the 12 events.

In the second session, Saturday evening, they won all 11.

Dal's Reagan Crowell opened the meet and the day's first session with a win in the women's 50-metre freestyle, beating Acadia's Sophie Rooney and Grace Earle to the wall.

Crowell later added a second victory, taking the women's 800-metre freestyle.

Dal's Veronica Hollick captured the women's 50-metre butterfly.

Acadia's Ella Collins swam to first place in the women's 50-metre breaststroke while her teammate Natalie Stokes won the 50-metre backstroke.

Rooney took the women's 200-metre individual medley.

Dalhousie's Noah Mascoll-Gomes won the men's 50-metre freestyle, beating teammate Logan Sparkes to the wall by almost half a second.

Dal's Cole Mitchell won the men's 50-metre backstroke while his Tigers teammates Liam Ferguson and Tim McCowan were first in the 50-metre butterfly and 200-metre individual medley respectively.

Sparkes was first to the wall in the men's 800-metre freestyle.

The Tigers began the evening session winning a mixed 8-by-50-metre freestyle relay.

Dal's Ella Dobson then won the women's 200-metre butterfly before Tigers swept the top five positions in the men's 200-metre fly, led by race winner Isaac Bahler.

Emilie Schofield took the women's 100-metre freestyle for Dal while Mascoll-Gomes won the men's 100 free.

Dal's Kate Tuck beat Mount Allison's Jordan Thomas to the wall in the women's 200-metre breaststroke before Connor Maloney led a Tigers 1-2-3 in the men's event.

Crowell and Mascoll-Gomes added victories to their days, winning the women's and men's 400-metre freestyles.

Schofield won the women's 100-metre backstroke, beating Earle by just 11/100ths of a second.

Ferguson added the 100-metre backstroke title to his day, the only swimmer in the 13-man field under the one-minute mark.

The Tigers sit atop the women's standings, ahead of Acadia, Mount Allison, the Sea-Hawks and UNB.

In the men's standings, Dal leads Acadia, the host REDS, the Mounties and Memorial.

As important as results are, REDS' head coach Marta Belsh says this meet is about preparing for the conference championships.

"Because we haven't raced since November and we still have five weeks before AUS, this is key in our preparations," she said. "Having the resilience of stepping back on the block and taking it out and being aggressive from the go and making sure that we maintain our competitiveness."

The meet's final session goes Sunday morning at 10:00am.


RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics