McGill Swimming hosted the second Quebec Cup league swim meet of the RSEQ season at Memorial Pool on Oct. 29. Both the Martlets and Redbirds teams finished first in their respective men’s and women’s divisions, allowing McGill to beat out the teams from the University of Ottawa, Université de Laval, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. The McGill team secured first place by an impressive margin with a total of 1,058.5 points—293 points ahead of second-place University of Ottawa.
After narrowly coming in second place just 76.67 points behind UOttawa at their first meet on Oct. 7, the Redbirds’ win came as a welcome surprise to the team.
“[The win] was pretty unexpected, I would say. But I think we’re going to keep that ball rolling going through the season,” said Redbirds captain Eric Pelletier in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “We have goals to win the RSEQ banner and to place well at USports.”
The Martlets relay teams were more of an expected success. The teams dominated at the meet, placing first in both the 4 x 100-metre free and the 4 x 100-metre medley relay. The Martlets also swept the top four spots on the ranking of multiple-medal athletes, with fourth-year Daphné Danyluk and second-year Isabel Sarty tying for first with three gold medals each. Third-year Elizabeth Ling and second-year Cailin McMurray earned the third and fourth most medals, respectively.
Sarty, a master’s student in neuroscience, had a particularly successful meet, and was named the swimmer of the meet by the Quebec Cup and athlete of the week by McGill Athletics, in addition to earning gold medals in both of her individual races and the 4 x 100-metre free relay. Sarty’s 2:02.94 finishing time qualified her for the USports championship, and even more impressive was her 25.89 seconds 50-metre free finish that qualified her for nationals.
Sarty saw being at the McGill home pool as a factor in her success at the meet. She specifically noted the energy that came with the rambunctious audience and teammates.
“I think that really fed into my motivation for my races, and it really helped my confidence,” Sarty told the Tribune. “The team was so close to each other, and there was so much cheering, and I was able to have my friends and family here to watch.”
Head coach Peter Carpenter attributed the team’s outstanding results to the swimmers’ dedication and hard work over the season thus far, especially in the face of adversity.
“I think […] they’ve worked extremely hard in the past little while, and [they’ve been] fighting through illness,” Carpenter said. “They’ve managed to push through, so I’m super proud of them.”
The swim team’s next meet is on Nov. 18 at the University of Ottawa.
Moment of the meet:
In the final event of the evening, the men’s 4 x 100-metre free relay, McGill and UOttawa were neck and neck throughout the race. In the final 50 metres, the Redbirds pulled ahead and won the race to thunderous cheering from their teammates and the crowd.
The Martlets won the women’s division with 597 points, easily out-distancing second-place Ottawa with 319.5.
“To be honest, our men, we were more looking at second place as being a more likely result and they managed to win, so that’s a huge, huge result for us.”– Head coach Peter Carpenter on the Redbird’s success