Samuel Wang was the only McGill swimmer to make it to the podium at the U SPORTS national swimming championships in Toronto this weekend. The 22-year-old biochemistry sophomore won a silver medal in the men’s 50m butterfly and broke three school records over the course of the competition. As well, Peter Carpenter became the first swim coach from McGill to merit national coach-of-the-year honours, sharing the award with UBC head coach Steve Price.
McGill swimmers broke seven school records at the three-day meet, in which the Redmen finished seventh and the Martlets placed 10th of 25 teams overall. It was the highest number of McGill records ever established at the Nationals.
“It was a step up from last year,” said Carpenter, whose troops finished 11th and ninth, respectively, in 2017. “I believe that this is only the second time during my nine years at McGill that we’ve had both teams finish in the Top 10 at Nationals. I would have loved for things to turn out better on Day 3 – we left a lot of points on the table today – but I look at what the team accomplished at the end of a tough day and a long season and that was to produce their best relay times of the year. We qualified 28 swimmers and although we didn’t win many medals, we just missed the podium numerous times and broke a lot of records.”
On top of his silver in the 50m butterfly and his three school records, Wang earned second-team All-Canadian honours. The Redmen and Martlets also combined for a half-dozen fourth-place finishes at the meet. One of those near misses came on the very last swim, when Wang led the Redmen 4×100 medley relay to two records in one shot.
Wang, a 5-foot-10, 153-pound sprinter, led off that foursome with a school best in the 100m backstroke in 54.66, erasing a 15-year-old mark by Alexandre Pichette (54.67), which had stood since 2003. Earlier in the meet, Wang set a school record in the 50m back (25.03).
The relay was clocked in 3:39.00, breaking the previous school standard of 3:40.23 established three weeks ago. Wang was joined on the quartet by Montrealer Jason Galet (breaststroke) a computer science junior, plus Kade Wist (butterfly) a third-year economics major from Calgary and anchor Brandon Freiberger (freestyle) an electrical engineering sophomore from Ladner, B.C.
Wist, the son of former McGill Hall of Fame swimmer and Canadian Olympic medalist Andrea Nugent, tied the McGill record in the 50m breast during the morning prelims, matching the mark set by Michael Luck (28.79) in 2014.
Other McGill records that tumbled include the women’s 100m butterfly (Cecile Wiederkehr, 1:02.22), plus bests in the men’s 100m breast (Jason Galet, 1:02.26) and 200 breast (Jason Galet, 2:14.16).
Six seniors expected to graduate, including Simone Cseplo, Rebecca Gillis, Jessica Warrack, Bradley Crocker, Jason Galet and Zachary Pilling.