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Hanus heroic in home pool - USport Champs Day 1

VICTORIA – At Canada West meets, Danielle Hanus has brought home multiple golds and she has been a medal hopeful in many U SPORT meets. On Day 1 of the U SPORTS National Swim Championship at Saanich Commonwealth Place, she thrilled the hometown crowd with a pair of golds.

"It's pretty surreal right now. It's always fun racing at this meet and we have a great home pool advantage, getting to train here everyday," said Hanus. "I'm pretty stoked for the rest of the weekend. We have a lot of swimmers dropping times and giving it their all out there."

Hanus brought the crowd to their feet in the women's 50-metre backstroke, a race she earned silver at the national meet last February held at the University of British Columbia. This time, she left no doubt, as she touched in at 28.05. A few races later, she was back in action during the women's 100m butterfly – a race she had previously won a bronze and a silver. Once again, the pride of Newmarket, Ont., left no doubt and cooked the competition in 58.74 seconds.

"I tried to get under a minute – and I did - and I can't believe it," said Hanus. "There were really good swimmers on either side of me and they gave me a really good challenge."

Hanus returned later in the evening for the women's 4 x 100m freestyle relay, and her team of Lauren Taylor, Alexandria Hedges and Allison Ballantyne placed three seconds back of a medal in fifth.

On the men's side, not only did Josh Zakala win gold, he set a new U SPORTS record in the process.

Zakala previously won silver in the men's 400m individual medley two years ago. This time, he entered the finals with the second fastest time in the preliminaries and bested the competition and record books with a swim of 4:21.80, eclipsing the previous benchmark of 4:22.52, which was set by Tristan Cote of the University of Calgary in 2015.

"I'm so happy; I've never won anything at U SPORTS before. It's such a great feeling to do this at home in front of my friends and family," said Zakala. "Backstroke is my best stroke, which means I have to get after it on backstroke to make up for it with my breaststroke. My plan worked and I was able to hold them off tonight."

Zakala also returned for the men's 4 x 100m free relay, and his team of Bailey Espersen, Daniel Greer and Eric Hedlin placed 10th.
Following the prelims, the Vikes sent nine non-relay teams to the 'A' Finals this evening. While the rest might not have medalled, they still helped rack up some valuable points in the team standings.

Ballantyne and Taylor finished 18th and 19th respectively in the women's 200m free. Homegrown swimmer Lauren Crisp missed a birth in the 'A' Finals by a split second in the prelims and placed 10th in the women's 50m back, which earned her 17 points. She also earned a top-10 finish in the women's 400m individual medley with a time of 5:04.54, good enough for seventh. Second-year swimmer Jamie Hellard improved her finish in the women's 100m breaststroke by one position and finished as the seventh fastest swimmer in the country at that distance with her time of 1:13.97. Kara Wilson, Andrea Farmer and Kira Grebinsky finished 17th, 19th and 21st in the women's 100m breast. Hedges touched in at 24th place in the women's 100m butterfly, while Kyla Ross and Victoria Mock placed 11th and 15th respectively in the women's 400m individual medley.

On the men's side, Hedlin, usually a longer distance swimmer, placed 18th in the 200m free. Greer tapped in right behind Espersen in the 'A' Final of the 100m breast – Espersen in sixth at 1:04.17, Greer in seventh at 1:04.90. Ethan Jensen also supplied a top-10 finish in the 100m butterfly with his seventh-place time of 55.92. While Zakala was out smashing records, Zachary Dumas also turned in an impressive seventh-place time of 4:32.80 in the 400m individual medley, with Ethan Phillips touching in nine spots later at 4:37.48.

In the team standings, the women sit fourth with 213 points – 81 points back of the University of Calgary Dinos in third. The men rank fifth with 175 points, 66 points behind the McGill University Martlets in third.

The Vikes will have plenty of 'A' Final opportunities tomorrow morning when the Day 2 preliminaries get underway at 10 a.m.

In order: Hanus will get things going in the fourth lane of the final heat in the opening event, the 100m back. In the 50m butterfly, Sarah Kirkhope will get her first swim of the national meet. Hedges will join her in the 50m butterfly. Padric McKervill makes his U SPORTS debut with Jensen in the men's 50m butterfly. Ballantyne and Taylor will line up beside one another in the second heat of the women's 400m free. Phillips, Hedlin and Zakala will all be gunning for gold in the 400m free. Wilson, Grebinsky, Famer and Hellard will be spread across the final three heats of the 200m breaststroke. Greer and Dumas make up the final two heats in their 200m breast. Local girl Tabitha Craig will be joined by Hedges and Taylor in the 50m free. Mock will be joined by Ross and Hanus in the 200m butterfly, while Jensen is the lone Vike representative on the men's side of the 200m butterfly.

Day 2 finals begin at 6 p.m. and will once again be stream on the CBC Sports website.
Full Results
Men (Nelson C. Hart Trophy)

UBC, 360 points

Calgary, 272

McGill, 241

Toronto, 222.5

Victoria, 176

Regina, 163

Ottawa, 145

Montreal, 113

Alberta, 100

Rouge et Or, 83

Western, 58

Waterloo, 37

McMaster, 32

Acadia, 27

Dalhousie, 20

Manitoba, 17

Guelph, 16

TRU, 6.5

Brock, 6

Lethbridge, 4


Toronto, 307

UBC, 304

Calgary, 281

Victoria, 213

Montreal, 201

Ottawa, 99

Western, 90

Dalhousie, 87

McMaster, 84.5

Manitoba, 83.5

Rouge et Or, 75

McGill, 72.5

Guelph, 41

Alberta, 31

Regina, 26

New Brunswick, 25

Waterloo, 22.5

Laurentian, 22

Acadia, 21

Sherbrooke, 17

Wilfrid Laurier, 16

UQTR, 14

Lethbridge, 2
M 200m Free

Markus Thormeyer, UBC, 1:48.56

Davide Casarin, Ottawa, 1:48.94

Alexander Pratt, UBC, 1:51.11

M 50m Back

Clement Secchi, McGill, 25.82 U SPORTS record

Robert Hill, Calgary, 26.10

Thomas Lafontaine-Giguere, Montreal, 26.63

M 100m Breast

Jaren LeFran, UBC, 1:03.02

Graeme Aylward, Toronto, 1:03.21

Benjamin Blackmon, Calgary, 1:03.50

M 100m Fly

Clement Secchi, McGill, 53.55

Dmitriy Lim, UBC, 55.06

Osvald Nitski, Toronto, 55.23

M 400m IM

Josh Zakala, Victoria, 4:21.80 U SPORTS record

Brodie Young, UBC, 4:23.07

Brian Palaschuk, Regina, 4:23.60

M 4 x 100m Free Relay

UBC, 3:24.33

(Alexander Pratt, Matthew Meuleman, Dmitriy Lim, Markus Thormeyer)

Toronto, 3:25.97

(Cameron Kidd, Bjoern-Ole Schrader, Gael Chaubet, Bernard Godolphin)

McGill, 3:27.42

(Will Simpson, Clement Secchi, Brandon Freiberger, Marius Collin)
W 200m Free

Emily Overholt, UBC, 1:58.80

Danica Ludlow, Calgary, 2:00.02

Aleksa Gold, Toronto, 2:01.34

W 50m Back

Danielle Hanus, Victoria, 28.05

Daphne Danyluk, McGill, 28.99

Rachel Rode, Toronto, 28.99

W 100m Breast

Kelsey Wog, Manitoba, 1:06.44

Hillary Metcalfe, UBC, 1:10.59

Lauren Shearer, Ottawa, 1:10.75

W 100m Fly

Danielle Hanus, Victoria, 58.74

Hannah Genich, Toronto, 59.27

Anais Arlandis, Montreal, 1:01.52

W 400m IM

Emily Overholt, UBC, 4:38.58 U SPORTS record

Megan Dalke, UBC, 4:49.84

Allison McCloy, Calgary, 4:51.57

W 4 x 100m Free Relay

 UBC, 3:45.42

(Hoi Lam Tam, Quincy Brozo, Mackenzie Gunther, Emily Overholt)

Toronto, 3:45.77

(Aleksa Gold, Georgia Kidd, Sarah Polley, Ainsley Murray)

Montreal, 3:50.12

(Charlotte Beauchemin, Marie-Lou Lapointe, Anais Arlandis, Frederique Cigna)