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Vikes round into form in the Lower Mainland with national approaching

VANCOUVER – The University of Victoria Vikes shook off the holiday rust with a pair of meets over the weekend in the Lower Mainland.
First up was a quad meet against the host Simon Fraser University Clan, the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks.
A point-based event, only the top two swimmers from each school in each event scored points. 
By the time the final wall was touched, the men beat UBC's team but finished second behind the Clan. The women also took second place ahead of both SFU and Alaska Fairbanks, but behind the Thunderbirds. 
"The quality of results our swimmers produced today really stood out to us given that they didn't have a lot of rest heading into the weekend," said Vikes Assistant Coach Ryan Clouston. "We saw some very strong performances by many swimmers on short rest, which is a great sign to see moving forward in our build up to nationals."
Lauren Taylor was named Vike Swimmer of the Day for her fast time in the 800-metre freestyle. She laid down a new personal best of 9:03.72 on short rest and set the tone for the weekend.
Lauren Crisp took home the most points in the 100m backstroke in 1:02.03. Crisp also captured the crown in the 200m back with her swim of 2:15.08.
Bailey Espersen also dominated the breaststroke, as he won the men's 100m (1:04.12) and 200m (2:20.61). Espersen wrapped up his day by adding a silver in the 50m free in 24.92. 
In the men's 200m butterfly, Padric McKervill swam to a time of 2:04.77 to snag top spot. He wasn't done there, as he also took the title in the 400m free in nearly four minutes flat.
Jamie Hellard was the fastest of four Vikes in the women's 100m breaststroke. She touched the wall in 1:12.72 to take second, while Kara Wilson was right behind her in third at 1:13.55.
Daniel Greer was right behind Espersen in the 100m breast. He took second in a time of 1:04.81.
In the 200m women's breaststroke, Andrea Farmer snagged silver one second ahead of Wilson, while Ethan Phillips turned in a time of 2:06.87 to take second in the men's 200m back.
The Kamloops swimmer wasn't done there, as he added a third-place finish in the 200m individual medley to wrap up his day. 
The women's 200m individual medley team of Tabitha Craig, Chloe Spinks, Sarah Kirkhope and Hellard touched the wall in third at 2:01.54.
Jack Savage was the third fastest in the men's 800m free, as he touched in at 8:43.71.
Allison Ballantyne only needed 2:06.99 to seize a spot in the top three in the women's 200m free, while Alexandria Hedges claimed third in the women's 50m free in 27.55.
Building off a strong start to the weekend, was the second-year swimmer McKervill, who was named Vikes Swimmer of the Day for Saturday when the squad made the trip across town to take on the Thunderbirds at the Senior Circuit.
McKervill swam to qualifying times in the 200m butterfly (2:06.13) and 800m free (8:32.12, finished second). He also won the 100m fly in 56.95.
Crisp added a first-place finish in the women's 100m back in 1:04.45. Farmer also took home a top spot, this time in the women's 200m breast (2:43.18).
Other second place finishes came from Espersen (200m breast, 2:27.56), Phillips (400m IM, 4:42.74 and 200m back, 2:12.12) and Wilson in the 200m breast with a time of 2:45.58.
Rounding out top three finishes were Espersen (100m breast, 1:06.73), Greer (100m fly 58.06), Hellard (200m breast, 2:47.16) and Savage in the 200m back in 2:14.30.
Next up for the Vikes is the VIR Championships Jan. 24 to 26 at the Saanich Commonwealth Place, the same site as the U SPORTS National Championship, which takes place Feb. 20 to 22.

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