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Wet N' Wild CIS Nationals! BYOR (break your own record)! Body Hair Optional

by Rich Cole
Story taken from UVic's "Martlet" newspaper

Students from around the countr packed their bathing suits, shaved their bodies and traveled to Commonwealth Place for the 2003 CIS Championships last weekend.

Hosted by UVic and their affiliate Pacific Coast Swimming (PCS), the competition offered Speedo-heads the weekend of a lifetime. The event's highlights included the shattering of 13 CIS records, not to mention one Canadian and one world record.

UBC's Brian Johns more than reimbursed swim fans' three-buck entry fee by shattering the world record in 400m individual medley. In a sport in which winners are decided by the difference of tenths and even hundredths of seconds, the Richmond native became the fastest all-around swimmer on the planet by an unprecedented two seconds.

The Vikes' own Jesse Jacks also made waves, notching up three of UVic's five medals. Jacks had had a difficult season, battling the flu bug, however according to Vikes head coach Peter Vizsolyi, it made Jacks learn new race strategies. By tapping in to what Vizsolyi calls 'intelligent fear', Jacks used any doubts on the swim blocks to his advantage.  Son of a three-time Olympian and PCS coach, Jacks, a sociology student, spent the CIS weekend majoring in lapping his competition.

Another Vike with a great performance was soon-to-be-retired Phil Weiss, who earned a bronze medal in the 200m individual medley, the same race in which UBC's Brian Johns set a new Canadian Record.

"Going up against a world record holder was great," said Weiss of his last race as a Vike. "I've raced with Johns since we were kids. It was a good feeling to be on the podium beside him."

Also retiring this year is fourth-year backstroke veteran Dave MacDonald.

"I thought it was really great the way the Vikes pulled together for such a small team," said MacDonald. UBC may have won the overall points total, but MacDonald proudly pimped UVic's fourth-place performance, stating that "per swimmer, the Vikes out-did all the other universities at CI's."