It was a strong showing for the Memorial Sea-Hawk swimmers at the 2016-17 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Swimming Championships.
The swim team has been under new leadership since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, with coaches Duffy Earle and Chris Roberts looking to create a competitive program in the AUS.
1/ Starting blocks
2/ In the lead
3/ On your marks
4/ Podium presence
5/ Multiple medallist
6/ Deep breath
That direction is starting to pay off, as the Sea-Hawks claimed 17 medals, including five gold medal performances during the championship event at the University of Prince Edward Island from Feb. 10-12.
“We were really happy with our results,” said Mr. Earle, head coach. “We’ve been working hard all year and this was probably our best AUS championships in years.”
Memorial’s Veronica Reid earned gold in the 50-meter breaststroke, 100-meter breaststroke, and 200-meter breaststroke.
Sam Leawood beat out AUS swimmer of the year, Gavin Dyke, and Mount Allison’s Geraint Berger in the men’s 100-meter freestyle.
Charli LeBlanc captured gold in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, and finished with five medals: the gold plus silvers in the 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter freestyle and the 400-meter freestyle relay, which also featured Allison Somers, Becca Dyer, and Ms. Reid.
Ms. Reid also finished the weekend with five medals, and added a bronze in the 50-meter freestyle.
Also earning hardware for the Sea-Hawks was fifth-year David Haines, who grabbed a silver in the 50-meter backstroke, and a bronze in the 100 meter. Nick Sparkes secured a bronze for the Sea-Hawks in the 200-meter breaststroke, while Mr. Leawood, Curtis McKay, Daniel Sparkes, and Ryan George won bronze in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Overall, the men finished third overall, while the women finished in fourth place overall.
Community service award
To top it all off, Logan Slade was named the 2016-17 AUS student-athlete community service award recipient during the awards banquet prior to the competition.
Mr. Slade is a third-year kinesiology student from St. John’s, N.L., in his second year of eligibility for the Sea-Hawks men’s swim team.
In the classroom, he has managed a cumulative GPA of 3.76 and currently boasts a 4.0 GPA.
He is the recipient of the Memorial University Endowment Fund Scholarship as well as the Centenary of Responsible Government Scholarship.
Mr. Slade is heavily involved in an array of community initiatives, including volunteer swim coach for Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador.