Into the deep end

Swim season off to a sizzling start

The University of Manitoba Bisons swim team continues to make a splash this season.

At the recent Colleges Cup Nov. 4 and 5, hosted by the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, the herd came away with quite a few triumphs.

Third-year Rhade Kostelnyk accomplished a huge feat at the swim meet, qualifying for the U Sports Championships in the men’s 50-metre breaststroke with a time of 28.65. Kostelnyk tied for silver in the race.

Women’s team co-captain Kelsey Fillion swam to bronze in the women’s 100-metre freestyle with a time of 56.73.

Rookies Eric Dupre and Ty Unrau made a splash of their own, capturing silver and bronze in the men’s 100-metre butterfly and men’s 50-metre freestyle with times of 58.30 and 23.09, respectively.

Veteran and co-captain Carson Beggs swam his way to a bronze in the men’s 100-metre breaststroke with a time of 1:02.61. Ella Howe, Georgia Pengilly, Hannah Schanel and Fillion also secured a team win, taking bronze in the women’s 4×50-metre freestyle relay, clocking in with a time of 1:45.28.

Howe achieved a time of 26.24 in the women’s 50-metre freestyle, placing just off the podium in fourth and placing fifth in the women’s 100-metre freestyle with a final time of 56.96.

The men’s team co-captain Andriy Usan swam into ninth place in the men’s 50-metre butterfly with a final time of 25.74 and 11th place in the men’s 100-metre butterfly with a final time of 56.11.

“I think we have lots of team spirit,” veteran swimmer Pengilly said.

Indeed, the group has the momentum it needs to be within medal contention while achieving personal bests.

“I think this will be, so far, the biggest team we have for U Sports,” Pengilly said. “I think we’re going to have more people qualify this weekend,” she added, referring to this coming weekend’s CanWest Championships.

Pengilly said the team has implemented Friday night racing into their training schedule.

“People are swimming so fast, we have a bunch of people get best times in practice,” she said.

The Bisons have been improving both individual best times and as a team during the season despite losing major powerhouses Megan Mozill and Dora Modrcin, who both graduated last year.

As one of the most anticipated meets of the year, the upcoming 2023-24 CanWest Championships is looking to make for an action-packed weekend from Nov. 24 to 26.

While last year’s CanWest tournament yielded best times and fast relays from both the men’s and women’s team, the Bisons finished with a combined 365.5 points for the 2022-23 season. In the previous 2021-22 swim year, they earned a total amount of 575 points.


The Bisons will take on the CanWest conference in the championships from Nov. 24 to 26, hosted by the University of Calgary Dinos.