HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
Sophomore Noah Wagner made a huge splash in the Montpetit Hall pool on the weekend as he orchestrated Team Alpha’s first International Gee-Gees Swimming League win by a decisive 88-62 over Big Cats.
The Regina native not only compiled three individual race wins as well as a relay victory in the six-race men’s program, but also had two personal-best performances, which came in his first two races of the day.
Wagner opened the second leg of the three-session IGGSL schedule, winning the men’s 200-metre butterfly in 2:03.50, bettering his 11-month-old record of 2:03.88. Then, he swam the 50-metre breaststroke in 28.75, which improved his PB from 29.17.
The University of Ottawa human kinetics student also won the men’s 200-metre individual medley in 2:10.43 and ended the program joining Connor Smyth, Matthieu Vilain, Louis Bertrand to take men’s 200-metre medley relay by 4.90 seconds in 1:46.28.
Earlier, Smyth placed first in the men’s 200-metre backstroke, 2:08.70, and Bertrand had the fastest men’s 100-metre freestyle time, 50.94. It was the first time in the short IGGSL history one team had won all six men’s or women’s races in one day.
On the women’s side, Team Alpha won three of six women’s races: Lauren Shearer, 50-metre breaststroke, 33.36; Mayheve Rondeau, 100-metre freestyle, 1:00.16; and Renee Saville, Joanne Diemert, Shearer, Rondeau, 200-metre medley relay, 2:03.60.
Malorie Kanaan was a double winner for Big Cats, taking the women’s 200-metre butterfly, 2:26.85; and the 200-metre individual medley, 2:28.78. Katie Polley notched the other Big Cats’ win in the 200-metre backstroke, 2:23.03.
The four-win effort by Wagner also was a league first for a single meet. Wagner, who learned speed swimming during his six-year residency in California, swam for Saskatchewan at the 2017 Canada Summer Games, scoring two top-10 results.
In his 2019-20 freshman year, Wagner qualified for four races at the 2020 USports national swimming championships and reached two B finals. In RSEQ Cup 4, he earned a bronze medal and helped the Gee-Gees win the men’s team title.
The Dave Hein Bucks remained undefeated, posting their second win by an 84-63 score over winless Guelph Goliaths. Each team recorded three wins in both the women’s and men’s divisions.
Captain Adelle Yamashita-Ball led the Bucks’ charge with 3 victories: the women’s 200-metre butterfly, 2:19.84; 200-metre backstroke, 2:18.08 and 200-metre medley relay with Talea Claassens, Vanessa Bellio and Shaunna Walker-deJong, 2:00.78.
Entering the winners’ circle for Guelph were: Abby Simms, the women’s 100-metre freestyle, 58.23, and 200-metre individual medley, 2:28.63; as well as Megan Sidor, women’s 50-metre breaststroke, 34.73.
Nathan Schiffman was first in men’s 200-metre butterfly, 2:04.27, and Alexandre Perreault captured the men’s 100-metre freestyle, 51.50, for the Bucks. They joined Gordon Forrest and Nicolas Machell to win the 200-metre medley relay, 1:44.73.
The Goliaths men’s wins came from James Steele, the 200-metre backstroke, 2:06.86, and 200-metre individual medley, 2:11.26; as well as Jamie Demers, the 50-metre breaststroke, 30.10. The third and final IGGSL meet is scheduled for Dec. 5.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for over 47 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.