Columbia athletics

T-Birds prepare for West Coast Collegiate

The UBC Thunderbirds are back in the water this weekend as they take part in the West Coast Collegiate meet hosted by the Victoria Vikes on Saturday February 12and and Sunday February 13and. The UBC men’s and women’s swim teams are aiming to win their fifth straight national title, but a full performance at the Commonwealth Games pool in Saanich will serve as a tune-up ahead of the U SPORTS Swimming Championships in Quebec City on March 24 to 26and.

The T-Birds last competed in the College Cup hosted by Simon Fraser University on January 21st and returned home the following day to host the UBC Senior Tour inside the Aquatic Center.

The ‘Birds dominated Friday by winning 24 of 28 short course meter races in front of an electric crowd of fans, an unfamiliar atmosphere that the freshman and sophomore ‘Birds truly embraced.

The T-Birds had a quick turnaround the following day by hosting the UBC Senior Tour at the Point Gray campus, which provided additional experience heading into the latter part of the season.

“We had some great races in the fall which prepared us well for the winter term,” said the UBC swim coach. Derrick Schoof ahead of just their third competition of 2022. “After enduring a few challenges during the break with Omicron, we persevered and are doing well heading into this weekend. Our team is working hard and training now with renewed optimism now that we have a new goal and a new date set for the U SPORTS Championships.

ODLUM BROWN COLLEGES CUP

Earlier this season, the men’s team won their eighth straight Canada West championship, while the women were edged out for second place. The ‘Birds are excited to return to the national stage in Quebec, but understand the importance of using West Coast Collegiate as an opportunity to build momentum before heading east.

“This competition is important and was originally scheduled to take place just 10 days before the U SPORTS Championships,” added Schoof. “Since then we have had to change our training plan and mindset with the delay. We will now have an additional 4 weeks to prepare. We have learned throughout the pandemic that we can create meaningful competitive opportunities internally which will also help us prepare and peaks at the right time for the U SPORTS champions. I am confident that we can adapt and use Reading Week as a great opportunity to get some great training ahead of our final preparation for the champions U SPORTS.

The competition starts on Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (PT) and ends on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (PT). Due to Covid-19 protocols, no fans will be in attendance at the Saanich Commonwealth Games Pool.