Garneau’s swim team. Image: Evan Woo

Loud cheers could be heard from the bleachers as the MGCI swim team spurred on their teammates at the South Regional Championships, held at the Etobicoke Olympium on 4 February 2019. The team raced against hundreds of swimmers from other high schools, fighting for the chance to compete at the upcoming City Championships.

The competition took place at the same time as the West Regional Championships, so the 50-meter-pool was split in half to accommodate the two separate events. Swimmers warmed up for about an hour starting at around 8 am. Throughout the rest of the day, a total of sixty-four events took place varying by stroke, age group, distance, and level. Events consisted of up to eight heats, with a maximum of eight competitors in each heat. In previous years, regional events have experienced significant delays and schedule mixups, but this year’s event showed a huge improvement, with the competition running smoothly.

Competitors dive off to begin their race. Image: Evan Woo

In order to qualify for the City Championships, students had to either place first in their event at Regionals or place in the top sixteen in the city. The City Championships will be held on 14 February 2019 at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

The Reckoner recognizes the following MGCI students for their outstanding performance at Regionals:

Owen Huang: 1st place – Men 200 SC Meter IM Open, 1st place – Men 100 SC Meter Breaststroke Open

Larissa Long: 1st place – Women 100 SC Meter Backstroke JR High School, 2nd place – Women 200 SC Meter Freestyle JR High School

Eric Zhao: 5th place – Men 50 SC Meter Backstroke SR High School, 12th place – Men 50 SC Meter Breaststroke SR High School

Michael Kim: 1st place – Men 100 SC Meter IM JR High School, 5th place – Men 100 SC Meter Breaststroke JR High School, 7th place – Men 50 SC Meter Butterfly JR High School

Evan Woo: 13th place – Men 100 SC Meter Breaststroke JR High School

Hanlin Cheng: 4th place – Women 50 SC Meter Breaststroke SR High School, 9th place – Women 100 SC Meter Breaststroke SR High School

Jessica Guo: 10th place – Women 50 SC Meter Breaststroke SR High School, 13th place – Women 100 SC Meter Breaststroke SR High School

Alex Guo: 1st place – Men 50 SC Meter Breaststroke SR High School, 2nd place – Men 100 SC Meter Breaststroke SR High School

Jeffrey Qiu: 5th place – Men 50 SC Meter Breaststroke SR High School, 8th place – Men 100 SC Meter Breaststroke SR High School

Gabriel Luo: 1st place – Men 100 SC Meter Freestyle Open, 4th place – Men 100 SC Meter Breaststroke Open

Eric Wang: 9th place – Men 50 SC Meter Freestyle SR High School, 10th place – Men 100 SC Meter Freestyle SR High School

Evelyn Jiang: 9th place – Women 50 SC Meter Breaststroke JR High School, 13th place – Women 50 SC Meter Freestyle JR High School

Julia Shen: 3rd place – Women 100 SC Meter Freestyle JR High School, 4th place – Women 100 SC Meter IM JR High School

Frank Fan: 7th place – Men 50 SC Meter Backstroke SR High School

Larissa Long, Evelyn Jiang, Kelly Wang, Julia Shen: 6th place – Women 200 SC Meter Medley Relay JR High School

Hanlin Cheng, Jessica Guo, Julia Shen, Molly Yu: 9th place – Women 200 SC Meter Freestyle Relay SR High School

In order to participate, MGCI swimmers were required to compete in two mini-meets held at Monarch Park Collegiate Institute on 11 December 2018 and 15 January 2019. As well as providing seeding times, which determine preliminary rankings for the Regional Championships, Team Captain Jeffrey Qiu pointed out that the mini-meets provided less experienced members with valuable competition experience that helped prepare them for Regionals.

This season, the team gained six new members, making it the largest swim team Garneau has had in the past several years. “It was really exciting to see the team come together at Regionals and show how much they improved from the beginning of the season,” Jeffrey said.

Garneau’s swim team started practicing in late November and regularly trains twice a week at Don Mills Collegiate Institute. The team is coached by Ms. Woods, who has been dedicated to organizing the practices and meets, and has been crucial to the swimmers’ success so far.

On the team’s performance at Regionals, Molly Yu, a senior member of the team, said that “this year’s team has probably been one of the most successful so far. I’m incredibly proud of everyone for their dedication and for swimming their best at Regionals.” She added, “A huge thank you to Ms. Woods for arranging the practices, meets, and for always cheering us on.”