Posted on: October 31, 2018
The growth of the swim program at Thompson Rivers University has taken another step forward. The WolfPack swim team is attending, for the first time the UBC Odlum Brown University Cup. The event is set for this weekend (Nov 3-4).
“All the universities in Western Canada will be attending,” said head coach Brad Dalke. “Along with two all-star teams comprised of swimmers from Western Canada and the Lower Mainland. It should be lots of fun.”
Dalke explains why the WolfPack are attending this for the inaugural time. “Logistically everything worked out. We have the ‘race horses’ to be a part of this.”
The coach is referring to first year Ryley McRae and second year Gabby DaGasso (both of Kamloops, BC). “Both are national swimmers. Ryley has already qualified for U SPORTS Nationals. He definitely needs to be at this competition. Emily is on the cusp of qualifying. Obviously for her, it is a big step that we need to have her race there as we get set for Canada West championships in a couple of weeks.”
McRae is swimming his usual events except for the 1500-meter freestyle. He will run that race at the upcoming Canada West championships. Those events would be 400 free, 800 free, both butterfly events and be part of the TRU relay team.
“He should be in the top five or six,” Dalke states. “It is a 10 lane pool. We are looking to make finals. Likely in the top five. If things go exceptionally well we could see him in the medals.”
“For Emily, we are looking at her making top 10 and trying to make the finals.”
DaGasso is a backstroke and fly specialist. She will be competing the 50, 100 and 200 meters in both disciplines at the UBC event.
The WolfPack will have their entire team at this competition. Dalke says the teams conditioning has significantly improved for 2017-18.
Thompson Rivers will have a relay team in both the men’s and the women’s disciplines. “ One relay which we are trying to key in on is the men’s 4×100 freestyle. That group of boys has a very good shot at qualifying for the Canada West championships. Right now we have two athletes who have already qualified. If the team qualifies then two other athletes automatically get into Canada West and will be able to swim indivually at the compettion.”
McCrae is joined on that relay team by the first year Tanner Douglas (Kamloops, BC) and the Sylvan Lake, Alberta brother duo of Matt and Tyler Gauthier. The Gauthier brothers are twins.
The Canada West championships are being held at the University of Calgary beginning November 23rd.