Marlins sweep eliminators at Dash for Cash meet

GUELPH – For the Guelph Marlins swimmers, the end-of-the-night breaststroke eliminator wasn’t all that much different than what they do during practices.

In fact, the eliminator that completed the second day of the Guelph Marlin Aquatic Club’s TD Dash for Cash meet at the Gryphon Aquatic Centre might have been easier.

“I’m not too tired actually. It was really fun,” Abigail McDonald of the Marlins said after winning the female eliminator.

The eliminator is like Survivor for swimming. It starts with one swimmer in each lane and they race two lengths of the 25-metre pool. Last-place finisher is eliminated. Then they do it again and again and again until there’s two swimmers left for a winner-take-all race.

For the Marlins, it might have been easier than the one they do at practice because there were two eliminator events – one for the girls and one for the boys. That meant the swimmers got to rest during the opposite sex’s heat. No such luxury at practice.

“A lot of times (at practice) it’s with less stress than there was there,” she said. “I felt really prepared for it and I was excited to do it because I knew I could do well.”

Marlins’ swimmers took both eliminators. McDonald, the lone Marlin in the female eliminator, beat Maddy Lavoie of Blenheim in the final with a time of 32.76 seconds.

That McDonald was competing in the home meet might have been a bit of a surprise.

“I have my big meet that I’m training for this season next weekend in Toronto,” she said. “I’m really excited to see how I do and to get some best times.”

With the Ontario Junior International meet Dec. 15-17 at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Complex, it’s possible swimmers would have skipped the Dash for Cash meet to rest up for the international meet.

“It was just to get some racing in before the meet to get a good feel for the water,” she said. “And there was a money event so, of course, I wanted to go in it.”

William Barrett beat Marlin teammate and billet brother Ryan Jensen in the male eliminator final, Barrett winning by almost a second with a time of 30.35 seconds.

It was a good bet that a Marlin would win the male eliminator as six of the eight original starters were from the host club and a Marlin win was guaranteed with four heats to go when second of the two interlopers was eliminated. Surprise was 14-year-old Russell Burton who made it to the second-last heat before being ousted.

For most of the swimmers in the eliminators, those heats were not their first races of the evening session and that might have led to some of them being knocked out before they figured.

Marlins’ winners in earlier races included Burton in the male 13-14’s 50-metre freestyle (25.43 seconds) and 100m butterfly (58.42 seconds), Barrett in the male 17-and-over’s 50m freestyle (24.67 seconds), Sydney Conrad in the female 15-16’s 100m butterfly (1:03.42), Kristen Quigley in the female 17-and-over 100m butterfly (1:04.57) and Jensen in the male 17-and-over’s 100m butterfly (57.77 seconds).

The meet is to wrap up with three sessions Sunday.

  • Guelph Sports Journal