University of Calgary

Dino wins Gold

July 14, 2009
Kevyn Peterson with her silver medal. / Photo: Ben Matchett
Kevyn Peterson with her silver medal.
/ Photo: Ben Matchett

What a swim

In the last individual final of the Summer Universiade after six days of competition, Team Canada finally put a swimmer atop the podium when the University of Calgary’s Kevyn Peterson went wire-to-wire in the women’s 400-metre freestyle.

The medal, Canada’s first gold and 14th overall of the Games, follows a silver-medal performance by Peterson in the 200-metre freestyle on Friday and brought the Canadian swimmers into a tie with the athletics team with seven medals apiece and just one day remaining.

Peterson reached the top step of the podium against long odds. Despite winning her morning qualification heat, she finished seventh in the aggregate standings and qualified for the final by a fingernail. As a result, she was assigned lane one for the final.

Despite the outside lane, Peterson shot out at the start to take the lead at the 50 metre mark and never looked back, knocking more than eight seconds off her qualifying time to finish in 4:10.01, beating out a hard-charging Kristen Heiss of the United States by 1.29 seconds.

“It’s a big shock, I’m kind of overwhelmed,” said the 21-year-old from Salmon Arm, B.C. “I had no idea this was coming tonight after my morning swim, but it’s nice to be able to come out with a gutter ball in lane one and do something like this.

“After the first 150 metres I realized that I was ahead of everyone else,” she went on. “I got a little freaked out and thought that I might have to back off a little, but thankfully I was able to stay with it as long as I could and get to the wall first.”

“What a swim,” said Mike Blondal, Peterson’s head coach with the CIS champion Dinos and the Canadian head coach in Belgrade. “She rolled a gutter ball after a pretty crappy morning for everyone in the rain and the cold, but she came out tonight like she had been shot out of a cannon and she didn’t fade at all. She swam a serious, world-class time.”

On her third trip to the podium after relay silver in the 4 x 200-metre freestyle and her own 200 free silver Friday, Peterson finally got to see the Maple Leaf raised on the middle flag pole.

“It was so much better to see it fly higher than everyone else’s, and this was a long time coming,” she said. “We had a great meet as a team, and it feels great to be the one at the top, bringing it home.”

Her first-place finish brought the Dinos’ total to five medals at the Universiade after her own silver in the 200-metre freestyle, a silver by Calgary native Katy Murdoch in the 100-metre backstroke, and the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 freestyle relays, both of which featured at least three U of C swimmers.

Peterson’s gold was the only medal in six final swims for the Canadians as the SRC Tasmajdan outdoor pool bid farewell to the Universiade competition.

With seven swimming medals to Canada’s credit, Blondal was pleased with the team’s performance in Belgrade.

“It was pretty exciting meet,” said the coach, who represented Canada as an athlete at the 1977 Universiade in Sofia, Bulgaria. “We figured coming in that there were some medals to win, so we might as well go and win some. This is great for university swimming in Canada, but now we have to figure out how to do this every year, because that’s what grows the sport.”

“We had some really great swims from relays to individuals, and we worked really well together,” said Peterson. “This team has been one of the best in terms of atmosphere and having fun, and I’m really privileged to be part of that and to contribute to that team.”

(University of Calgary swimmers in italics)

Heats women’s 400m freestyle
7. Kevyn Peterson, Salmon Arm, B.C., 4:18.16, qualified
15. Breanna Hendriks, Cochrane, Alta., 4:24.09, not qualified.

Heats men’s 400m individual medley
8. Steven Bielby, Pointe-Claire, Que., 4:23.80, qualified
12. David Dimitrov, Calgary, Alta., 4:26.47, not qualified.

Heats women’s 4x100m medley relay
5. Canada (Katy Murdoch, Calgary, Alta., Kayla Voytechek, Lethbridge, Alta., Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux, St-Nicolas, Que., Marie-Pier Ratelle, Quebec City, Que.), 4:09.39, qualified.

Final women’s 50m breaststroke
1. Daria Deeva, Russia, 31.55
2. Dal Eun Kim, South Korea, 31.57
3. Ewa Scieszko, Poland, 31.63
8. Allison Long, Calgary, Alta., 32.43.

Final women’s 400m freestyle
1. Kevyn Peterson, Salmon Arm, B.C., 4:10.01
2. Kristen Heiss, USA, 4:11.30
3. Leone Vorster, South Africa, 4:13.18.

Final women’s 4x100m medley relay
1. USA, 4:01.90, Universiade Record;
2. Italy, 4:02.75
3. Russia, 4:03.89
4. Canada (Katy Murdoch, Calgary, Alta., Kayla Voytechek, Lethbridge, Alta., Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux, St-Nicolas, Que., Marie-Pier Ratelle, Quebec City, Que.), 4:04.40.

Summer Universiade website:
Team Canada website:

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