April 18th, 2024

Alexander tops podium to finish out university career

By Lethbridge Herald on March 12, 2024.

Herald photo by JUSTIN SEWARD Chris Alexander ended his decorative U Sports swimming career with a gold medal in the 50-metre backstroke over the weekend.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

University of Lethbridge Pronghorns swimmer and local product, Chris Alexander, has finished his U Sports career as a champion.

The fifth year set the tone  for the Horns as he won the gold medal in the men’s 50-metre backstroke with a time of 25.89 on Friday at the U Sports Swimming Championships at McGill University.

“It was good,” said Alexander.

“It was really stressful leading into that race. So to be able to pull it off like that was special, especially (in) my last year.”

The stress going into the race came from Alexander battling injuries and illness throughout the second semester.

“The second semester this year was really rough with sickness and injuries, training didn’t go how I wanted it to and not being as prepared as I would’ve liked to have been, was adding to that stress,” said Alexander.

Then seeing University of Toronto swimmer Andrew Herman swim to a U Sports record that morning added to Alexander’s stress level.

“Just seeing that result and having to beat him to defend my champ title just added to all the stress,” said Alexander.

Alexander was able get through the stresses by knowing he had a lot of support and didn’t want to let anybody down.

“It’s nice to win,” he said.

“I don’t want to touch the wall after anybody. So that played a big factor too.”

His favourite  university memory was at the U Sports Championships in Laval in 2022 because the Horns only took four men’s swimmers to that event including  Alexander, Apollo Hess, Raine Arden and Parker Brown.

“We had some pretty phenomenal results, especially in the relays,” he said.

The team came second in the 4×100 free relay and won the 4×100 medley relay.

Horns head coach Peter Schori said it was pretty fun, when asked what it was like watching him win.

“It’s been fun to watch his career and it was a great kind of finish to his USports career,” said Schori.

“But this has been a really tough year and I think it was one of those examples of where somebody like really, really digs down deep to win a race and it was great to watch.”

He finished his university swimming career with 16 medals between Can West and USports.

“Chris, I think, arguably leaves as the most decorated Pronghorn swimmer ever,” said Schori.

“We’ve  gotten a little bit used to Chris’ success alongside some of our other swimmers.”

He plans to discuss his swimming future with Schori.

Other notables included Tristan Bennett winning the silver medal in the 50-metre breaststroke, the women’s 400-metre medley relay and freestyle teams placing in the top 10, Ryenne Katterhagen scoring in the  four events she swam in and became the second-fastest Horn women’s swimmer in the 100-metre breaststroke and Delany Lehman scoring in multiple event and placed in the top 10 for the 50-metre backstroke.

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