Big man, big meet, big expectations

John Browne
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Sea-Hawks swimmer Gavin Dyke promises to go ‘all out’ this weekend in AUS swimming championship

Memorial swim coach Aaron Dahl says Sea-Hawks rookie Gavin Dyke is “a bit of a work in progress technically,”
“Part of that is because he’s a big guy,” Dahl said of Dyke, who is six-foot-four and 180 pounds.

MUN swimmer Gavin Dyke

“Sometimes, with big men, it takes a little bit of time to teach them the finer intricacies,” said Dahl. “The finer motor skills come a little bit harder for the big guys, but its the big guys who are the ones standing on top of the podium more often than not.”

Dyke, an 18-year-old freshman from Mount Pearl caught a lot of people’s attention earlier this season when he won five gold medals at the Dalhousie University Invitational Swim Meet in Halifax, N.S.

The MUN coach doesn’t feel there will be any extra pressure on Dyke, who he terms “pretty integral to our success,” because he’s swimming in the big meet at home.

“He’ll be fine. He’s represented the province at the Canada Games and he’s well know in the local swimming community, so he should have a lot of support.”

Dahl said even though Dyke’s main focus is on the CIS championships two weeks from now in Toronto, “he’ll still be very much focused on the competition this weekend.”

He said Dyke comes from a very good program in Mount Pearl and the coaching staff at that club “has done a nice job in instilling in him an attitude that work equals results.

“He has no problem as far as work ethic is concerned,” noted Dahl.

“We expect him to swim personal best times and he will challenge to win the events he’s in even though it’s a very competitive field.”

Dyke will be competing in the 100-, 200- and 400-metre freestyle events along with the 400m individual medley.

For his part, Dyke admitted the CIS is his “main focus,” but, he added, “that doesn’t mean I’m not going to step up on the blocks and go hard at the AUS. I’m definitely going to go all out.”

And by ‘all out’, Dyke means exactly what his coach anticipates from him.

“I expect season best times in all of my events,” Dyke said.

Though a freshman, there’s pressure on Dyke to perform well at the championships which doesn’t bother him a bit.

“I find it helps,’ he said. “A little bit nervous is always good.”

The MUN men’s swim team is still very young and includes seven rookies and two second years, but the coach says the team is aiming for second place overall and Dyke agrees that goal is definitely possible and the future is bright as well.

“We’ve got a couple of more years to develop and improve and I think you’ll really see a big change in swimming in Newfoundland,” he said.

Dyke is also looking forward to competing at home.

“It’s a little more motivation to do well, plus you get to sleep in your own bed which is better than a hotel.”

Organizations: Dalhousie University Invitational Swim Meet, Canada Games

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Halifax, Toronto Newfoundland

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