A trip to Halifax in July convinced Mount Pearl’s Gavin Dyke to transfer to Dalhousie University from Memorial with a little encouragement from MUN’s new swim coach.
Dyke spent a month training with the Dalhousie Tigers swim team because of “a better training environment”, as well as the ability to train more long course.
“Before I went, I hadn’t planned on transfering to Dal,” said Dyke.
While he was in Halifax, he talked with the Sea-Hawks’ new swim coach, Lucie Henderson, who was in town for a meet.
“She suggested that maybe I should go to Dal this year where she admitted the training would be better,” said Dyke.
“I already knew the guys and (Dal) coach Lance Cansdale. Lucie is a good coach as well, but the swimming environment at Dal is better for me.”
Dyke said Cansdale didn’t try to recruit him.
“He knew I was going to MUN, until Lucie said it was OK for him to talk to me,” said Dyke.
Dyke, who was last year’s Memorial Sea-Hawks’ athlete of the year, was dominant in the pool in his rookie season, qualifying for the CIS championship early in the season by winning four silver medals in as many events at the Dalhousie AUS Invitational.
Last January, he excelled with five gold medals in each of his individual events. At the AUS championship, at home at the Aquarena, Dyke was on the podium five times individually, and twice for relays and was named rookie of the meet.
He was the only Sea-Hawk to qualify for the CIS championship.
The Atlantic University Sport’s male swimmer rookie of the year believes the switch to Dal will give him a better opportunity to make a national team, as well as the 2015 Summer Universiade in South Korea next July.
One of the few individual bright spots in MUN’s varsity sports program, Dyke said the atmosphere at Dal is more competitive, and the Tigers compete in three or four more meets than Memorial University in a season.
“Competing at Dal will give me more opportunity to swim fast and compete in more races,” he said.
Dyke, who was in a Bachelor of Arts program at MUN, is hoping to switch to kinesiology this year at Dal.