Swimming Made A Splash in ACAC

GPRC swimmer, Chris Razeau
GPRC swimmer, Chris Razeau

by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips

The sport of swimming was a key part of the ACAC from 1989-2007 before its discontinuation.

Looking at the record books, former Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) Wolves' swimmer Chris Razeau holds an impressive five records.

They are 50 metre freestyle, 0:24.25; 100 m freestyle, 0:53.28; 50 m butterfly 0:25.71; 100 m butterfly 57.63 and 100 m individual medley with a 1:00.01 clocking.

Not bad for a kid from Fort St. John, British Columbia.

We caught up with Razeau, now 38 years-of-age and residing in Red Deer, Alberta, to chat about his college swim days.

"That is such a long time ago...18 years ago," recalled Razeau, who is a Process Technician at the Dow Chemical Company.  "Looking back it was a great experience. I met a lot of good people and a made a lot of good friends along the way...some that I am still connected with."

Having played team sports throughout junior high, Razeau started focusing solely on swimming, "Probably around 16 years of age."

He continued: "We only had a summer swim coach at Fort St. John (Inconnu Swim Club) and his name was Aaron Dahl. He would come from the (Vancouver Island). But once we started getting a bunch of swimmers winning at the provincials, it was decided that we might as well set up a winter club also, so he became our fulltime coach."

Following high school graduation and with swimming offers from various U Sports schools, Razeau decided to enroll at GPRC.

"University of British Columbia had asked me to come down there and swim but I wanted to stay closer to home. We had had a few training camps with (GPRC Wolves) and I got to meet some of the swimmers and coaches and they had a program in place for me."

Razeau recalls trips to Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer to compete within the ACAC.

"It was a bit different than going to nationals. It was more fun and you were swimming for your school."

During his last year at GPRC, he would also attend the Olympic trials and be named Swim Alberta's 2000 Outlying Area Swimmer of the Year.

Continuing his education, he would later attend the University of Manitoba swimming for the Bisons, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies.

"Attending GPRC helped me pursue a post-secondary education. I was Athlete of the Year at GPRC and had great support along the way from a lot of people. Faculty members, coaches, parents, volunteers and teammates."

A member of the Red Deer Silver Sharks Masters Swim Club, Razeau says "he likes to stay in shape and socialize within in the sport."

Other notable record holders from ACAC swimming annals are: Mount Royal Cougars' Darren Desrochers with four men's records:  200 freestyle, 1:59.42; 400 freestyle, 4:14:53; 200 butterfly, 2:13.82 and 200 individual medley at 2:13.96.

SAIT Trojans Evguenia Mikoultchik holds four women's records: 100 backstroke, 1:09:18; 200 backstroke, 2:28:86; 50 butterfly, 0:30:16 and 100 butterfly at 1:08:04.

Cougars dominated both the male and female ACAC swimming component, winning nine consecutive banners from 1995 to 2004.