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All-American honours for Chilliwack Spartan grad

Simon Fraser's Jessie Gibson earned top five finishes in two races at last week's NCAA Division II swim nationals in Birmingham, AL.
Jessie Gibson capped an amazing freshman swim season at SFU with two All-American efforts at NCAA Div-2 nationals.

Simon Fraser University freshman Jessica Gibson finished with All-American honours in two distances at last week’s NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving National Championships.

The Chilliwack Spartan Swim Club grad was electric on the big stage.

In the 100 yard butterfly, Gibson far exceeded her ninth overall seeding (54.44) to place fifth in both rounds, hitting the wall in a personal-best 54.33 in the preliminaries, followed up by a time of 54.36 in the finals.

It stands as a new program record for SFU.

She then earned fourth spot overall in her signature event, the 200-yard butterfly, racing to a time of 1:59.63, just off her career-best pace of 1:58.81.

“Jessie has this ability to get better in race mode,” said SFU coach Liam Donnelly. “She seems to improve the most when races are the most intense, with the most on the line. It’s incredible to watch.”

Gibson finished 18th in the 200-yard backstroke (2:01.93).

In relay action, Gibson helped SFU qualify for the ‘B’ finals in the 200-yard freestyle before finishing in an overall position of 14th at 1:51.23.

The Clan women raced to a 23rd-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay, as the foursome of Gibson, Miranda Stever, Alicia Kan, and Lauren Swistak closed in 3:51.73.

The women’s 800-yard relay team – Gibson, Kristen Olvet, Lauren Diehl, and Swistak – finished 27th, touching in 7:38.32.