Claire Sumner, Samuel Wang named U Sports Athletes of the Month

Claire Sumner leads the pack early in the during the women's 1500 metre qualifying at the Canadian Track and Field Championships and Selection Trials for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Jason Franson/CP)

McGill swimmer Samuel Wang and Queen’s cross-country runner Claire Sumner have been named the U Sports Athletes of the Month for November.

Wang, a 20-year-old biochemistry undergrad, led McGill to a first-place finish at Dalhousie University’s Kemp-Fry Invitational. His 23.85-second time in the 50-metre butterfly shaved 0.55 seconds off his own McGill record.

While Wang’s small build is not typically associated with star swimmers, his coach, Peter Carpenter, says that he excels in generating and maintaining power.

“His underwater work is the best I’ve ever coached and I’ve been at this for 25 years,” Carpenter told USports.ca. “I’ve never had anyone who could kick out underwater like he does.”

Sumner, a life sciences student, won the CIS Championship in November with a six-kilometre time of 21:09.3 and was named MVP at the meet. The All-Canadian will be representing Canada at the World Cross Country Championships this March in Uganda.

“It was a very nice feeling… every race ended up going very ideally for me,” Sumner told USports.ca. “I think a lot of it this year was confidence…I knew I could stick with the big girls, and just saying that to myself during the race…I feel like I can be competitive and not just hang on, but actually race the people beside me.”

Sumner also performed well at the Athletics Canada Cross Country Nationals in late November, finishing third in the Senior Women’s division with a 10-kilometre time of 34:06.6.

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