Nova Scotia

Record-breaking year in pool for Dalhousie's Isabel Sarty

Last weekend was a big one for Dalhousie swimmer Isabel Sarty. Not only was she named the AUS swimmer of the year, she led her Dal women’s team to its 19th consecutive title and set several records in the process.

Neuroscience student gunning for gold at swim nationals

Isabel Sarty was named the AUS women's swimmer of the year last week and will lead the Dal swim team into nationals next week in Victoria. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Last weekend was a big one for Dalhousie swimmer Isabel Sarty.

Not only was she named the Atlantic University Sport women's swimmer of the year for the second straight season, she led her Dal women's team to its 19th consecutive title, setting several records in the process.

"So far my swims have improved since I've been in university," said the 20-year-old Sarty. "Getting personal-best times is always the ultimate goal, so it's been a really good year for me so far."

The third-year neuroscience student from Halifax is hoping she can win a few more races at the U Sports nationals in Victoria next weekend.

The freestyle specialist will be in four individual races. She will also swim on the relay teams.

"I'm feeling pretty confident, especially after last weekend," said Sarty, one of eight Dalhousie women heading to B.C. "We have such a great group of girls this year and we're all swimming so well, so I'm pretty excited going into it."

Sarty is continuing to break records and is hoping for personal-best times when she swims at the U Sports nationals next week. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Sarty graduated from Citadel High School's french immersion program and was the recipient of the David Fry Memorial Bursary. Fry was a longtime Dalhousie swim coach who died in 2015.

Sarty broke several records last week at the AUS championships.

She topped the podium in the 50, 100, 200 and 400-metre freestyle events — setting AUS records in the 100 preliminaries and final.

She also set a Dalhousie and Nova Scotia senior record in the 200 freestyle.

She earned another three gold medals in the relays. Dalhousie set conference records in the 4x100 freestyle and 4x100 medley relays.

International talent

Some of the best university swimmers continue on to swim at the national level and in some cases qualify for the Olympics.

"She has all the tools that are needed to get to that level," said Dalhousie swim coach Lance Cansdale. "If she continues to improve the way she is and wants to go for it, I'm sure it would be available to her."

Sarty is studying neuroscience at Dalhousie and has been named a U Sports academic all-Canadian in her first two years at the Halifax school. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

But Sarty said her future in swimming right now is only at Dalhousie and she doesn't see herself swimming for Canada.

She plans to swim for Dal at least for one more year and is more focused on getting her degree and continuing on to medical school, or a future in medical research.

The only part of her swim career that is on her radar right now is the nationals.

Isabel's older sister, Julia, an electrical engineering student, just completed her final season as a member of the Dal swim team.