The first day of competition at the Paul Bergen Junior International Championships, being held just outside Portland, OR, saw the young Team BC squad come away with a handful of medals, in addition to a number of superb performances, highlighted by Katie Caldwell's provincial record performance in 400IM.
With a relatively young squad - Team BC is comprised of selected 15&16-year-old swimmers and 17&18 year-old swimmers - competing in an 18&U international-level competition, the team knew that average swims weren’t going to get them to the podium, so it was good to see a number of the swimmers stand up and deliver first-rate performances.
Katie Caldwell (PSW) came away with Team BC’s sole gold medal of the day, as she handily won the women’s 400 IM, putting together a well-split race (1:06/1:09/1:19/1:06) to finish in 4:41.03, which currently ranks her #2 in Canada in the event, in addition to being a new SwimBC record.
Katie Mann (PGB) and Caitlin Quon (UBCD) were also in that final, finishing 5th and 7th, respectively, while Kierra Smith (LLSC) won the “B” final with a PB that would have had her 5th in the “A” final, and did that less than 15 minutes after coming a close fourth in the 50 Breast “A” final.
The Team BC boys accounted for the other medals on the day, as Joe Byram (VKSC)won silver in the men’s 100 back, just getting out-touched at the finish by 1/10th second, finishing in 55.28. Marcus Chu (UBCD) won the “B” final in that event, clocking 57.31.
Alec Page (IS) had one of the busiest night of any of our swimmers, if not one of the toughest. After a seventh-place finish in the 200 fly, he went on to win a silver in 400 IM, coming from fourth-place at the 300m mark to come within a few tenths of a second of winning.
A short time after that effort, he helped the men’s 4x200 Free relay team steal a bronze medal, coming from being seeded sixth in the event. The relay was set up in a good position with Keegan Zanatta (IS), Page, and Byram giving Edward Zhao (UBCD) some clear water in which to swim and hold on for third place in the event, coming within less than a tenth of the silver medal, with fourth place a tenth behind them.
Team BC’s other finalists on the night included Samantha Corea (UBCD) 8th in 100 Back, Mariya Chekanovych (SFA) 7th in 50 Breast, Evan Broderick (UBCD) 6th in 400 IM.
Competition continues through Sunday evening, with online live results available at http://results.teamunify.com/osthsc/