The first night of finals at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Trials presented by RBC went exceptionally well for the BC contingent at the meet, as a a total of six swimmers from BC programs were named to the Olympic team.
The evening started off with a spectacular come-from-behind win by Alec Page (IS) in the men's 400 IM, as he closed the gap on Andrew Ford in the last half of the breastroke leg, then pulled away to win in commanding fashion in 4:17.78.
That race was followed by the women's 400 Free, where, similarly, Savannah King (VAND) came from way back at the 300m mark to close within a second of winner Brittany Maclean of Etobicoke, and finishing in second place. Her time of 4:07.02 broke the existing Canadian record, but more importantly, was under the FINA "A" standard of 4:09.35, and thus allowing Canada the right to enter two swimmers in the event.
Up next was the men's 100 Breastroke, and Scott Dickens (VAND) made up for his disappointing result from four years ago where he was first going into the final, but then failed to qualify for them team. He made no mistake tonight, though, as he posted a time 1:00.43 to win the event.
Mackenzie Downing (WGB), who trains with the Victoria Academy of Swimming, came oh-so-close to qualifying for the team, as she finished second in the women's 100 Fly with a time of 58.86, just missing the two-per-country FINA "A" standard of 58.70.
The last "A" final of the night saw Blake Worsley (IS) fight off a strong challenge from Chad Bobrosky of Calgary in the men's 200 Free, to win in 1:49.11, and thus making his first Olympic team.
In the para-swimming events, Nathan Stein (SKSC) posted the fastest time in the men's 100 BR, with his time scoring the fourth-highest number of para-swimming points in the event. Brianna Nelson (IS) won the S1-S7 50 Fly, posting the fastest time in that event. The naming of the Paralympic Team, however, cannot be completed until the qualification deadline set by the IPC has passed (June of this year), and at that time, it will be determined by world ranking in each class of each individual event.
Overall, six swimmers were named to the 2012 Olympic Team on Day 1, and with four of those being SwimBC athletes, we're off to a superb start and looking for more great things to come.