The 51st edition of the Mel Zajac Jr. International Invitational got underway on Thursday afternoon at the UBC Aquatic Centre on the Point Grey campus. While the meet may not have the raw star power of last year's event, which featured Ryan Lochte, complete with security detail, there is still plenty of world-class power on deck to continue the tradition of excellence that this meet has provided for over half a century now.
In addition to Canadian World Championships medalists, Ryan Cochrane (ISC) and Hilary Caldwell (PSW), the person who's turning the most heads when she hits the water is American sensation, Missy Franklin. Competing here with a number of her teammates from Cal-Berkeley, it's great for participants and fans alike to witness even more world-class swimming.
Franklin certainly did not disappoint during Friday's events, as she was the class of the field in winning the women's 200 Back, followed shortly thereafter by doing the same thing in the women's 200 Free.
To cap off her evening, she swam the anchor leg of Cal's 4x100 Free Relay team, coming from behind to beat Team Canada.
SwimBC athletes had a good evening, with many podium results. Tera Van Beilen (UBCD), Kierra Smith (LLSC), and Erin Stamp (UBCD) swept the podium in the women's 100 Breast, while Coleman Allen (UBCD), Keegan Zanatta (ISC), and Stefan Milosevic (UBCD) did likewise in the men's 200 Free.
Noemie Thomas (UBCD) won the women's 50 Fly, Luke Reilly (UBCD) took silver in the men's 400 IM, while Andrew Poznikoff (SFA), took the bronze in the men's 100 Breast.
In results from Thursday, which featured prelims of the stroke 50s as well as timed final distance events, Eric Hedlin (ISC) took top honours in the men's 1500, while Cochrane and his teammates and training partners, Will Brothers and Keegan Zanatta swept the podium placings in the men's 800. In the women's 1500, Brooke Lamoureux (COMOX) was the only BC athlete to finish in the top three, finishing third.
Prelims get underway each day at 8:30am, with the finals session starting at 5:30pm.