QUEBEC CITY — James Dergousoff (CHENA), fresh off making his Pan Am Games debut earlier this month, attended to business Friday at the Canadian Age Group Championships by winning 17- and 18-year-old boys 100-metre breaststroke.
The 18-year-old from Christina Lake, B.C., who made his first senior national team this year, clocked one minute 2.52 seconds at the Laval University Sports and Physical Education Pavilion (PEPS) aquatics centre. For Dergousoff, who is intent on qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics, this week is essential for his mental game.
“Pan Ams was an extreme high and it’s pretty hard to come back at swim Age Groups,” said Dergousoff, who will also compete in Saturday’s 200-m breaststroke, as well as 200-m individual medley to wrap up his meet. “My coach Patrick [Paradis] and I have regrouped fairly well. We’re both pretty excited about [Friday’s] swim and [Saturday’s] swim, the 200 breaststroke, as well. It was a really nice turnaround for us. It took a few days after Pan Ams of preparing to perform. That’s all that needs to be done now.
“Basically, this is my last competition of this year, that doesn’t really mean I’m going off,” Dergousoff added. “I’m really going to start swimming for next year, starting early in August to get ready for the big grind and haul it will take before the Canadian Olympic Trials. Basically what we want to accomplish is to make sure my mental abilities are at their peak so I can be tougher than anyone else.”
Connor Isings of Pointe-Claire Swim Club authored one of the feel-good results of the night by winning gold in 16-year-old boys 100-m breaststroke. Isings lost some three months of training time earlier this season after sustaining a brain injury, but on Friday the Beaconsfield, Que., native prevailed in 1:05.67.
“Right after our Christmas training camp in The Bahamas, the second day we were back I got a concussion that took me out of the water for three months,” said Isings, whose clubmate Kevin Bertrand earned a bronze medal in the same event. “I wasn’t able to swim at the Eastern championships and that was hard, but I’ve been able to overcome that and reach the standards I wanted to reach by the end of the year. I couldn’t have asked for anything better than how today went.”
In 15-year-old girls 800-m freestyle, University of Victoria – Pacific Swimming Club’s Molly Gowans (PCS) impressed by paring five seconds from her personal best whilst winning the gold in 8:45.44. The 15-year-old Victoria, B.C., native’s time was the fastest of any woman on Friday, with Etobicoke Swimming Club’s Olivia Anderson pacing 16- to 18-year-old girls by clocking a time of 8:46.73.
“I could feel that I got out faster than I normally do, but I could see a few people catching up,” Gowans said. “But I felt pretty good. I wasn’t expecting to have that time, so it was nice. I cannot wait to swim the same events next weekend [at the Canadian Swimming Championships] to see if I can do better.”
Etobicoke’s Din Selmanovic won the 17- and 18-year-old boys 800-m freestyle in 8:20.07, giving him a distance double after his 1,500-m freestyle win on Thursday.
Eric Tong (RAPIDS), 12, of the Richmond Rapids also set a Canadian boys 13-and-under 50-m freestyle record of 25.53 seconds. Tong erased the mark of 25.84 set in 2010.
Saturday’s schedule also includes finals in 100-m backstroke and 200-m freestyle.
For full results: