While the Canadian team at the Olympics in Rio had probably its best opening day in the last 30 years, the Canadian Championships in Edmonton proceeded with its third night of finals, and again featured a host of superlative swims from our BC athletes.
It was easy to get distracted by the news trickling in from the Olympics, and in fact, the meet paused just before the start of the finals for the entire building to watch Penny Oleksiak of Toronto qualify fifth into the final of the women's 100 Fly. Earlier in the day, Noemie Thomas (formerly of WDSC and UBCD) just missed the semi-finals with an 18th-place finish.
Shortly after Oleksiak's swim, Emily Overholt (UBCDS by way of WVOSC) took to the final of the women's 400IM, in lane eight. Having won the bronze medal at the world championships last summer, there were significant hopes for Overholt, but she has struggled with a knee injury for much of the last four months, which significantly impacted her ability to train at the level she wanted. With that caveat, then, her ability to step up from lane eight and put up a fifth-place finish, just a couple seconds off her time from last summer.
Of course, the highlight swim of the evening was the Canadian women winning the bronze in the 4x100FR, just behind the Aussies and Americans. Huge congratulations to Sandrine Mainville, Chantel Van Landeghem, Taylor Ruck, Penny Oleksiak, and Michelle Williams (who swam in the prelims to save Oleksiak for the final).
I don't have much to add, as I think Mark Tewksbury's reaction speaks for all of us:
Meanwhile, back in Edmonton, BC once again started off with four medals in the first two finals of the evening. Sarah Darcel (ISC) started things off with a second-place finish in the women's 200IM; that was followed up by BC men sweeping the medals in the same event. Luke Reilly (UBCDS) won in 2:02.12, followed by James Dergousoff (CHENA) in 2:03.18, and his teammate, Rob Hill third just four-tenths back.
CHENA continued its strong showing at the meet with another silver medal from Tim Zeng in 50 Backstroke.
Nicolaas Dekker (RAPID) followed up his silver in the 50 Fly with a win in the 100 Fly, breaking 54sec. for the first time (53.99).
The individual events finished off with another four medals in the men's and women's 400 Free. Danica Ludlow (ISC) won her second event of the meet, adding to her 200 Free victory earlier, while her teammate Jeremy Bagshaw did likewise with his 400 Free victory. Peter Brothers (ISC) challenged Bagshaw for much of the race but couldn't hold on to him in the final 50m, while Carson Olafson (UBCDS) won his second bronze of the meet.
In the 4x100 Free Relays, ISC won the women's race, while UBCDS took the men's event and CHENA finished third.
In team standings, ISC and UBCDS are fourth and fifth, respectively, in the combined team standings, with UBCDS and CHENA standing one-two in the men's events, and ISC second in the women's team scoring.