With Canada's Senior National Team being away at Commonwealth Games (running concurrently with this meet), the 2018 Canadian Swimming Championships are offering many of the "next generation" of Canadian swimming the opportunity to get their first taste of second swims, Championship finals, and even steps onto the podium for that younger generation.
And nowhere was this better on display than in the first medal race of the meet - the women's 800 Free. The race was won by Mackenzie Padington (CRKW), who just a year ago made her first World Championships by winning this same event, but she was joined by two newcomers to the National Championships medal podium, Molly Gowans (ISC) and Octavia Lau (HYACK).
As fantastic as the bronze medal was for Lau, the time she put up was at least as important Her 800Free time of 8:48.42 was a personal best by over ten seconds, and snuck in just under the 8:48.97 standard set by Swimming Canada to be in the running to be selected for a spot on Canada's Junior Pan Pacs Team which will be competing in Fiji this summer.
The selection processes for Junior Pan Pacs, as well as the Youth Olympic Games and Junior World Open Water Championships can be found at Swimming Canada's website, at the bottom of this page.
Also making it under that minimum qualifying standard for potential selection was Bailey Herbert (LOSC) whose 2:31.43 was under the 2:32.71 standard in Women's 200 Breastroke. That race also marked Herbert's first Championship final, where she finished 7th against a strong field, won by 2016 Olympian and 2017 World Championships medalist, Sydney Pickrem (ISC). Pickrem's winning time of 2:24.14. is the fourth-fastest time in the world so far this year.
Tyler Wall (KISU) came tantalizingly close to the standard as well, as he finished second in the “B” final of Men’s 50Free in 23.62, just off the standard of 23.53.
The other SwimBC medalists on the night included Josh Zakala (ISC), as he took the third in the Men's 1500 Free with a time of 15:38.39. And also cracking the Top10 for the first time at a National Championships were Raben Dommann (CHENA), Brodie Young (HYACK), and Martin Dimitrov (HYACK), in 5th, 6th, and 9th, respectively, in that same race.
Other swimmers making the "A" final were Danielle Hanus (ISC), who was 7th in W200BK; Nicolas Duke (CHENA), who was eighth in M200BK; and James Dergousoff (CHENA) and Jaren Lefranc (KISU), fifth and sixth, respectively in M200BR.
"B" finalists were Axana Merckx and Molly Hill (KWIC), along with Haley Klenk, Ingrid Wilm, and Hana Edwards in W200BK; Tengbo Yu (RAPID) in M50FR; and Ruishen Yu (SKSC) in M200BR.