The 2018 Canadian Swimming Trials kicked off on Wednesday in Edmonton at the Kinsmen Sports Centre. BC swimmers will vie for a berth on the Pan Pacific Championships team which will compete next month in Tokyo. Events included the Women’s 800m FR, 200m FR para multi-class, 200 m FR, 100m BR, 100m BR para multi-class, and 400 IM.
Mackenzie Padington (CRKW) was the first BC swimmer to punch her ticket to Tokyo. Her time of 8:39.91 placed her almost eight seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Other BC swimmers in the top ten included Brooke Lamoureux (ISC) who finished in fifth place with a time of 9:00.68, Molly Gowans (ISC) who hit the wall in 9:02.27 for sixth place, and their ISC compatriot Chantel Jeffrey (ISC) who swam to an eighth place finish in a time of 9:04.85.
BC swimmers had a field day in the 200m FR, with 2/4 event titles being claimed by BC swimmers. Nick Bennett (S14SB14SM14) (RAC) charged to a victory in the Men’s 200m FR para multi-class. HIs time of 2:02.92 sliced 2.55 seconds off of his entry time. In the Women’s 200m FR, Padington had a strong race with a fifth place finish in a time of 2:00.04, just missing an additional berth as a relay swimmer for the 4x200m FR relay at the Pan Pacific Championships.
On the Men’s side, Markus Thormeyer (UBCSC) swam to a gold medal finish and a personal best time in 1:47.66. This effort gave him a spot on the team for both the individual 200m FR as well as the 4x200m FR relay. Jeremy Bagshaw (ISC) rounded out the relay team with a fourth place finish in a time of 1:49.13, just 0.11 seconds off the podium. Other BC swimmers in the heat included fifth place finisher Carson Olafson (UBCSC) who finished in a 1:49.71, and Colin Gilbert (KCS) who hit the wall in a 1:52.86.
BC swimmer Kierra Smith (SCAR), who is currently training in Toronto and representing HPC Ontario, continued to display her prowess as the top female breastroker in Canada. Smith punched her ticket to Tokyo with a time of 1:07.57, just 0.14 seconds ahead of the second place finisher Rachel Nicol. Faith Knelson (ISC) rounded out the podium just 0.20 seconds behind Nicol. LOSC teammates Bailey Herbert (LOSC) and Hillary Metcalfe (LOSC) claimed seventh and eighth place with times of 1:09.90 and 1:10.71, respectively.
On the Men’s side, Jaren LeFranc (KISU) was the lone male A-finalist. LeFranc finished in seventh place in a time of 1:03.35, just 1.38 seconds off the podium. In the Women’s para multi-class event, Danielle Kisser (S6SB6SM6) (DELTA) was the lone BC swimmer. Kisser raced to a 1:48.67 for a fifth place finish after the points calculation. Bennett once again battled for a podium spot in the Men’s event, as the fasted three times were all within 0.72 seconds. Bennett’s time of 1:12.82 was good enough for the silver medal.
Surely the most emotional win of the night, though, had to have been Emily Overholt (UBCD / HPC-Vancouver) as she won the women’s 400IM in 4:42.77. The last couple of years, since winning a bronze medal in Rio as a member of Canada’s 4x200F.R. team, have not been easy, having battled through a number of injuries and setbacks. As she touched the wall, she could not contain the emotion of the moment, having gone through so much to get back onto the National Team. In her post-race interview, she said that a year ago, she wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to make it back to the National Team, and now, having worked so hard to make it back, it meant so much to her. Sarah Darcel (ISC) was close behind to finish second in 4:44.21, and Megan Dalke (KCS) rounded out the field of BC swimmers with a time of 4:52.24 for fifth place.
On the men’s side, Josh Zakala (ISC) was the top BC finisher. Zakala finished second with a time of 4:23.00. Brodie Young (HYACK) finished fourth. His time of 4:27.66 was 0.66 seconds off the podium.
Congratulations and best of luck to all BC swimmers competing and vying for spots on the national team!