2018 CANADIAN SWIMMING TRIALS
World record holder and reigning World Champion Kylie Masse swam her first race of the 2018 Canadian Pan Pac Trials this morning, cruising through the 100 back prelims in a time of 59.44 for the top seed. She currently sits atop the world rankings with her 58.54 from February, and has now been under a minute an incredible 35 times. She’ll look to crack 59 seconds for the 5th time this year tonight and book her ticket to the Pan Pacific Championships.
After Taylor Ruck opted not to swim the backstroke events at these Championships, Pointe-Claire’s Alexia Zevnik was one of those in the running to place 2nd to Masse, having gone 59.77 at the Canadian Championships last August. However, she elected to throw the race (going 1:11.42) in order to put all her focus on tonight’s 100 freestyle, where she’ll have a much better shot to make the Pan Pac team. All she has to do there is place in the top-4, while in the 100 back she would have to hit the FINA ‘A’ standard of 1:00.61 to automatically qualify (if we can all agree Masse is a lock to win).
With Zevnik out, Jade Hannah is the frontrunner for 2nd having been 59.62 at the 2017 World Juniors, but only qualified 6th this morning in 1:02.24. We’ll see what kind of form she’s in tonight.
She’ll receive challenges from Danielle Hanus and Ingrid Wilm, who have both been 1:00-mid and thus can hit that FINA ‘A’ standard, and then the #2 seed Madison Broad who was just off her best time this morning in 1:01.52.
In that 100 freestyle, Ruck, Kayla Sanchez and Rebecca Smith all scratched out after making the team last night in the 200, which really opened the door for Zevnik and others to make the team tonight in the 100. Zevnik qualified 1st in 55.43, followed closely by Penny Oleksiak (55.59), and 16-year-old Kyla Leibel dropped a tenth from her best time for 3rd in 55.85. Those three will likely be three of the qualifiers tonight, and the fourth spot is wide open between Sarah Fournier (56.35), Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson (56.35) and Maggie MacNeil (56.52), among others.
- Will Pisani, who trains in the U.S., swam a PB of 49.59 for the top seed in the men’s 100 free, followed by Yuri Kisil (49.60), Javier Acevedo (49.62), Markus Thormeyer (49.75) and Ruslan Gaziev (49.89). Acevedo and Thormeyer made the team last night, but the other three will be looking to get in the top-4 and add their names tonight. Kisil had a rough showing in the 200 yesterday, but remains the favorite as the only one to swim sub-49 (48.28) with a flat start.
- After Oleksiak scratched the 200 fly as the top seed, 3rd seed Sarah Darcel was a no show for her heat, which really opened the race up for Mabel Zavaros. She was 6th at the Commonwealth Games in April, and looks like a lock to win tonight. She qualified 1st in 2:13.14, and is the only swimmer in the field who has been under the 2:09.77 ‘A’ standard.
- Montana Champagne of the GO Kingfish improved his personal best by .05 to qualify 1st in the men’s 200 fly, with national record holder Mack Darragh (2:01.34) 2nd and Nicolaas Dekker (2:01.78) 3rd.
- Acevedo (55.14) and Thormeyer (55.63) set up an intriguing battle in tonight’s 100 back final with the top-2 spots in prelims. Both have already qualified, but Thormeyer was 53.86 in April and Acevedo has been as fast as 53.64 last year, both under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 54.06.
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