Finlin adds open water title, UCSC dominates team standings as Canadian Championships come to an end
MONTREAL – The 2022 Speedo Canadian Junior and Senior Swimming Championships officially came to an end on Monday with six open water titlists crowned at Montreal’s Olympic Rowing Basin.
The pool portion of the championships concluded on Sunday evening at the Olympic Park pool.
The eight-day competition was Swimming Canada’s first non-trials national meet since 2019 and marked the first-ever Canadian championships combining junior and senior events.
A total of 633 swimmers and Para swimmers from 142 clubs across the country competed in age groups ranging from 13-14 (women) and 14-15 (men) all the way up to the senior level.
DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS – AUGUST 1st
Mia Thomas from the Pointe-Claire Swim Club (1500m freestyle 13-14 age group), Emma Finlin from the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club (3000 free 15-17) and Natasha Frost, also from the Pointe-Claire Swim Club (3000 free 18+), claimed the women’s open water national titles.
On the men’s side, Zachary McLeod from the Winskill Dolphins Swim Club (1500 free 14-15), Jean-Félix Pelletier from Club Aquatique Montréal (3000 free 16-18) and Benjamin Cote from the Killarney Swim Club (3000 free 19+) were crowned.
Thomas prevailed in 19 minutes, 43.73 seconds for a comfortable win over Zoe Tomory from the Lakeshore Swim Club (19:45.01).
“It was a good race. Very fun,” said Thomas, who had captured silver in the 1500 free during the pool portion of the championships. “I wanted to get out first and stay near the buoys. I was in second place but then on the last lap coming back I wanted to just flush it and I came in first.”
Finlin added to her four pool titles (400-800-1500 free, 400 IM) thanks to a 37:11.20 swim, with Julia Strojnowska from the Canadian Dolphin Swim Club taking second place in 38:03.60.
“It was really fun. I really enjoyed that race. I just kind of got out and tried to hold my pace,” said Finlin, who received the Canadian Female High Point Aggregate award in the 15-17 age group at the conclusion of pool events on Sunday and who represented Canada in open water swimming at the recent world championships in Budapest. “Worlds was a really cool experience. I definitely learned a lot from that.”
Frost clocked 38:11.00 for a close victory over PCSC teammate Megan Willar (38:13.90), the 800 and 1500 free champion in pool races.
“It was a really good race. I definitely didn’t expect to come first. I was really excited to race with a lot of Pointe-Claire girls. I’m very happy,” said Frost. “The 3 K is pretty short so I just tried to keep a good pace and go very fast the whole way.”
The closest race of the day came in the men’s 14-15 category, with McLeod finishing in 18:14.19, just ahead of Dominik Kwiecien from the Grande Prairie Piranhas (18:15.05) and Noah Deschambault from the Vancouver Pacific Swim Club (18:15.51).
“It was fun. Just getting used to the open water I guess,” McLeod said. “My strategy was don’t just come out in the middle of the pack, and be able to pull out in the end. It ended up working out.”
The men’s 16-18 race was also close, Pelletier clocking 35:07.00 to prevail over Sebastian Gonzalez Barboza from CAMO (35:13.80).
“It went well,” Pelletier said. “During the first lap, at the second buoy, I got pushed underwater. But I came back slowly but surely and I finished strong to win it.”
Finally, at the senior level, Cote added to his 800 and 1500 free triumphs in the pool thanks to a time of 34:21.50. Guillaume Lord from Club Natation Mustang Boucherville was second in 34:34.30.
“It was alright. I didn’t do any warm-up because we showed up a little late,” said Cote. “I used the first lap to kind of just warm up, just stuck with everyone and started feeling a little better. It was my first ever open water race. I practised a little in Florida during COVID when all the pools were shut down.”
Below is the list of national champions from Day 8 as well as championship award winners (individual and team) and Canadian records set over the course of the competition.
DAY 8 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS – AUGUST 1st
Women (open water)
1500 freestyle (13-14): Mia Thomas, Pointe-Claire Swim Club, 19:43.73
3000 freestyle (15-17): Emma Finlin, Edmonton Keyano Swim Club, 37:11.20
3000 freestyle (18+): Natasha Frost, Pointe-Claire Swim Club, 38:11.00
Men (open water)
1500 freestyle (14-15): Zachary McLeod, Winskill Dolphins Swim Club, 18:14.19
3000 freestyle (16-18): Jean-Félix Pelletier, Club Aquatique Montréal, 35:07.00
3000 freestyle (19+): Benjamin Cote, Killarney Swim Club, 34:21.50
Canadian Combined Team Championship Banner: University of Calgary Swim Club
Canadian Women’s Team Championship Banner: University of Calgary Swim Club
Canadian Men’s Team Championship Banner: Club Aquatique Montréal
Canadian Junior Team Championship Banner: University of Calgary Swim Club
Canadian Female High Point Aggregate (13-14): Maxine Clark, University of Calgary Swim Club
Canadian Female High Point Aggregate (15-17): Emma Finlin, Edmonton Keyano Swim Club
Canadian Female High Point Aggregate (18+): Megan Willar, Pointe-Claire Swim Club
Canadian Para Female Top Swim of the meet: Shelby Newkirk, Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club (100 backstroke S6)
Canadian Male High Point Aggregate (14-15): Laon Kim, Hyack Swim Club
Canadian Male High Point Aggregate (16-18): Yu Tong Wu, Surrey Knights Swim Club
Canadian Male High Point Aggregate (19+): Blake Tierney, University of British Columbia Thunderbirds
Canadian Para Male Top Swim of the meet: Tyson MacDonald, HPC-Quebec (100 backstroke S14)
NEW CANADIAN RECORDS
Women’s 50 freestyle S5: Alisson Gobeil, Club de Natation de Chicoutimi, 43.30
Women’s 50 freestyle S6: Shelby Newkirk, Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club, 33.53
Women’s 100 freestyle S6: Shelby Newkirk, Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club, 1:14.55
Women’s 150 individual medley S3: Nikita Ens, Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club, 4:21.64
Men’s 100 backstroke S12: Hunter Helberg, Fort McMurray Mantas Swim Club, 1:17.65
Men’s 50 Butterfly S5: Tyson Jacob, Les Loutres, 45.65
Men’s 50 Butterfly S12: Hunter Helberg, Fort McMurray Mantas Swim Club, 30.18
13-14 age group
Women’s 100 butterfly: Maxine Clark, University of Calgary Swim Club, 59.86
Men’s 800 freestyle: Laon Kim, Hyack Swim Club, 8:23.15