Paralympian Newkirk sets 100 free national record on Day 6 of Canadian Championships
MONTREAL – Gold medals were awarded in 13 events on Saturday as the 2022 Speedo Canadian Junior and Senior Swimming Championships continued at Montreal’s Olympic Park pool.
The eight-day competition is Swimming Canada’s first non-trials national meet since 2019 and marks the first-ever Canadian championships combining junior and senior events.
A total of 633 swimmers and Para swimmers from 142 clubs across the country are competing in age groups ranging from 13-14 (women) and 14-15 (men) all the way up to the senior level.
Pool events run until Sunday, with preliminaries starting at 9:30 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m. daily. Open water races are set for Monday at the Olympic Rowing Basin.
DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS – JULY 30
The night session opened with two swimmers claiming their fourth individual gold medal of the championships in women’s 800m freestyle finals.
In the 13-14 age group, Maxine Clark from the University of Calgary Swim Club prevailed by over 15 seconds thanks to a personal best time of nine minutes, 4.57 seconds, adding to her previous individual titles in the 100 free, 200 free and 100 butterfly. Later in the evening, the 14-year-old standout captured her third relay gold of the week with the UCSC.
“My 800 was okay. I was hoping to be a little faster but I think that’s the best I could do on the sixth day of the meet. I’m still pretty happy with it,” said Clark.
In the 15-17 category, 17-year-old Emma Finlin from the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club clocked 8:47.20 to score a close victory over Laila Oravsky from the Barrie Trojan Swim Club (8:49.33). Finlin, who represented Canada in open water swimming at the recent World Championships in Budapest and is set to compete at next month’s Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii, had already triumphed in the 400 free, 1500 free and 400 individual medley earlier in the meet.
“It was a really great race. I got pushed by Laila in lane three, she had a very good swim,” Finlin said. “Keeping up my volume has been a big focus this week with Junior Pan Pacs being pretty close and my coach is very good at helping me do that. Just a great support team.”
In the women’s 200 backstroke 18+ final, 18-year-old Regan Rathwell from HPC-Ontario claimed her first gold medal of the week after recording five second-place finishes. Rathwell, another member of the Canadian Junior Pan Pacs team, touched the wall in 2:11.28 to beat 24-year-old Ingrid Wilm from the Cascade Swim Club (2:13.25), who finished fourth at Worlds in the 50 back.
“I’m very happy,” said Rathwell. “There are a lot of really great swimmers here so I’m not necessarily disappointed with the silver medals. Everybody I’ve come second to is an incredible swimmer fully deserving of their gold medal. I’m just happy it was my turn this time.”
On the men’s side, Yu Tong Wu from the Surrey Knights Swim Club upped his championship tally to four gold and six total medals thanks to his winning time of 54.68 in the 100 fly 16-18 age group final. Wu edged two teammates from the Junior Pan Pacs squad, Benjamin Loewen from Crest Swimming (54.90) and Bill Dongfang from Island Swimming (55.36).
“I’ve been training a lot of fly. Originally the goal was for the 200 fly but it didn’t go too well as I lost to Ben,” said Wu, whose previous victories this week came in the 200, 400 and 800 free. “I ended up doing pretty well in the 100 tonight, which I’m really happy about. I’m not really a sprinter but it’s good to prove that I can do well in sprints as well.”
In Para swimming, Shelby Newkirk from the Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club posted her second win of the week thanks to a Canadian S6 record time of 1:14.55 in the women’s 100 freestyle multi-class final. The Tokyo Paralympian had set the previous national standard of 1:15.21 last June at the World Championships in Portugal, where she finished fourth.
“I’m so ecstatic. This morning I was only three tenths of a second off of my Canadian record,” said Newkirk. “I kind of had my sights on an all-time personal best tonight and I thought ‘we’ll see what happens.’ I went all out the whole race. Touching the wall and realizing I had broken my record, especially by that much, was very exciting.”
Below is a complete list of national champions from Day 6.
DAY 6 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS – JULY 30
100 freestyle (Para multi-class): Shelby Newkirk, Saskatoon Lasers Swim Club, 1:14.55
800 freestyle (13-14): Maxine Clark, University of Calgary Swim Club, 9:04.57
800 freestyle (15-17): Emma Finlin, Edmonton Keyano Swim Club, 8:47.20
800 freestyle (18+): Megan Willar, Pointe-Claire Swim Club, 8:49.49
200 backstroke (13-14): Ella Cosgrove, unattached, 2:19.10
200 backstroke (15-17): Katelyn Schroeder, Langley & Abbotsford Olympians, 2:14.50
200 backstroke (18+): Regan Rathwell, HPC-Ontario, 2:11.28
4×200 freestyle relay (Open): University of Calgary Swim Club 1 (Kaycee Cannings, Kamryn Cannings, Eliza Housman, Maxine Clark), 8:18.47
100 freestyle (Para multi-class): Zach Zona, HPC-Quebec, 1:05.05
100 butterfly (14-15): Wells Ginzer, Okotoks Mavericks Swimming, 55.77
100 butterfly (16-18): Yu Tong Wu, Surrey Knights Swim Club, 54.68
100 butterfly (19+): Keir Ogilvie, University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, 53.33
4×200 freestyle relay (Open): University of Calgary Swim Club 1 (Aiden Norman, Nathan Versluys, Lorne Wigginton, Liam Dennett), 7:37.29