Sanchez wins 100 free title at Trials, three Para swimming records fall
VICTORIA – Kayla Sanchez out-touched Penny Oleksiak for an upset win in the 100-metre freestyle, and two national Para swimming records fell as the Bell Canadian Swimming Trials continued Friday in Victoria.
Sanchez earned the win in the women’s 100-m freestyle with a time of 53.68, just .03 ahead of four-time champion Penny Oleksiak, her teammate at the High Performance Centre – Ontario.
“It’s always such a tough race against some of the best sprinter women in the world. To get my hand on the wall first is just a fun feeling. It was rewarding for sure,” Sanchez said after the race. “I know that my parents watch and my goal is to make them proud. Touching first, I immediately think of them. That’s probably the best feeling that I have, just thinking of them watching me win.”
Both Sanchez and Oleksiak were comfortably under the standard to qualify for the two individual event spots at FINA World Championships. Taylor Ruck (53.99) and Katerine Savard (55.26) rounded out the top four, qualifying for relay spots. Ruck (100 backstroke and 4×200 freestyle relay) and Savard (100 butterfly) had already earned qualifying results earlier in the meet.
“They’re such deep events, the 100 free and 200 free. I’ve been wanting to win the 100 free for a long time, so I just tried to race smart. Penny is an amazing finisher so I just tried my best to get my hand on the wall first,” Sanchez said.
“Thanks Swimming Canada and all the officials for hosting this event and making it like a normal swim meet again after such a long period of everything being different,” she added.
Nicholas Bennett of the High Performance Centre – Quebec set an S14 Canadian record of 57.94 to win the men’s 100-m butterfly Para multi-class final. Matthew Cabraja was second with an S11 qualifying time of 1:07.32, followed by S10 swimmer Alec Elliot, whose 59.94 also earned him a qualifying standard. (Multi-class races are decided by the Para Swimming Point Calculator.)
“My third national record feels great,” said Bennett, who also lowered the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke marks earlier in the meet. “I’m going for my fourth one Saturday (in the 200-m individual medley). I’ve learned to be patient and trust the process. It’s taken a lot more mental fortitude over the last two years.”
Shelby Newkirk of the Saskatoon Lasers lowered her S6 Canadian record in the 50-m freestyle twice on Friday. She turned in a qualifying time of 34.20 to win the multi-class final after a 34.67 in the morning preliminaries.
“To be able to be at this point in the year and improving on those times from last summer in Tokyo is really exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of this season has in store,” Newkirk said.
S10 world record holder Aurélie Rivard of Club de Natation Région de Québec finished second in a qualifying time of 28.80. Fellow S10 Arianna Hunsicker of HPC-Quebec also posted a qualifying time, taking third with a 29.31, as did S9 Katarina Roxon of Aqua Aces (4th, 30.66) and S7 Tess Routliffe of HPC-Quebec (5th, 35.08).
Summer McIntosh of HPC – Ontario won yet another event, swimming a time of 2:07.60 to add the women’s 200-m butterfly title to her 200 and 400 freestyle from earlier in the meet.
“Overall I’m not exactly happy with the time but there’s always things to learn from every race,” said McIntosh. “Every time I race I know I’m going to learn something from it and that’s what I’m trying to do going into the summer.”
The 15-year-old will be looking to qualify for a fourth event Saturday, entering the 400-m individual medley as the third-fastest woman of all time with a seed time of 4:29.12
“I’m really excited for it and hopefully I can put a good race down and learn from that as well,” McIntosh said.
Meanwhile, her HPC-Ontario teammate Josh Liendo won the men’s 100-m freestyle with a time of 48.35.
“I definitely wanted to be faster than that but I gave it everything I had,” Liendo said. “I know I can go a lot faster than that. I have the speed, I just have to work on it.”
Ruslan Gaziev was close behind in a personal best 48.41 to qualify for a second individual spot. Yuri Kisil (48.80) and Javier Acevedo (49.12) rounded out the relay qualifiers.
“The top four guys were good. To see we have three 48s, obviously Yuri has been 48.1 and that was a big best time for Ruslan, it’s a good field,” Liendo said.
Katie Cosgriffe of Burlington Aquatic Devilrays won the women’s 100-m butterfly Para multi-class final with a time of 1:09.24. Emma Van Dyk of Golden Horseshoe Aquatic Club added an S14 qualifying time of 1:12.49, a personal best, to finish second.
Felix Cowan of SAMAK took the men’s 50-m freestyle multi-class with an S8 qualifying time of 28.42, a personal best. Jagdev Gill of Upper Canada Swim Club finished second in an S10 qualifying time of 25.66, after posting a personal best of 25.58 in the morning heats. S11 Matthew Cabraja of COBRA Swim Club, who also made the qualifying standard at 28.85, was third.
Patrick Hussey, who qualified for a spot as a relay swimmer with his fourth-place finish in the 200 free Thursday, won the men’s 200-m butterfly in 2:00.60, outside the qualifying standard.
In the 50-m breaststroke events, which are not qualifying events for world championships, Rachel Nicol took the women’s race in 31.36 while Apollo Hess won the men’s in 27.78.
The trials, being held through Sunday at Saanich Commonwealth Place, have attracted 552 swimmers from 131 clubs across the country. The competition will select the Swimming Canada teams competing at the FINA World Championships in June in Budapest, Hungary; the Commonwealth Games in July in Birmingham, England; and the World Para Swimming Championships scheduled for June in Madeira, Portugal.
All sessions will be streamed live on CBC Sports, with commentary for the finals from former national team swimmers Jasen Pratt and Sarah Mailhot. Live streams can be watched with the free CBC Gem streaming service, at cbcsports.ca as well as through the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.
Also selected will be squads heading to the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Hawaii and the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in Seychelles.
For more information visit: https://www.swimming.ca/en/events-results/events/2022-canadian-swimming-
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