Three teenagers make qualifying standard, Masse breaks Canadian record
Swimming Canada – TORONTO – Kylie Masse broke her own Canadian record and swam the fastest time in the world this year in the women’s 200-metre backstroke Friday night at the at the 2019 Canadian Swimming Trials.
Masse, who trains at the University of Toronto, won the race in two minutes, 5.94 seconds. That knocked 3/100s of the record she set at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest.
“I always want to try for best times,” said Masse, who flirted with breaking the 100-m backstroke world record in Wednesday’s opening day of trials at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. “I’m happy with that time.
“I think getting on the team in the 100-metres and having a good race gave me a nice confidence in the 200. I just tried to relax and stay in control.”
Taylor Ruck (High Performance Centre – Ontario) was second in 2:06.70, the second fastest time in the world.
“It just shows where I’m at, at this point of the year,” said Ruck, who has won Olympic, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific Championship medals but has never swam at a senior world championships.
“We are going to put in some good work after this and see where it takes me this summer.”
Three new swimmers made the standard to qualify for the Canadian team that will compete at this summer’s FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.
Emma O’Croinin, a 15-year-old from the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club, became the youngest team member when she finished second in the women’s 400-metre freestyle in 4:09.11, just behind 1,500-m champion Mackenzie Padington’s 4:08.82.
Cole Pratt of the Cascade Swim Club in Calgary became the youngest male to make the standard so far. The 16-year-old finished second in the men’s 200-m backstroke in 1:58.07 behind Markus Thormeyer (1:57.42).
Rebecca Smith, who swims with the University of Toronto, made it three teenagers joining the FINA qualifying party Friday. The 19-year-old was second in the women’s 100-m butterfly in 58.30 seconds, behind Maggie MacNeil of London, Ont. (57.04). Olympic silver medallist Penny Oleksiak took the bronze in 58.61.
The top two finishers under the A standard in each Olympic event can earn selection to Team Canada.
Smith had extra incentive after missing a chance to qualify for the world championship 4×100-metre freestyle relay Thursday night.
“I had some more fire going into that race,” said the Red Deer, Alta., native. “It was a relief. I would have liked to have gone faster, it’s not quite my best time. I know I can put in some more work this summer to swim fast.”
MacNeil had qualified for the relay Thursday.
“This means everything,” said MacNeil. “These girls are great competitors. I have raced them for so many years. I’m glad to be going with them this summer.”
O’Croinin was “kind of shocked,” to make her first senior team.
“I just wanted to go out there and see what I could do.”
Padington gave O’Croinin a hug in the water after the race then heaped her with praise.
“I am so proud of her,” said Padington. “We don’t see kids her age go under 4:10. She has so much potential, it’s amazing.”
Thormeyer’s victory was his third of the trials and his was just .08 off the Canadian record.
“It was kind of in the back of my head,” Thormeyer said about the record. “Missing it by just a little bit kind of stings.”
The trials, which end Sunday, have attracted 627 athletes (346 female, 281 male) representing 157 clubs.
That includes international competitors from 21 countries: Algeria, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Croatia, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States.
Preliminary heats begin at 9:30 a.m. each day, and finals start at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and are just $5 for preliminary sessions, $10 for finals. A full meet pass is available for $60, and children under 10 will be admitted free of charge.
In addition to coveted Team Canada spots at the FINA World Championships and World Para Swimming Championships, athletes will also be selected for the Pan American Games, Parapan American Games, FISU Summer Universiade and FINA World Junior Championships.
Para-swimmer Alec Elliot, who trains with the University of Laval, had a busy night. He won the multi-class 100-m butterfly in 59.50 seconds, then returned to win the multi-class 400-metre freestyle in a personal best 4:07.69.
“They were my two best events, so I had to get mentally prepared for it,” said Elliot. “My 100 fly wasn’t the time I wanted. It was nice to rebound, refocus and then come back tonight and go a best time.”
In other Paralympic program events:
– Tess Routliffe, who trains at the High Performance Centre – Quebec, won the multi-class women’s 50-m butterfly in 38.37 seconds.
– Samantha Ryan, who attends McGill University, won the multi-class women’s 100-m fly in 1:09.96
– Aurelie Rivard of the High Performance Centre – Quebec won the multi-class 400-m freestyle in 4:39.56.
In other Olympic program events:
– Jeremy Bagshaw of the High Performance Centre – Victoria won the men’s 400-m freestyle in 3:50.96.
– Josiah Binnema of the High Performance Centre – Vancouver won the men’s 100-m butterfly in 52.62.
Live results available here: https://results.swimming.ca/2019_Canadian_Swimming_Trials/?mc_cid=cbf95c0980&mc_eid=[UNIQID].
Webcast and full meet info here: https://www.swimming.ca/en/events-results/events/2019-canadian-swimming-trials/?mc_cid=cbf95c0980&mc_eid=[UNIQID].