The Montreal stop of the Canada Cup, always taking place shortly before the big summer taper meets, usually attracts a big crowd. This year’s headliners include the majority of the Canadian Olympic Team, as they prepare to head to their pre-Olympic camp, and the impressive international wing of Club Wolverine, as well as some of their American contingent as well
Even without past participants like Michael Phelps, the action did not fail to disappoint. Club Wolverine’s Wu Peng posted the most impressive time of the first day of senior finals on Friday with a 1:54.91 in the men’s 200 fly. That time makes him just the 5th swimmer in the world this year to crack the 1:55 barrier, and three weeks out will leave him right in the thick of a silver-medal battle behind Phelps.
What’s really exciting about that swim is that it’s almost two seconds faster than he was at this meet either last year or the year before. Those two meets came about four weeks earlier in his training cycle, relative to his championship meet, but he’s historically had no problem hitting a taper. He should be able to hit a 1:54-low in London. That time won by 7 seconds over Ann Arbor teammate Ryan Feeley. Feeley’s 2:01.7 was close to what he was at last week’s Olympic Trials.
In the women’s 100 freestyle, former NCAA Champion in the event Julia Wilkinson swam a 55.46 to top Victoria Poon’s 55.54. As the Canadians look to repeat their finals-bid in the 400 free relay from 2008, though those times don’t seem overly impressive, but it’s right where they need to be. Last season, at this meet, Poon hit her taper in this race a few weeks early, so avoiding that is a good start for her Olympic run this year.
18-year old Amanda Reason was 3rd in 55.89, which is within a few tenths of her lifetime best in the event.
Club Wolverine athletes took the top four spots in the men’s 100 free, lead by Milorad Cavic in 49.32. For the Serbian, this is more of a training race than anything else, as he’s got his eyes set on the 100 fly in London, but it’s still an extremely encouraging time. That’s faster than he was going a decade ago, when he hadn’t endured quite as much wear-and-tear on his chronic lower-back injuries. Look out for a 52-low or a 51 in the 100 fly later in the meet.
Bobby Savulich, apparently coming out of retirement, took 2nd in 49.58, while George Bovell (49.90) and Michael Wynalda (50.75) tapped out the top four. 18-year old Luke Peddie, who is the future of Canadian sprinting, won the B-Final in 50.94.
In the women’s sprint 50 meter breaststroke, Martha McCabe won in 31.47, ahead of Tera Van Beilen (31.72), Jillian Tyler (31.83) and Ashley McGregor (31.84). For McCabe, who’s more 200-oriented, winning a 50 against the sprinters is a great sign for her headed to the Olympics.
Katerine Savard won the women’s 200 fly in 2:09.16, which is her best time of the year, and out-raced Audrey Lacroix (2:09.65).