2016 Canadian Olympic Trials: Men’s IM Events Led By White, Reilly

2016 CANADIAN OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC TRIALS

With long time Canadian IM stars Keith Beavers and Brian Johns retired for many years, and 2012 Olympic representatives in the IM events Andrew Ford and Alec Page no longer competing, the individual medley scene in Canada has been going through a changing of the guard. Just like most events in Canada, there are plenty of young, up and coming swimmers looking to make a name for themselves at the trials in the IM events.

200 IM

  • Top Seed – Luke Reilly (2:01.42)
  • FINA-A Standard – 2:00.28
  • Number of Canadians Seeded Under FINA-A – 0
  • Notable Foreigners – Josh Prenot (USA), Marcin Cieslak (POL)

As part of his breakout 2014 season, Evan White of Oakville dominated the 200 IM at the Canadian trials, breaking two minutes for the first time in 1:59.84 and coming within striking distance of Keith Beavers’ national record of 1:59.19. That summer White narrowly missed the Commonwealth Games final, placing 9th. After a sub-par trials effort last April, White got down close to his best time at the Pan American Games, going 2:00.60 for 4th place. Despite being officially seeded as the 3rd overall Canadian, White is arguably the favorite here in his best event. Expect him to lead through the 150m mark, and we’ll see if he can hold on the freestyle which has historically been his weakest leg in this race. The FINA-A standard of 2:00.28 is certainly within reach.

Top seed Luke Reilly ran White down at the 2015 trials for the win, but was two spots behind him at the Pan Am Games. Reilly has typically been known as better in the 400 IM, but his 200 had a breakthrough last summer and he’ll look to capitalize on it here at trials. Taking the year off of CIS swimming has likely benefitted Reilly’s long course performance, making the 2:00.28 qualifying standard look within reach.

Javier Acevedo took off quite a bit of time at the 2015 trials to surprisingly place 3rd in 2:03.86. The improvement didn’t stop there, as he took off nearly another two seconds at the Junior World Championships in August, placing 4th in 2:01.91. Acevedo, who saw dramatic improvements in his butterfly and breaststroke last year, will look to push both White and Reilly here at the trials. He’s one to watch out for in the final for sure, and if he can make some more improvements he could surprise and be a factor for the win.

Oakville’s Mack Darragh didn’t compete in this event at the 2015 trials, but he did drop a big personal best in December at U.S. Winter Nationals, clocking 2:02.85 to give him the 4th seed. Depending on how much rest he had for that meet we could see him be a major contender here if he takes off more time.

Others to watch out for include Tristan Cote (2:02.91), 2016 CIS champ Hochan Ryu (2:03.93), and Jonathan Brown (2:04.17).

400 IM

  • Top Seed – Luke Reilly (4:16.16)
  • FINA-A Standard – 4:16.71
  • Number of Canadians Seeded Under FINA-A – 1
  • Notable Foreigners – Josh Prenot (USA)

With 2012 Olympian Alec Page no longer swimming, this race looks like it will be all Luke Reilly. Page and Reilly went 1-2 at the previous three national trials meets, including Reilly winning in 2015. Reilly has also gained some international experience over the last few years, swimming in the final at the Commonwealth Games and then winning silver at the Pan Am Games last summer. As previously mentioned Reilly took the year off competing in the CIS, something that will likely benefit his long course racing. Look for him to win and get under the 4:16.71 qualifying standard.

Coming in as the second seed is Tristan Cote of Etobicoke, who was 3rd to Reilly and Page at the 2015 trials. In that swim Cote broke 4:20 for the first time in 4:19.56, which makes him the favorite for 2nd place by far. Seeded over five seconds ahead of 3rd place, Cote will need a serious time drop if he wants to move up and contend with Reilly for the win.

Next up are UBC teammates Jonathan Brown (4:24.88) and Colin Eriks (4:25.30), and Montana Champagne of the GO Kingfish. Brown was 3rd at the CIS Championships in 2015 behind Cote and Reilly, and Eriks was 3rd this year, just ahead of Brown who fell one position to 4th. After a 4th place finish last year Champagne fell to 10th this year, as he’ll look to regain his form at trials.

Also dangerous will be Rob Hill (4:26.56), Jeremy Tremblay (4:27.23), and Christian Ng (4:27.89).

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times (SCM): 50 FR - 24.70 100 FR - 53.88 200 FR - 1:56.12 1500 FR - 16:45.97 100 BK - …

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