2016 Canadian Olympic Trials: Overholt And Pickrem Medley Masters In The Making


Youth seems to be the name of the game in the women’s Canadian medley scene as both Emily Overholt and Sydney Pickrem look to make their first Olympic team. While the two stand out above the rest of the athletes, there’s likely a chance for Canada to send two swimmers in each event, meaning that if Overholt and Pickrem are on their game it will be an absolute dog fight for those two spots.

200 IM

  • Top Seed – Sydney Pickrem (2:10.08)
  • FINA-A Standard – 2:14.26
  • Number of Canadians Seeded Under FINA-A – 4
  • Notable Foreigners – Elizabeth Beisel (USA) 

A silver in the 400m IM and a bronze in the 200m IM at last summer’s Pan American Games puts Pickrem in the running as one of the best young up-and-comers in this event globally.

After breaking the Canadian record at the World Championships with a 2:10.08 in order to make the championship final, Pickrem finished 6th overall.

With her impressive international experience in the event, Pickrem looks to be not only the top seed in this event, but Canada’s best bet for a medal in it in Rio.

Mary-Sophie Harvey is the second seed behind Pickrem with a 2:12.37. Last summer Harvey earned a silver medal in the 200m IM at the 2015 World Junior Championships in Singapore. With that level of experience she looks to be in a great position to make her first Olympic team.

Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson who has had plenty of international success in the IM as well will be her biggest competitor. Both have been under the FINA ‘A’ qualifying time so it’s likely that Canada will send two in this event.

Pickrem seems to be a lock, but that second spot will be the product of dog fight between not only Harvey and Seltrenreich-Hodgson but UofT backstroker Kylie Masse, 16-year-old Sarah Darcel, Sarah-Lee Hevey, Emily Overholt, Marni Oldershaw, Erin Stamp, and Kierra Smith.

Out of the top 10 Canadians, seven represented Canada on some sort of national teem last season, and eight have represented Canada internationally during their careers.

400 IM

  • Top Seed – Emily Overholt (4:32.52) 
  • FINA-A Standard – 4:43.46
  • Number of Canadians Seeded Under FINA-A – 3
  • Notable Foreigners – Elizabeth Beisel (USA)

Emily Overholt had a major breakthrough last summer in order to establish herself as one of the best medley swimmers around the world. She qualified for the Pan American Games team, and once there she was on fire.

She touched first in the 400 IM in 4:36 before it was revealed that she had been disqualified and the gold went to Caitlin Leverenz. Showing her fighting spirit, Overholt won the 400m freestyle shortly after from an outside lane.

At the World Championships, Overholt was even faster, dropping a new Canadian record of 4:32.52 in th 400m IM en route to a bronze medal performance.

That 4:32 swim stands as her seed time at trials and puts almost eight seconds between her and second Canadian seed Sydney Pickrem. Pickrem enters with a 4:38.03 seed time and could very well earn her spot on the team behind Overholt.

Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson will be looking to take down Pickrem and Overholt in order to earn herself a spot on the team. While she’s represented Canada at the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, Pan Pacific Games, and World Championships, she’s never been to the Olympic Games. The 400m IM is arguably her best shot at getting there and she won’t be easy to beat.

Sixteen-year-old age group up-and-comer Mary-Sophie Harvey is the fourth Canadian seed in 4:45.54 ahead of Tessa Cieplucha of Oakville and Marni Oldershaw, also of Oakville.

Overholt is the fastest Canadian this season with a 4:43.85 she swam in Federal Way, Washington back in December. Seltenreich-Hodgson’s 4:45.21 from the CIS Championships is the second fastest performance by a Canadian this season ahead of Pickrem’s 4:45.24 in Austin this past January. No other Canadian has been under 4:50.



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Watch out for Bailey Andison in both of the IMs this week. The freshman at Denver finished 10th and 13th at the NCAA championships and could see huge time drops.

SUNY cal

I think the OLY spots favor the girls who have been training LC all season & didn’t swim NCAA’S & already have their taper. Anyone seriously having chance, redshirted college this yr except distance girl who swims for Georgia who could still swim NCAA’S & make OLY spot b/c she doesn’t have near the competition in distance events.

Captain Ontario

Stop it, Bailey’s mom.

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile is a former Canadian age group swimmer who was forced to end his career early due to a labrum tear in his hip and a torn rotator cuff after being recognized as one of the top 50 breaststrokers his age in Canada. He competed successfully at both age …

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