2017 Arena PSS Analysis: Canadian Women Shine in Austin


The Canadian women really stood out at this weekend’s 2017 Arena Pro Swim at Austin. Notably, several of the Canadian medalists at the meet were 18 & under swimmers. Olympic champ Penny Oleksiak opted out of the meet despite being entered on the psych sheets, but there was still plenty of Canadian junior talent on deck.

One of the top performers of the meet for Canada was 17-year-old Mary-Sophie Harvey, who brought home 3 medals. Harvey took gold in the 400 IM and picked up a pair of silvers in the 400 free and 200 IM. Fellow Canadian junior swimmer Kayla Sanchez also earned multiple medals and made several championship final appearances at the meet. Sanchez was the silver medalist in the 100 free and the bronze medalist in the 200 free.

Harvey and Sanchez weren’t the only Canadian junior making waves. Rebecca Smith (100 fly silver), Olivia Anderson (800 free bronze), and Danielle Hanus (100 back silver) each came home with a medal as well.

The Canadians also had success at the senior level, with Hilary Caldwell taking gold in the 100 back and Michelle Williams winning the 50 free. Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson picked up multiple medals with a silver in the 400 IM and bronze in the 200 IM.

Though they currently train in the U.S. with their respective NCAA teams, NC State’s Alexia Zevnik and Mackenzie Glover, as well as Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem, represent Canada internationally. Zevnik (100 free) and Glover (200 back) each earned a bronze, while Pickrem earned a pair of bronzes in the 200 breast and 400 IM.

Scottsdale Aquatic Club’s Taylor Ruck is in the same boat, as she trains in the states but represents Canada. Ruck didn’t win any medals this weekend, but she did qualify for the championship final in the 100 free, 200 free, 100 back, and 200 back.


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7 years ago

It’s true, we’ve seen many Canadian girls on the podium. Can we draw some conclusions from this fact? Sure we can if to try hard, but actually not much. This meet was significantly slower than the similar one a year ago. For example, 100 free: 53.12 against 54.6; 200 free: 1:54.4 against 1:58.9; etc. In contrast to the 2016 meet no statements were done this year – very few “A” qualified times.
The absence of Penny Oleksiak was a huge disappointment. We haven’t seen this Canadian star in individual race of any kind in any meet for 5(!) months already. Very intriguing girl. 🙂 Taylor Ruck also decided not to spoil us this time. But the second echelon looked robust.

Reply to  Prickle
7 years ago

I don’t understand why you always seem to have a beef with Canadian swimming….

Reply to  Splash
7 years ago

Canadian women competitive swimming is on the rise. Will it achieve same heights as it happened with Australian sprinters that occupy most of the top ranking positions? Let wish them that. Meanwhile the sober analysis by looking at numbers and putting emotions aside never hurts. You call it “having a beef”. Well, I will try to be more optimistic to please you.
Last year, having the Olympic Games in sight the leading swimmers started to swim fast early in the season, making intimidating statements right from the January. That explains the presence of the likes of Ledecky, Sjostrom, Hosszu at this meet last year and their desire to establish the leadership. This year we see numbers of Canadian swimmers… Read more »

Lauren Neidigh
Reply to  Prickle
7 years ago

Oleksiak swam the 100 free at short course worlds last month and broke the Canadian Record multiple times.

Reply to  Prickle
7 years ago

You’d think someone who spends so much time commenting on Canadian swimming would remember Penny raced a month ago.

Reply to  Derp
7 years ago

The Canadian competitive women swimming is the most dynamic and developing thing in swimming now. That explains the number of comments. I thought that Penny Oleksiak participated in relays only in Windsor. Thank you for correction.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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