2018 Canadian Swimming Trials: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first night of finals are set to get underway from Edmonton, as Canadians will look to book their ticket to the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo in August. Each winner will automatically qualify for Pan Pacs, and 2nd and 3rd place finishers who get under the FINA ‘A’ cut will likely also be added to the team. The 100 and 200 free will qualify the top-4 finishers for the relays at Pan Pacs.

Tonight we’ll have the women’s 800 freestyle, and the men’s and women’s 200 free, 100 breast and 400 IM. Taylor Ruck and Penny Oleksiak highlight the women’s 200 free field, with Sydney PickremSarah Darcel and Emily Overholt in action in the women’s 400 IM.

Women’s 800 Free Timed Final

  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 8:38.56
  1. Mackenzie Padington, CRKW, 8:39.91
  2. Olivia Anderson, ESWIM, 8:47.76
  3. Emma O’Croinin, EKSC, 8:49.85

Mackenzie Padington of the Campbell River Killer Whales is the first Canadian to qualify for the Pan Pacific Championships, definitively winning the women’s 800 freestyle in a time of 8:39.91. Her PB stands at 8:31.68 from the 2017 World Trials, and her fastest this season is 8:37.61 from the Mel Zajac meet in June.

Olivia Anderson, who joined Padington in representing Canada in this event at the 2017 World Championships, touched 2nd in 8:47.76, and 15-year-old Emma O’Croinin of Edmonton Keynao dropped two seconds from her lifetime best to take 3rd in 8:49.85.

Women’s 200 Free Final

  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:58.68
  1. Taylor Ruck, SCAR, 1:55.45
  2. Kayla Sanchez, AAC, 1:57.92
  3. Penny Oleksiak, TSC, 1:58.18
  4. Rebecca Smith, SCAR, 1:59.35

Taylor Ruck led the women’s 200 free wire-to-wire, actually turning at the 150 metre mark .02 ahead of her Canadian Record pace (1:54.81) before touching in a very quick 1:55.45. That 1:54.81 ranks her 2nd in the world behind only Katie Ledecky (1:54.56).

Kayla Sanchez swam a lifetime best, dipping under 1:58 for the first time to take 2nd in 1:57.92, slightly overtaking Penny Oleksiak on the final 50. Oleksiak (1:58.18) and Rebecca Smith (1:59.35) were 3rd and 4th, and all four will qualify for Pan Pacs for the 4×200 free relay (and thus be able to swim whatever they want once there).

Shortly after winning the 800, Padington had an impressive showing here in 5th in a time of 2:00.04.

Men’s 200 Free Final

  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:47.73
  1. Markus Thormeyer, UBCSC, 1:47.66
  2. Alex Pratt, CASC, 1:48.97
  3. Javier Acevedo, AAC, 1:49.02
  4. Jeremy Bagshaw, ISC, 1:49.13

Swimming out of lane 9, Javier Acevedo decided to go for it in the men’s 200 freestyle, leading the field through the 50 and 100 walls with splits of 25.22 and 52.89. However, on the third 50, Markus Thormeyer made his move, splitting 26.79 to take over and cruise to the win in 1:47.66, registering a new personal best.

18-year-old Alex Pratt was just 8th at the 100 wall, but charged home in 26.85 to slip by Acevedo, touching 2nd in a new personal best of 1:48.97. Acevedo also went a best time for 3rd in 1:49.02, and this morning’s top qualifier Jeremy Bagshaw was just off his 1:48.96 prelim swim for 4th in 1:49.13, as all four qualify for the Pan Pac team.

Women’s 100 Breast Final

  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:07.58
  1. Kierra Smith, SCAR, 1:07.57
  2. Rachel Nicol, UCSC, 1:07.71
  3. Faith Knelson, ISC, 1:07.91

16-year-old Faith Knelson rocketed out to a big early lead in the women’s 100 breast, turning in 31.07, but began to feel the pressure from behind coming home. Kierra Smith and Rachel Nicol started to make up ground on her, and at the end it was Smith getting her hand on the wall 1st. Coming back in 35.34, she clocks in at 1:07.57, half a second off her season-best from the Commonwealth Games.

Nicol touched 2nd in 1:07.71, and Knelson was 3rd in 1:07.91. Both were just off the FINA ‘A’ standard of 1:07.58, and will likely have to look to the 200 if they want to qualify for Pan Pacs.

Men’s 100 Breast Final

  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 1:00.35
  1. Richard Funk, TSC, 1:01.02
  2. Eli Wall, TSC, 1:01.66
  3. Gabe Mastromatteo, KSS, 1:01.97

25-year-old veteran Richard Funk continued his reign atop the Canadian ranks in the men’s 100 breast, winning the event in a time of 1:01.02. That is .02 better than he was in the prelims, and falls just .07 off his season-best from April. While he was a bit off the FINA ‘A’ standard, he’ll add his name to the Pan Pac team.

Funk’s Toronto Swim Club teammate Eli Wall used a strong back half to touch 2nd in 1:01.66, less than two tenths off his season-best, and 16-year-old Gabe Mastromatteo of Kenora was also sub-1:02 in 1:01.97. Pointe-Claire’s James Guest swam a lifetime best of 1:02.06 for 4th, while the #2 qualifier from this morning Jonathan Naisby was disqualified.

Women’s 400 IM Final

  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 4:43.06
  1. Emily Overholt, UBCSC, 4:42.77
  2. Sarah Darcel, ISC, 4:44.21
  3. Tessa Cieplucha, OAK, 4:49.76

It was expected to be a four-woman race in the 400 IM, but after the fastest Canadian this year Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson elected to scratch the event in favour of the 200 freestyle, the top seed from prelims Sydney Pickrem was surprisingly a last minute scratch for the final (originally appearing on the heat sheet), and all of a sudden it was a head-to-head battle between Emily Overholt and Sarah Darcel.

Overholt, the Canadian record holder and 2015 World Championship bronze medalist, has had a long road back after sitting out with injury for the 2016-17 season. She had her fastest swim since the Rio Games this morning in 4:49.19, and lowered that significantly tonight, running down Darcel on the freestyle for the win in 4:42.77. She was very emotional in her post-race interview, noting that a year ago she never thought she’d be back in this position.

Darcel was a second and a half back in 4:44.21, missing the FINA ‘A’ standard by just over a second and thus will have to look towards the 200 IM or 200 fly to qualify for the Pan Pacs. Tessa Cieplucha and Mabel Zavaros, both of Oakville, registered season-bests for 3rd and 4th in 4:49.76 and 4:51.70 respctively.

Men’s 400 IM Final

  • FINA ‘A’ Standard: 4:17.90
  1. Tristan Cote, ESWIM, 4:21.42
  2. Josh Zakala, ISC, 4:23.00
  3. Etienne Paquin-Foisy, ELITE, 4:27.00

Etobicoke’s Tristan Cote, a Commonwealth Games finalist in this event in April, really took over the men’s 400 IM on the breaststroke leg, and sailed to the win in a time of 4:21.42, adding his name to the Pan Pac roster.

Island Swimming’s Josh Zakala touched 2nd in 4:23.00, just over a second off his season-best, and Etienne Paquin-Foisy held off HYACK’s Brodie Young (4:27.66) for 3rd in 4:27.00.

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4 years ago

Some progress on the men’s side with that 200 free. 16 year old in the hundred breast that can go a 1:01 is also exciting. Hoping for some 53 lows or 52 high in the 100 back from Acevedo and Thormeyer (at pan pacs)

4 years ago

Whoever makes predictions about women 200 free competition shouldn’t forget that 800 and 200 races are scheduled for the same night practically back-to-back. Of those whose names were mentioned in discussion about possible medal contenders in 200 free only Ledecky will be affected. Titmus will be skipping 200 most likely considering 800 race more beneficial to her.

Reply to  Yozhik
4 years ago

He is semi-tapered as well, as he has already qualified for Junior Pan Pacs so focusing on that this summer

4 years ago

Hi, me again. Sorry. BUT, has anyone else thought about Penny Oleksiak’s freestyle arm recovery? While I know everyone’s swimming style can be personalized, but looking at the top 100-200m freestylers they all have a high-angled elbow recovery – almost like a jab at the water; whereas Penny’s is muchhhh lower. Her catch under the water is amazing, but maybe combining that with Ruck/C1/C2/Sjostrom’s over the water recovery could help with areas to improve in her stroke? I even think Ikee is adopting that recovery method.
** Note; not trying to pretend I’m her coach, just something I’ve noticed. Any coaches on here have an opinion? Curious.

4 years ago

With the exception of Ruck, a lot of pedestrian times. I wonder who actually tapered.

4 years ago

Ruck’s 1:55.45 partially tapered and 1:54.81 fully tapered can’t touch ledecky?

4 years ago

I think we are in for a treat at Pan Pacs…Ledecky, Smith, Ruck, Titmus, McKeon, and Ikee in 200 FREE…this will be a RACE!

4 years ago

Will the Chinese be sending a full strength squad? They have a lot of women in that 1.56/1.57 zone… One of the ‘big names’ listed could very easily misfire heats only very slightly and as a result miss the final.

Reply to  Dee
4 years ago

ahem. Allison Schmitt is swimming well again. I believe shes been 1:53 in a textile suit. I dont know if she is able to be back to that this summer but she could add 1.5 to her best time and still be in the hunt for medals. I think shes better now than she was in 2016.

Reply to  swimcoach
4 years ago

Schmitt’s best time is from 2012. There can only be 2 per nation per final at pan pacs, not sure if shes good enough to beat smith for the 2nd spot this year.

Reply to  Maelstrom
4 years ago

On top of that fact , the third Best Us is fast too …..Melanie Marsalis has just done her best time not long ago . Usa is stacked right now ( and will align a super 800 Free relay )

4 years ago

Taylor Ruck would have to either be sick/injured or voluntarily swim 205 meters not to medal

4 years ago

Taylor Ruck 1:55 would beg to differ.

Reply to  MTK
4 years ago

She’s a very good chance for a medal in the 200FS but it’s not a formality. At the Commonwealth Games she squeaked a victory over Arian Titmus and at Pan Pacs she will also have Ledecky, the second American, McKeon, Ikee and the Chinese girls to contend with.

Reply to  straightblackline
4 years ago

If the second US swimmer can´t swim a 1:54 or 1:55 low she won´t be a medal factor.. medals will be between Ruck, Ledecky, Titmus, Ikee, and maybe a chinese Girl

Reply to  Rafael
4 years ago

Don’t count out Alison Schmidt.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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