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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2 years ago

The return

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Reply to  Pvdh
2 years ago

Yes, he CAN funk.

(G)olden Bear
Reply to  Pvdh
2 years ago

Overpowered by Funk.

2 years ago

Here’s the link to the event itself


2 years ago

Ruck looks good, obviously not on a full taper, but she looked smooth in the 200

Reply to  Nswim
2 years ago

Yup, and Kyla Sanchez went faster than I expected too. Oleksiak went faster than she did in the Commonwealth games, and she’s likely saving something for her 4 other swims this week. Mackenzie Padington finishing 5th shortly after qualifying for the 800m freestyle. Canada’s women’s relay teams are very likely going to be strong next month.

Reply to  Ben
2 years ago

This is Sanchez’s breakthrough summer. I think she’ll be as good as Ruck in 100/200 free come Tokyo.

Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

While I don’t think this is realistic, I like the optimism!

Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

Kayla Sanchez, as a very positive and consistently improving youngster, deserves a lot of praises, but Ruck is a unique talent: she’ll go for gold in 100 and 200 free at Tokyo2020.

Reply to  Nswim
2 years ago

Taylor Ruck is very consistent with 200 free event. Four under 1:56 results during last three months. It promises a very good time at Pan Pac.

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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