2018 SWAMMY AWARD: BEN TITLEY, CANADIAN COACH OF THE YEAR
When one thinks about Canadian powerhouse swimmers, the names Taylor Ruck, Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, and Yuri Kisil are just some that come to mind. Enter their coach and mentor, Ben Titley of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Ontario in Toronto, and you have our Swammy Award winner for Canadian Coach of the Year.
Ruck, our Swammy Award winner for World Junior Swimmer of the Year for 2018, turned heads by winning gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games, but also raced her way to the same result in Tokyo at the Pan Pacific Championships. She finished the year ranked as the fastest 200m freestyler and also the fastest 18&U female in the 100m free, 200m free and 200m back.
For her part, Oleksiak won a trio of relay medals at the Commonwealth Games and also finished her year by cracking a new Canadian National Record in the women’s SCM 50 butterfly.
Kisil earned a podium spot at Pan Pacs by finishing with the bronze in the men’s 50m freestyle.
Sanchez had the biggest splash late in the season, breaking multiple Canadian and World Junior Records in November and December. In early November, at the NYAC Cup, she swam a 23.94 in the 50 free in short course meters, which is faster than the old World Junior Record in the event. She followed that with 3 Short Course Canadian National Records as part of the Toronto group’s annual European swing, taking out the 100 free (51.45), the 100 IM (57.80), and the 200 IM (2:04.64). The 100 free and 200 IM were also both faster than the World Junior Records in those events.
Ruck was named Aquatics Canada Female Athlete of the Year, while Titley earned Coach of the Year. Of her esteemed mentor, Ruck said, “Coach Ben is just so amazing and got me to where I am. I’m so grateful for him and all my teammates who push me every day in practice.”
Among notable athletes in UBC Thunderbird Coach Steve Price‘s stable is Markus Thormeyer, Aquatics Canada Male Athlete of the Year and another among our Swammy Award winners for 2018. Thormeyer won his first individual international medal with the 100m back bronze he collected at this year’s Commonwealth Games. He continued his roll with a new SCM Canadian Record in the 200 backstroke at an in-season college meet.
- JANET HYSLOP
Head Coach of Kenora Swimming, Janet Hyslop has watched young breaststroker Gabe Mastromatteo make his presence known on the international swimming scene yet again this year. The teen lowered his own 15-17 National Age Group Record in the LCM 100 breaststroke, taking gold at the Junior Pan Pacs Championships in 1:01.27.