2020 CANADIAN FEMALE SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: SYDNEY PICKREM
The 2020 Canadian Female Swimmer of the Year Swammy Award goes to Canadian Olympian and World Championship medalist Sydney Pickrem.
Pickrem opened things up in 2020 at the FINA Champions Swim Series #1 in Beijing. There, she swam the 200 back, 200 breast, the 200 IM, and the 100 breast. In the 200 IM, Pickrem swam to a 2:09.26 victory, defeating the two most recent Olympic champion in the event; Ye Shiwen (2012) and Katinka Hosszu (2016).
That time would end up being the quickest swim among Canadian women in the event this year. Not only was she the fastest 200 IMer in the country in 2020, but she’s actually the fastest ever Canadian woman in history as the only one to crack the 2:10 mark.
Pickrem was also a competitor at the second stop of the FINA Champions Swim Series in Beijing. Her combined results from the 2 meets secured her spot among the top 5 Canadians in four separate Olympic events to close out the 2019/2020 season.
Sydney Pickrem‘s Top Long Course 5 Rankings (2019/2020)
- 1st: 200 IM (2:09.26)
- 3rd: 200 breaststroke (2:29.36)
- 5th: 200 backstroke (2:12.78)
- 5th: 100 breaststroke (1:09.59)
Pickrem’s long course season ended in Beijing as nearly all remaining competitions worldwide were canceled following the outbreak of COVID-19. She got back to international racing, however, in the fall when the International Swimming League put off its second season in Budapest. Pickrem raced for a second season as a member of the 2019 league runner-up, the London Roar.
Pickrem swam the 200 IM 6 times over the course of the 2020 season, starting with a victory in the event at match 2 in a 2:07.31 and ending with a win in the season final with a 2:04.00 Canadian record.
Sydney Pickrem 200 IM Swims At ISL 2020
|Match 3||Match 6||Match 7||Match 9||Semi-Final 2||Finale|
|1st Place||2nd Place||5th Place||2nd Place||2nd Place||1st Place|
That swim for Pickrem took 0.34 seconds off her previous national record in the event of 2:04.34 which she set last year during ISL season 1. The 200 IM was only 1 of 2 swims in which she set a new NR this year.
Swimming at match 10 this season, Pickrem raced to victory in the 400 IM, setting a new Canadian record of 4:25.90. The swim was quick enough to beat Mary-Sophie Harvey’s previous time of 4:26.42. Impressive as the swim was, Pickrem wasn’t finished with the record and went on to bring it down to a 4:23.68 at semi-final #1. That means that Pickrem is the only Canadian woman to crack the 4:26, 4:25, or 4:24 mark in the event.
Sydney Pickrem 400 IM Swims At ISL 2020
|Match 2||Match 5||Match 8||Match 10||Semi-Final 1||Finale|
|5th Place||4th Place||3rd Place||1st Place||2nd Place||1st Place|
Note the 14.06 second time improvement from Pickrem’s first 400 IM this season to her fastest in the event at the semi-final.
Aside from the 200 and 400 IMs, Pickrem also picked up points for London in both the 200 breast, 100 IM over the course of the season. Pickrem’s best MVP-point performance at any single match this year was at the final win which her 200 IM and 400 IM victories contributed to a 33 point total to tie Evengy Rylov (ENS) for 12th. Season-wide, she ranked 29th in the league, amassing 150.50 points total.
In no particular order.
- Kylie Masse – Kylie Masse‘s ISL performance certainly proved that her backstroke prowess holds up in a short course pool. Masse swam for the Toronto Titans this season, ending as the 23rd highest scoring swimmer in the league with 164.50 total MVP points. Contributing to those points include season wins, 2 in the 50 backstroke (match 6/7), 4 in the 100 backstoke (match 3/6/7/9), and one in the 50 backstroke skins at (match 6). Her skins victory was a key win and an impressive feat as she took down seasoned veterans Emily Seebohm and Georgia Davies, along with then-world record in the even Etiene Medeiros.
- Maggie MacNeil – Unlike the others on this list, MacNeil did not swim in the 2020 ISL season as she’s currently racing in the NCAA for the University of Michigan. Given the cancellation of 2020 NCAA Championships, MacNeil’s biggest meet in 2020 was the Big 10 Champs. There, she won 3/3 of her events, taking gold in the 50 free (21.30), 100 free (46.57), and 100 fly. Those 50 and 100 freestyle records were both fast enough to set new school records. MacNeil set an additional 3 school records in 2020, setting new marks in the 50 back (23.05), 100 back (50.04), and the 4×50 medley relay. MacNeil ended her sophomore year with 10/25 Michigan school records.