2020 U SPORTS Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


After a quick prelim session that included a new short course meet record from Manitoba’s Kelsey Wog, the first night of long course finals from the 2020 U SPORTS Swimming Championships at Saanich Commonwealth Place in Victoria is set to go off.

Wog will be one of four swimmers who will be looking to defend an individual title from last year on Day 1, as the 21-year-old will seek a fourth straight victory in the event.

UBC’s Emily Overholt, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the 800 free relay, will look to repeat in both the women’s 200 free and 400 IM tonight, coming in seeded second and first overall respectively. The 22-year-old was the 2015 World Championship bronze medalist (and fifth at the 2016 Olympics) in the 400 IM.

Her teammate Markus Thormeyer looks for a third straight gold in the men’s 200 free, and McGill’s Clement Secchi aims to defend his crown in the 50 back. Secchi is also the top seed in the 100 fly.

Women’s 200 Free Final

  1. Emily Overholt, UBC, 1:58.80
  2. Danica Ludlow, UOFC, 2:00.02
  3. Aleksa Gold, UT, 2:01.34

UBC’s Emily Overholt picks up the first gold medal of the championships in the women’s 200 freestyle, successfully defending the title she won last year. Overholt finished in a time of 1:58.80, just over a second and a half off of the meet record she set last season (1:57.26).

Out conservatively in 28.63 at the 50, the 22-year-old split 29.88/30.52/29.77 down the stretch to pull away from the field.

Calgary’s Danica Ludlow, who was the 2018 gold medalist when finals were raced short course, takes second in 2:00.02, and Toronto’s Aleksa Gold rounds out the podium in 2:01.34.

Men’s 200 Free Final

  1. Markus Thormeyer, UBC, 1:48.29
  2. Davide Casarin, OTT, 1:48.94
  3. Alexander Pratt, UBC, 1:51.11

2016 Olympian Markus Thormeyer pulls off the three-peat in the men’s 200 free, holding a slight lead over the field through the first 100 before exploding on the third 50 with a 27.15 split. He held strong down the final length in 27.42, picking up the victory in 1:48.29 to narrowly miss his meet record from last season (1:48.02).

Thormeyer employed a similar race strategy when he set his best time at the Canadian World Trials last April, splitting 26.97 down the third 50 en route to a time of 1:47.60.

Also producing a blazing fast back half tonight was Ottawa’s Davide Casarin, a native of Italy, who recorded splits of 54.1/54.8 to finish as the runner-up for a second straight year in 1:48.94. The time marks a new best for Casarin, improving on his 1:49.03 from last season.

UBC’s Alexander Pratt was third in 1:51.11 to make the podium the exact same as 2019, edging Toronto first year Bernard Godolphin (1:51.86) and last season’s fourth-place finisher Brian Palaschuk (1:51.93) of Regina.

Women’s 50 Back Final

  1. Danielle Hanus, UVIC, 28.05
  2. Rachel Rode, UT / Daphne Danyluk, MCGIL, 28.99

After back-to-back silver medals over the last two years, Victoria’s Danielle Hanus lands on top of the podium in the women’s 50 back, clearing the field by almost a full second in 28.05. That misses her PB by just .02, and was also only two-tenths off of Kylie Masse‘s meet record from 2016.

Third in 2018 and fourth last year, Toronto’s Rachel Rode moves up to second this year after clocking 28.99, tying her with McGill first-year Daphne Danyluk.

Men’s 50 Back Final

  • Meet Record: 25.98, Josh Dow (UOFC), 2016
  1. Clement Secchi, MCGIL, 25.82
  2. Robert Hill, UOFC, 26.10
  3. Thomas Lafontaine-Giguere, UDEM, 26.63

McGill’s Clement Secchi becomes the first swimmer to break a long course meet record this year with his win in the men’s 50 back, touching in 25.82 to lower the 25.98 set by Calgary’s Josh Dow in 2016. This is Secchi’s second straight gold in the event, and his first time sub-26, having previously been 26.11.

Dino Robert Hill, the 2018 champion, wins silver in 26.10, followed by Montreal’s Thomas Lafontaine-Giguere (26.63) in third.

Women’s 100 Breast Final

  1. Kelsey Wog, UMAN, 1:06.44
  2. Hillary Metcalfe, UBC, 1:10.59
  3. Lauren Shearer, OTT, 1:10.75

Kelsey Wog made it look easy in the final of the women’s 100 breaststroke, blowing the field away en route to a new meet record, best time, and the #2 rank all-time among Canadians.

Wog clocked in at 1:06.44, improving on her PB of 1:07.54 set at the 2019 World Trials and smashing Fiona Doyle‘s 2015 meet record of 1:07.76. The swim elevates her from ninth into second all-time in Canada, only trailing Annamay Pierse and her suited 1:05.74 from 2009.


  1. Annamay Pierse, 1:05.74 (2009)
  2. Kelsey Wog, 1:06.44 (2020)
  3. Amanda Reason, 1:06.53 (2009)
  4. Kierra Smith, 1:06.54 (2019)
  5. Rachel Nicol, 1:06.68 (2016)

The 21-year-old also puts herself second in the world this season, trailing only reigning Olympic and World Champion Lilly King (1:05.65). King and Wog were teammates in the International Swimming League this past season for the Cali Condors.

This was Wog’s fourth consecutive victory in the event, giving her the career Grand Slam.

UBC’s Hillary Metcalfe placed second in 1:10.59, and Ottawa’s Lauren Shearer rounds out the podium in 1:10.75.

Men’s 100 Breast Final

  • Meet Record: 1:02.43, Eli Wall (UOFT), 2016
  1. Jaren LeFranc, UBC, 1:03.02
  2. Graeme Aylward, UT, 1:03.21
  3. Benjamin Blackmon, UOFC, 1:03.50

In an incredibly tight final, UBC third-year Jaren LeFranc got the ultimate redemption after missing last year’s A-final (and going a time in the B-final that would’ve been second) as he wins the men’s 100 breast in a time of 1:03.02.

Calgary’s Benjamin Blackmon held the lead at the 50 in 29.58, with LeFranc (29.80) and Toronto’s Graeme Aylward (29.99) close behind. LeFranc and Aylward (1:03.21) then closed in identical 33.22s to reel in first and second, with Blackmon hanging on for third in 1:03.50.

Cale Kooyman of Alberta and Will Barrett of Ottawa were also sub-1:04 in fourth and fifth, clocking 1:03.55 and 1:03.65 respectively.

Women’s 100 Fly Final

  • Meet Record: 58.55, Katerine Savard (UDEM), 2015
  1. Danielle Hanus, UVIC, 58.74
  2. Hannah Genich, UT, 59.27
  3. Anais Arlandis, UDEM, 1:01.52

Danielle Hanus picks up her second gold medal of the night with a close victory over Hannah Genich in the women’s 100 fly, posting a 58.74 to improve on her previous best of 58.93 set at last summer’s Pan Am Games.

Hanus has now won one medal of each color in this event over the last three seasons, earning silver in 2018 and bronze last year.

Genich, a member of the University of Toronto, was slightly out-split by Hanus on both 50s, claiming a second consecutive silver in a lifetime best of 59.27. The fourth-year set her previous best at last year’s meet in 59.33.

Men’s 100 Fly Final

  • Meet Record: 52.89, Josiah Binnema (UBC), 2019
  1. Clement Secchi, MCGIL, 53.55
  2. Dmitriy Lim, UBC, 55.06
  3. Osvald Nitski, UT, 55.23

Just like Hanus in the women’s events, Clement Secchi pulled off the 50 back/100 fly double for the men, winning the latter in a final time of 53.55. That swim improves on his personal best of 53.74 set in the summer. Last year the Frenchman was the bronze medalist in 54.64.

The rest of the field was tightly bunched up, as finishers two through eight of the A-final were all in between 55.0 and 55.9. Dmitriy Lim of UBC pulled out the improbable silver medal from lane eight, clocking 55.06, and Toronto’s Osvald Nitski got his hands on the wall in third at 55.23.

Women’s 400 IM Final

  1. Emily Overholt, UBC, 4:38.58
  2. Megan Dalke, UBC, 4:49.84
  3. Allison McCloy, UOFC, 4:51.57

Emily Overholt put on a clinic in the women’s 400 IM final, winning her third straight gold medal in a new meet record of 4:38.58. The time lowers the mark she set last year of 4:40.95, and stands up as her fourth-fastest since the 2016 Olympics, only trailing her two swims from the 2019 World Championships and one from last year’s World Trials.

Overholt also moves into ninth in the world this season. Her personal best time stands at 4:32.52, set at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan where she was the bronze medalist.

Her UBC teammate Megan Dalke finished second in 4:49.84, and Calgary’s Allison McCloy was third in 4:51.57 to make the podium identical to last season. McCloy took over two seconds off her previous personal best of 4:53.89, while Dalke wins her fourth straight medal in the event, having been second in 2017 and third in 2018 in addition to her runner-up finish last year.

Men’s 400 IM Final

  1. Josh Zakala, UVIC, 4:21.80
  2. Brodie Young, UBC, 4:23.07
  3. Brian Palaschuk, UOFR, 4:23.60

Josh Zakala from the University of Victoria used a huge front half to lead him to gold in the men’s 400 IM, holding UBC’s Brodie Young and Regina’s Brian Palaschuk at bay on the freestyle for a final time of 4:21.80.

Zakala split 58.93 on fly and then 1:06.38 on back to hold a sizeable lead on the field at the 200. Young then dropped a 1:13.49 breaststroke leg to come within just over a second of the lead at the 300, with Palaschuk just behind. All three of them then produced near-identical free legs to maintain their positions all the way to the finish.

Zakala, who was second in 2018 (when finals were short course) and then seventh last year, breaks Tristan Cote‘s 4:22.52 meet record from 2015 with the fifth-fastest swim of his career. The UVIC fourth-year holds a best of 4:18.74 from April of 2018.

Young, fourth last season, was 4:23.07 in second, and Palaschuk narrowly misses his best time of 4:23.13 for third in 4:23.60.

Women’s 4×100 Free Relay Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 3:43.90, Toronto (Gold, McMurray, Masse, Smith), 2019
  1. UBC, 3:45.42
  2. Toronto, 3:45.77
  3. Montreal, 3:50.12

Emily Overholt capped off a busy night of racing with a massive anchor leg for UBC on the women’s 4×100 free relay, as she out-touched Toronto’s Ainsley McMurray for the gold in a time of 3:45.42. Overholt’s split was 55.00, tops in the field, as she wins her third gold medal of the night.

Joining her on the Thunderbirds relay was Hoi Lam Tam (55.71), Quincy Brozo (57.70) and Mackenzie Gunther (57.01).

Toronto, who takes silver in 3:45.77, had its top leg come from McMurray (55.59), and they also had a 56.06 lead-off from Aleksa Gold.

Montreal was third in 3:50.12 with its top split coming from anchor Frederique Cigna (56.82).

Men’s 4×100 Free Relay Timed Final

  • Meet Record: 3:23.39, UBC (Pratt, Binnema, Therrien, Thormeyer), 2019
  1. UBC, 3:24.33
  2. Toronto, 3:25.97
  3. McGill, 3:27.33

Markus Thormeyer eliminated any potential drama from the men’s 4×100 free relay as he blasted a 49.56 anchor leg to pull UBC away from Toronto en route to gold in a time of 3:24.33. Joining him on the relay was Alexander Pratt (51.36), Matthew Meuleman (51.51) and Dmitriy Lim (51.90).

The Varsity Blues, who were just a few tenths back at the 300, win the silver in 3:25.97 after having descending splits through the race (they got faster with each leg). After three straight 51s, Bernard Godolphin split 50.92 on the anchor for their fastest split.

Clement Secchi won his third medal of the night as he helped McGill to bronze in 3:27.42, posting the team’s top leg in 51.41.

Antoine Bernard-Lalonde had a notable 51.45 lead-off for fourth-place Montreal (3:28.40).

Team Scores After Day 1

Men Top 10:

  1. UBC, 360
  2. Calgary, 272
  3. McGill, 241
  4. Toronto, 222.5
  5. Victoria, 176
  6. Regina, 163
  7. Ottawa, 145
  8. Montreal, 113
  9. Alberta, 100
  10. Laval, 83

Women Top 10:

  1. Toronto, 307
  2. UBC, 304
  3. Calgary, 281
  4. Victoria, 213
  5. Montreal, 201
  6. Ottawa, 99
  7. Western, 90
  8. Dalhousie, 87
  9. McMaster, 84.5
  10. Manitoba, 83.5

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4 years ago

Team scores after day 1?

Coach Mike 1952
4 years ago

Wonderful to have such good Canadian coverage, thank you SwimSwam.

4 years ago

Great swim by Wog and great sign for Canadian medley relay. They have great back fly free legs with breast the obvious weakness, if she can dip into 1:05s they’ll be quite dangerous

Reply to  Bob
4 years ago

So many potential options… Sanchez could be a potential prelim filler as well.
Back: Masse/Ruck, Breast: Wog/Pickrem/Smith, Fly: MacNeil/Oleksiak, Free: Oleksiak/Ruck

Reply to  COVFEFE
4 years ago

This relay could be very dangerous now with both actual world class speed on 4 legs plus depth and options to rest swimmers…

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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