2023 Canadian Trials: Day 1 Finals Live Recap

by Ben Dornan 236

March 28th, 2023 Canada, International, News


The first finals session at the 2023 Canadian Swimming Trials with start off with a trio of para events in the women’s 50 breaststroke and the men’s and women’s 100 breaststroke. Next up, the women’s 200 breaststroke will occur where Sydney Pickrem holds the top seed at a 2:26.53. She, Kelsey Wog, Nina Kucheran, and others will battle it out to get into the top two and under the FINA A cut of 2:25.91.

In the men’s 200 breast, James Dergousoff already cracked the FINA A during prelims and will be the heavy favourite to win the event tonight. Kylie Masse and Blake Tierney will lead the way in the women’s and men’s 100 backstrokes before the night caps off with the 400 freestyles. Tune in below to find out who comes out on top.

Para Women’s 50 Breaststroke Final

  1. Niki Ens SB2, 1:43.32
  2. Aly Van Wyck-Smart SB2, 1:44.08

The para women’s 50 breaststroke final featured the same results as the prelims round with Niki Ens placing first, followed by Aly Can Wyck-Smart. Ens placed first with a 1:43.32, improving upon her 1:46.08 in prelims. Wyck-Smart also dropped time in the final with her 1:44.08, beating the 1:47.16 in the morning.

Para Women’s 100 Breaststroke Final

  1. Tess Routliffe SB7, 1:34.68
  2. Abi Tripp SB7, 1:35.89
  3. Katarina Roxon SB8, 1:29.60

Tess Routliffe swam her way to first place in the 100 breaststroke, hitting a 1:34.68 to get within a couple of seconds of her PB in the event, which is a 1:31.91 from last year at the 2022 World Para Championships. Abi Tripp wasn’t too far behind Routliffe as she hit a 1:38.68 for the silver medal. Katarina Roxon touched in a 1:29.60 to claim the bronze medal.

Para Men’s 100 Breaststroke Final

  1. James Leroux SB9, 1:10.97
  2. Jagdev Gill S10SB9SM10, 1:18.22
  3. Ken Stroud SB9, 1:19.22

James Leroux matched his seed out of prelims here, finishing first in the 100 breaststroke with his swim of 1:10.97. With that time he shaved 0.75 seconds off his prelims time of 1:11.72 and was even faster than his entry time of 1:11.81.

Jagdev Gill pulled off a silver medal swim, notching a 1:18.22. That was a bit slower than his morning swim of 1:16.48 but was fast enough for a silver medal. Ken Stroud shaved a full 3.56 seconds off his morning time of 1:22.78 to hit a 1:19.22 for the bronze medal.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke Final

  • Canadian Record: 2:20.12 – Annamay Pierse (2009)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:25.91
  1. Sydney Pickrem – 2:24.63
  2. Kelsey Wog – 2:25.26
  3. Avery Wiseman – 2:26.46

Sydney Pickrem and Avery Wiseman both opened their races with a field-leading split of 33.13 at the 50-meter mark. By the halfway point, Pickrem had pulled ahead and touched the wall at a 1:09.95. Pickrem continued to lead the charge until the end of the race and stopped the clock with a 2:24.63 to take the gold medal. This time is Pickrem’s quickest swim since 2019 and gets her just a few seconds off her 2:22.63 PB from that year.

By winning this event and getting under the 2:25.91 FINA A cut, Pickrem became the first swimmer to qualify for World Championships this summer. Coming in second place, Kelsey Wog hit a 2:25.26 to also undercut the FINA A and qualify for World Champs.

Wog dropped 1.72 seconds from her prelims time but was also a bit slower than her lifetime best, which is a 2:22.42 from the 2020 USports Swimming Championships. Wog raced for Canada last year at the 2022 World Championships and placed 4th overall in the final with a 2:23.86.

While she was in the lead at the 50-meter mark, Avery Wiseman faded slightly on the back half and missed the top two. She still managed to reach the podium, however, hitting a 2:26.46 for bronze. That was close to a new best time for her, which is the 2:26.85 that she swam at Olympic Trials back in 2021.

Nina Kucheran, Tessa Cieplucha, and Mary-Sophie Harvey had a tight battle for 4th place in this final, touching with a 2:26.90, 2:27.52, and 2:27.67, respectively for 4th, 5th, and 6th. Sophie Angus placed 7th with a 2:27.71 and Rachel Nicol was 8th with a 2:28.82.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke Final

  • Canadian Record: 2:08.84 – Mike Brown (2008)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 2:10.32
  1. Brayden Taivassalo – 2:11.28
  2. James Dergousoff – 2:11.48
  3. Justice Migneault – 2:14.78

James Dergousoff had a big swim during the prelims in this event, hitting a 2:10.01 to clear the FINA A cut in this event. Dergousoff didn’t quite replicate that speed in the final, adding 1.47 seconds during his night swim to land at a 2:11.48. That was both over than the FINA A cut and slower than champion Brayden Taivassalo.

Taivassalo came into this meet with a 2:14.54 best time from a few weeks ago at the Fort Lauderdale Pro Swim Series. After hitting a 2:12.86 in the prelims, Taivassalo got down to a 2:11.28, powering his way to a gold medal. He didn’t hit the FINA A cut but had a solid swim for the win.

While no one swam under the FINA A cut during this final, it seems likely that Dergousoff will get a nod to the World Championships team based on his prelims time. We will have to wait for an official announcement, but according to Swimming Canada’s selection criteria, if no one swims the A cut in the final, the High Performance Director can use his discretion to name someone to the team and fill the spot.

Dergousoff could be looking at a second straight year of repping Canada. Last year, Dergousoff swam all three breaststrokes at Worlds but got disqualified in the 50 and 100 while placing 23rd in the 200 (2:13.89).

Justice Migneault rounded out the podium with a 2:14.78, shaving almost a second and a half of his 2:16.14 prelim swim. Apollo Hess was 4th overall with a 2:15.63 and Neil Simpson came in with a 2:16.29 for 5th.

Women’s 100 Backstroke Final

  • Canadian Record: 57.70 – Kylie Masse (2021)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 1:00.59
  1. Ingrid Wilm – 58.80
  2. Kylie Masse – 59.00
  3. Danielle Hanus – 1:00.71

Kylie Masse and Ingrid Wilm flipped at the 50 with only 0.01 seconds as Masse hit a 28.41 and Wilm a 28.42. But on the second 50, Wilm kicked into high gear and overtook the Canadian record holder and former world record holder. Wilm touched the wall at a 58.80 to take the gold medal and crack the FINA A cut.

This swim gets Wilm a spot on the World Championships team, marking her first time qualifying in the 100 backstroke. Last year she finished 3rd at Trials to Masse and Taylor Ruck and qualified to race the 50 backstroke, in which she placed 4th overall at Worlds.

This swim by Wilm marked her first time under 59 seconds in the event, improving upon her lifetime best of 59.47 from Canadian nationals last year. Masse has a solid swim of 59.00 for the silver medal, which was faster than her prelims time of 59.06 but more than a second off her lifetime best and national record of 57.70 from 2021.

Masse was also under the FINA A cut here and will qualify for World Championships where she will vie for a 4th straight medal in the event. Masse won gold in 2017 and 2019 in the event and picked up silver in 2022.

Masse and Wilm were the only two women under 1:00 in the final as Danielle Hanus posted a 1:00.71 for bronze, a bit off her morning swim of 1:01.07. Maddy Gatrall followed with a 1:01.63 and Ella Varga took 5th overall, swimming a 1:01.63.

Men’s 100 Backstroke Final

  • Canadian Record: 53.35 – Markus Thormeyer (2019)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 54.03
  1. Javier Acevedo – 53.83
  2. Blake Tierney – 54.49
  3. Raben Dommann – 55.06

Javier Acevedo had a huge return to form tonight in the men’s 100 backstroke, delivering a 53.83 to win the gold medal and clear the 54.03 FINA A standard. That time from Acevedo is his fastest swim in the 100 backstroke since 2018 when he posted a 53.90 at the Pan Pacific Championships.

Acevedo’s quickest swim in recent years was previously the 54.37 that he swam in April 2022. Now that he has gotten back under 54 seconds Acevedo will likely be named to Team Canada for the World Championships this summer. Last year he raced the 100 backstroke at Worlds, hitting a 54.97 for 22nd overall in prelims.

The top-seeded man out of prelims in this event was Blake Tierney of the High Performance Centre – Vancouver and UBC. Tierney swam a 54.74 in the morning and improved to a 54.49 in the final, but that still left him a bit over the FINA A cut. Acevedo and Tierney were joined on the podium by Raben Dommann who also trains on the west coast at the High Performance Centre in Vancouver. Dommann dropped 0.09 seconds from prelims to hit a 55.06.

Aiden Norman added slightly from this morning with a 55.35 for 4th place. His morning time of 55.23 made him the second fastest 15 – 17 boy in the event in Canadian history behind Cole Pratt.

Notably, Pratt was racing tonight in the B final, posting a 58.01. That time is well off Pratt’s best as he is still recovering from an injury that has taken him out of competition for many months. This is Pratt’s first long course meet since the Tokyo Olympics.

Women’s 400 Freestyle Final

  • Canadian Record: 3:59.32 – Summer McIntosh (2022)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 4:10.57
  1. Summer McIntosh – 3:56.08 WR
  2. Ella Jansen – 4:08.81
  3. Mabel Zavaros – 4:10.96

World. Record.

Summer McIntosh just swam a new world record in the 400 freestyle, taking out Ariarne Titmus‘ 2022 time of 3:56.40 with a 3:56.08. Swimming her way to gold at Canadian Trials, McIntosh won this event by more than 10 seconds and was just racing against herself. McIntosh’s best time heading into this event was a 3:59.32 from last year at the Commonwealth Games.

McIntosh said in a post-race interview that the world record wasn’t specifically in her sights heading into this session, but that you never know what can happen. After more than a year of resetting several Canadian and world junior records, this is McIntosh’s first world record.

With this swim, she improved upon her own Canadian record of 3:59.32 and also took out Katie Ledecky‘s 2014 world record of 3:58.37 by more than two seconds.

While McIntosh had what could end up being the swim of the meet, Ella Jansen had a solid swim in the same heat as she hit a 4:08.81, which is under the World Championships qualifying time of 4:08.81. With that time, Jansen has likely done what she needed to do to make it onto her first World Championships team.

Mabel Zavaros nabbed a bronze medal with her time of 4:10.96 and Katrina Bellio took 4th place with a 4:12.15.

Men’s 400 Freestyle Final

  • Canadian Record: 3:43.46 – Ryan Cochrane (2014)
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 3:48.15
  1. Eric Brown – 3:50.81
  2. Jeremy Bagshaw – 3:52.76
  3. Lorne Wigginton – 3:54.32

Eric Brown capped off the first night of racing with a victory in the men’s 400 freestyle. He did so by swimming under 3:52 for the first time in his career, notching a 3:50.81 and shaving almost two seconds off his lifetime best of 3:52.70.

That former PB is from April 2022 at Canadian Swimming Trials last year where he finished 3rd overall to Jeremy Bagshaw and Alex Axon. Bagshaw was present in tonight’s final but settled for silver with a 3:52.76, which is a bit slower than his winning time last year of 3:52.01. Neither of the top two finishers got under the FINA A standard of 3:48.15, meaning we will have to wait to see whether anyone gets to swim the 400 free for Canada at Worlds.

Lorne Wigginton got bronze in the 400 with a 3:54.32, which looks like it will be good enough to get him a spot on the World Junior Championships team this year. He dropped more than a second from his prelims swim of 3:55.51 and swam exactly two seconds faster than his best time heading into the meet of 3:56.32.

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Tracy Kosinski
1 year ago


1 year ago

Bye Bye Titmus

Sherry Smit
1 year ago

Hot Take: Ledecky is off the podium at Worlds. McIntosh, Titmus, Bingjie

Reply to  Sherry Smit
1 year ago


Reply to  Sherry Smit
1 year ago

Based on what ? Ledecky hasn’t even competed at her qualifying meet. Let’s wait before the us and Aussie selection meets before we can make pronouncements like that

Reply to  Sherry Smit
1 year ago

I’m keeping quiet until the New Zealand trials are finished.

be fr
1 year ago

Jansen has to work on her back end speed… 32.9 on the last 50. She was dying!

1 year ago

4.25 high from McIntosh in the 400 I.M

Andy Hardt
1 year ago

Late to the party, but wow did I not see that coming from McIntosh! I saw the sub-4 predictions after this morning and thought “I hope so, but it’s still only March, and even phenoms don’t drop time every year.” Thought I was wise, if a bit cynical, but really I was completely and laughably oblivious of what was about to happen.

1 year ago

Looking at tickets for later in the week. Does anyone know how they work? Ticketmaster only showing morning sessions. Does anyone know if they’re all day tickets?

Reply to  Chris
1 year ago

Yes, it’s a ticket for both prelims and finals

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
1 year ago

Great – assumed it must be

1 year ago

Before I opened swimswam just now I had this hunch that Summer broke the WR. Damn. We are in for a ride.