A 15 member squad made up of some of the most promising 17-18 year old Canadian swimmers are currently in the midst of a training camp as part of the process of preparing for the Victorian Open State Championships. The junior tour team is comprised of eight women and seven men:
Haley Black, Frederique Cigna, Kennedy Goss, Paige Kremer, Lili Margitai, Sophie Marois, Emily Overholt and Jacomie Strydom
Gamal Assaad, Liam Desjarlais, Mitchel Ferraro, Yvon Gallant, Mirando Jarry, Anthony Lyons and Oliver Straszynski
The selection strategy for this team was clearly defined, but includes both objective criteria, such as world rankings and subjective criteria, such as training behaviours:
Selection Strategy: The National Junior Coach, in collaboration with the High Performance Director, will review a combination of factors including, but not limited to, personal best times, world ranking, training behaviors, swimmer’s age relevant to the competition, the swimmers projected capacity for improvement based on age and results compared to world norms, and domestic competition observations or scouting. Personal coach input may also be considered.
The team started their preparation at the University of British Columbia on December 27th then travelled to Geelong, one of the largest cities in the State of Victoria, on January 1st to continue their training camp at the Kardinia Aquatic Centre. They will be in Geelong until the 12th, which is when they will make their way to Melbourne for the final preparations for the competition that runs from January 17th-19th.
“We have travelled with junior teams in the past to Australia for similar camps and it is really beneficial,” said National Junior Coach Ken McKinnon. “They learn about so many level of being a high performance athlete.”
The team is bound to face many challenges throughout their training camp, but the Victorian Open Championships will propose it’s own set of challenges as the lineup is consistently stocked with elite competition. Last year’s event included event winners such as Alicia Coutts, Melanie Schlanger, Belinda Hocking, Mack Horton and Christopher Wright. It has also been confirmed that Park Tae-Hwan will be racing in this year’s event.
“It’s going to be a test for our athletes to compete after a period of hard training,” said McKinnon. “It will be important for them to stand up and face that challenge head on.”