Canadian Trials Psych Sheets: Oleksiak Drops 100 Fly, No McIntosh In 400 Free

2021 Canadian Olympic Trials

The psych sheets for the 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials have dropped, and there are several noteworthy entries (or non-entries) on the list.

For a quick refresher, the Trials have twice been postponed, first from April to May, and then from May to June, with the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center confirmed as the host of the June 19-23 event on May 20.

The first postponement announcement included Swimming Canada nominating six swimmers to the Olympic team by virtue of their performances at the 2019 World Championships. All six swimmers were finalists in the respective event(s) they were named to the Olympic team in.

They are as follows:

In order for those six swimmers to add one or more events to their program in Tokyo, they’ll have to qualify like everyone else. All six have notably entered all of the events in which they’ve already qualified in as well.

THE ENTRIES

OLEKSIAK FORGOES 100 FLY

Penny Oleksiak, who won a record four medals at the 2016 Olympics at the age of 16, has notably opted not to compete in the women’s 100 butterfly, the event in which she is the reigning Olympic silver medalist.

Oleksiak won silver behind world record holder Sarah Sjostrom in Rio (who may also not be competing in the event this summer) in a time of 56.46, a Canadian and World Junior Record at the time.

That swim remains Oleksiak’s best time – she’s cracked 57 seconds once since Rio, placing fourth at the 2017 World Championships, but her fastest since the beginning of 2019 was a 58.30 done in March of last year. At Canada’s 2019 World Trials, Oleksiak finished third in the event in 58.61, with eventual world champion Maggie MacNeil (57.04) and Rebecca Smith (58.30) going 1-2 to leave Oleksiak off the Worlds team in the event.

Oleksiak has intimated as much in the past, saying the 100 and 200 freestyle were her primary focuses back in December, and those will be the only two events she’ll race at the Trials.

Still just 20 years old, Oleksiak’s sixth-place finish in the 200 free at the 2019 Worlds has earned her an Olympic spot in that event already, so the only thing really on the line for her at Trials is whether or not she’ll earn a second individual berth in the 100 freestyle – where she’s the defending Olympic champion (along with American Simone Manuel). In that event, she’ll battle the likes of MacNeil, Smith and Kayla Sanchez for the second spot, as Taylor Ruck has locked up the first.

MCINTOSH OPTS OUT OF 400 FREE

The most surprising entry omission for the meet came from 14-year-old rising star Summer McIntosh, who has been on an absolute tear so far this year.

McIntosh has not entered the 400 free – the event in which she dropped a scintillating 4:05.13 in at the end of May – and instead will race the 200, 800 and 1500 free.

Wait, what?

The Etobicoke Swimming product ranks ninth in the world for the 2020-21 season in the event, while in the others, she doesn’t crack the top-25.

However, McIntosh has already achieved the Olympic qualifying FINA ‘A’ standard in the 400 free, something she hasn’t done in either the 200 or 800. Per Swimming Canada’s selection criteria, McIntosh could still be named to the team in the 400 free if there is an open spot in the event after Trials, meaning, if two women don’t go under the ‘A’ time (also provided there are roster spots left on the team, if she hadn’t already earned one).

Emily Overholt is the only swimmer entered with a time under the ‘A’ cut of 4:07.90 in 4:06.27, a time she did in February 2019, and Emma O’Croinin is entered just a tad slower than the standard in 4:08.11, a time she produced to win silver at the 2019 World Juniors.

McIntosh is officially seeded fourth in the 800 free, though her opening split from a 1500 in early May (8:35.30) would rank first, and in the 1500, she leads the pack by 15 seconds.

Swimming Canada’s criteria also says that selection in the 800 and 1500 free events will be based on all FINA approved Olympic Qualification Events between May 1 and June 23, not necessarily how the finishers stack up at Trials. So, in theory, unless two swimmers went under McIntosh’s 16:15.19 at Trials, she wouldn’t even have to race that event in order to earn an Olympic spot.

As for the 200 free, that race projects to be a great battle with six swimmers seeded 1:57.8 or better. McIntosh sits fifth, having gone 1:57.65 in early May.

OTHER NOTES

  • Taylor Ruck is scheduled to take on a busy five-event lineup, adding the 50 free to her usual 100/200 free and 100/200 back. The 100 free is the only event she’s assured herself a spot in thus far.
  • 2019 world champion Maggie MacNeil won’t swim the 50 free, and instead will take on the 100 free and 100 back, in addition to the 100 fly where she’s already earned a roster spot.
  • Sydney Pickrem, the only swimmer to already have three events confirmed for Tokyo, has added the 100 breaststroke to her lineup, along with the others (200 breast, 200/400 IM).
  • Kylie Masse, the reigning world champion and Olympic bronze medalist in the women’s 100 backstroke, will take on both backstroke races that she’s already qualified for the Games in, and the 50 free.
  • The only male already on the team, Markus Thormeyer, will not take on the 200 free, an event he won at the 2019 World Trials (the Canadian men did not qualify the 800 free relay for Tokyo). Thormeyer will race the 100 free and 100 back in addition to the 200 back where he’s already qualified.
  • Mary-Sophie Harvey, who won a pair of medals for Canada at the 2019 Pan Am Games and has been a fixture on the Energy Standard club through the first two seasons of the International Swimming League, has entered in six events: 200/400 free, 100 back, 200 fly, and 200/400 IM. Harvey won the 200 fly at the 2019 Canadian World Trials, and has been under the ‘A’ cut in both medley events earlier in her career.
  • Emily Overholt, a 2016 Olympic finalist in the 400 IM, is seeded second to Pickrem in that event, and also has entered the 200 free and 200 fly, along with the aforementioned 400 free.
  • Three-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Brent Hayden, who announced his return to the sport after a seven-year retirement in 2019, is entered to race both the men’s 50 and 100 freestyle. The same goes for Yuri Kisil, who was 10th in the 100 free in Rio.
  • One of the rising stars on the men’s team, Cole Pratt, has entered the 100/200 free, 100/200 back and 200 IM, which leaves him out of the 200 fly and 400 IM. Pratt was third in the 200 fly at 2019 World Trials in 1:59.89, and in the 400 IM, qualified third in the prelims in 4:22.41 before scratching the final. Finlay Knox will also forgo the 400 IM, entering the 100 free, 100 fly and 200 IM.

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Dee
1 month ago

McIntosh wants a slice of that 4×2 pie.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

She will get it

Rap
1 month ago

Swimmers outside of the high performance centers need not apply

Riccardo
Reply to  Rap
1 month ago

lol well MacNeil had Titley’s blessing to leave and became a world champion.

Littlefin
Reply to  Riccardo
1 month ago

Did he ever coach her?

Jane
Reply to  Littlefin
1 month ago

MacNeil trains with Titley’s group now and did last summer too.

Hswimmer
1 month ago

Weird

GATOR CHOMP 🐊
1 month ago

Why would she not swim the 400? Makes no sense.

CanSwimFan
Reply to  GATOR CHOMP 🐊
1 month ago

She’ll make the team in the 400.

Njones
Reply to  CanSwimFan
1 month ago

Unless Overholt and O’Croinin go under the A standard…? I’m wondering how that will play out.

mds
Reply to  CanSwimFan
1 month ago

She could make the team by virtue of previous swim or she could be another victim of Canadian coaches being too clever by half.

See Taylor Ruck.

Healthy scratch via coach’s decision from 200 Free in Gwangju, only a year after having #1 time in the world in the event with wins in both Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacifics. Then Oleksiak gets automatic Canadian Olympic berth in the 200 free because she made final in Gwangju, albeit with a time 2 seconds slower than Ruck from 2018. Then Ruck is left off Automatic list for both 100 and 200 Back, though she also made Gwangju final in each. I thought making the A final at Worlds was the… Read more »

Canuswim
Reply to  mds
1 month ago

Only 1 prequalifies/event so even if 6 Canadians in a World finals only 1 prequalifies so 1 spot remains open in each event at trials. So please stop complaining. Yes, scratches made at 2019 worlds without athletes/coach knowledge of a pandemic coming. Shocking! If you choose to assume only coaches are involved in event decisions and not in the best interest of swimmer, you will continue to write posts that have zero merit but lots of drama by telling us all what the coaches / athletes thought when truly you or any of us have no clue. None of us can pretend to have all the info that goes into these decisions. In your world it sounds like the athletes… Read more »

WhoKnows?
1 month ago

100 fly and 100 back are back to back first night. Maybe MacNeil will end up scratching 100 fly after going 56.1 a couple weeks ago and go for the second spot in 100 back as Masse prequalified?

Hswimmer
Reply to  WhoKnows?
1 month ago

Doubt that she’ll swim it for training purposes. I could see her going 58 in back also.

Prettykitten
Reply to  WhoKnows?
1 month ago

I cant imagine she is resting for trials so she is probably just doing it for fun to see what happens but I wouldn’t think she’s going to scratch 100 fly when she can challenge the WR this summer.

Dar
1 month ago

Where is Hanna Henderson swimming these days? Thought she would be at trials

Go, Summer, go!
Reply to  Dar
1 month ago

In California! USC

Dar
Reply to  Go, Summer, go!
1 month ago

But not swimming at trials which seems odd?

Check When Entries Were Due
1 month ago

Entries were due for this meet long before McIntosh swam her 4:05 and no additional entries were allowed. She has to hope two people do not achieve the ‘A’ cut, in which case she can be named to the team for the 400 based on her previous time. One of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard, but there it is.

Njones
Reply to  Check When Entries Were Due
1 month ago

Was she not already in the top20 of 4free entries like the 2, 8 and 15?

covid killer
Reply to  Check When Entries Were Due
1 month ago

incorrect, since there is only 15/20 spots she could of been in the 400 free if she wanted to cause they fill out the spots with anyone who is already in the meet. more suprised she isn’t in the 400 IM which was her best event before this season

whateverman
Reply to  Check When Entries Were Due
1 month ago

Canada way!

Willswim
1 month ago

Did anyone else look at the 100 fly records on the psych sheet and wonder how fast Ryan Murphy could go?

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Willswim
1 month ago

When did Murphy join Canada?

Willswim
Reply to  Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
1 month ago

He didn’t. I just thought it was funny seeing the world record, commonwealth record, and Canadian records listed as Dressel, Schooling, and Condorelli. It made me think of the fourth Bolles School guy from that era.

Last edited 1 month ago by Willswim

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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