2022 New Years Invitational
- January 14-16, 2023
- Pan Am Pool, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- Short Course Meters (25 meters)
- Results on Meet Mobile: “New Years Invitational 2023”
14-year-old Halle West of the Manta Swim Club in Manitoba shattered a National Age Group Record last weekend in Winnipeg in the 100 breaststroke.
West swam 1:08.09 to win the event in short course meters, which knocked .79 seconds off her previous personal best and broke Allison Higson‘s National Age Group Record of 1:08.64 that was set in 1988 – one of the oldest records still on the books in Canada.
Her previous personal best of 1:08.88 was also the prior Manitoba Swimming record in the event.
Top 5 Canadian Women All-Time, 100 SCM Breaststroke (With Year of Swim)
- Halle West, 1:08.09 – 2023
- Allison Higson, 1:08.64 – 1988
- Faith Knelson, 1:08.83 – 2016
- Mariya Chekanovych, 1:09.30 – 2009
- Rebecca Terejko, 1:09.98 – 2008
The vintage of the prior top swim, from 1988, comes as most of Canada’s girls’ national age group records have fallen in recent years at the hands of star swimmers like Penny Oleksiak, Summer McIntosh, and Kayla Sanchez. These breaststroke records have stood the test, however, which is reflective of where Canada’s medal-worthy relays have been weakest at the international level in their run to the top of the world: the breaststroke leg.
West has a ways to go, especially in long course, to really break through that group. U.S. dual citizen Sophie Angus was the top Canadian last year, swimming 1:07.60 in long course, while West’s long course best is 1:11.64.
But this breakthrough swim for her could align with the timing to get her to the top-level in time to catch the careers of stars like McIntosh, Taylor Ruck, Oleksiak, and others to form a gold-medal caliber Canadian medley.
West also broke the Manitoba 13-14 Record in the 50 breaststroke in 32.22, which shaved .06 seconds off her own prior record from November.
West’s other swims:
- 50 back – 30.37 (PB -.48)
- 50 fly – 28.88
- 50 breast – 32.22 (PB -.06) – Manitoba 13-14 Record
- 100 fly – 1:03.29 (PB -2.00)
- 200 free – 2:03.62 (PB -2.47)
West won three gold medals in the 13-14 age group at last summer’s Canadian Junior & Senior Championships in long course. She won the 100 breast in 1:11.64, the 200 breast in 2:37.07, and the 200 IM in 2:18.38.
Higson, the former record holder, was an age group phenom for Canada. At the 1986 Commonwealth Games, when she was only 13, she won both the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke, setting new Commonwealth Records in both. She won a bronze medal in the 200 breast at that year’s World Championships.
She later qualified to swim at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in 1988 on Canada’s 400 medley relay. She set the World Record in the 200 breaststroke at the 1988 Canadian Olympic Trials.
I knew something was up when she showed up in a tech suit.
Very promising for women’s breaststroke in Canada! Way to go, Halle!
The Breaststroke Jedi that Canadian swim fans have been waiting for? 🤞
Seems like it. Some strong swimming genes in that family for sure… mom was a pretty good breaststroker.
People around her to help learn to think to filter out the expectations could be the most important element. Mom’s experience could play positive role here. As it likely has with Summer McIntosh.