The annual Mel Zajac International will be taking place in Vancouver, May 22-24, and once again has drawn in some of the best talent in Canada as well as some international talent.
Kevin Cordes is the biggest name heading to the meet and likely the top seed in the breaststroke events. With the psych sheets not yet released, Cordes’ exact schedule isn’t available, however, he’s likely swimming the three breaststroke races.
With those three breaststroke events comes the possibility of a few meet records. The current meet records in the breaststroke events are all held by former UBC swimmer and Canadian Olympian Scott Dickens. The 50 is a 27.98, the 100 a 1:01.57, and the 200 is a 2:13.80.
Cordes is currently coming off the NCAA Championships where he swam his final meet as a collegiate athlete. At that meet, Cordes won the 100 yard breaststroke and finished second in the 200 to cap off what was a very successful collegiate career.
Now, as one of the forerunners on the breaststroke front in the United States, Cordes’ talents might be turning to long-course in preparation for the 2015 World Championships and especially with the Olympic year fast approaching.
This meet will stand as Cordes’ first long-course meet since the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships where he took home gold as a member of the winning 4x100m medley relay.
Although Cordes is one of the biggest names internationally, plenty of Canadian national team members will also be competing in Vancouver. Some will be competing for the first time since the Canadian Team Trials.
Some of the bigger names that will be present include 100m fly champion national Noemie Thomas. Thomas is coming off her year with the Cal Golden Bears where she won an NCAA team title and even took home a win in the 200 medley relay swimming the fly leg at the NCAA Championships in Greensboro.
Thomas is wrapping up her first year of University and then coming back to Canada to train in Vancouver for the summer and take some courses at UBC. This will be Thomas’ first competition in B.C since beginning her year at Cal.
Brittany MacLean who qualified for the Pan Am Games team will also be present at the meet. She said she would be taking some time off after Canadian Trials to focus on recovering from a hamstring and shoulder injury. It seems as though she’s in better condition now as she’s entered in the meet.
Backstroker Russell Wood who dominated at the Canadian Trials will also be present at the meet presumably swimming the backstroke events. He won’t be the only Calgary swimmer there however, as Irish national team member Fiona Doyle will be present as well.
The remainder of the Canadian national teamers that are heading to the meet train in Vancouver with Steve Price and Tom Johnson at the Vancouver high performance centre. Tera Van Beilen, Alex Loginov, Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, Coleman Allen, Yuri Kisil, Stefan Milosevic, and Luke Reilly will all be competing at their home pool.