EDMONTON, Alberta Canada – The sixth annual North American Challenge Cup competition concluded this weekend being hosted in Edmonton, Alberta. There were five teams competing in this year’s competition which included Canada, Southern California Swimming, Pacific Swimming, Pacific Northwest Swimming and Mexico. The meet was held in long course meters.
The three-day event featured 300 of the top junior age group swimmers from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Several Olympic swimmers competing in London have competed in Challenge Cups giving a look at future Olympians for years to come.
At last night’s finals it was Canada finishing first in the team standings with 2,211 points, Southern California Swimming was second at 2,000, Mexico third at 1,624, Pacific Northwest at 1,136, and Pacific Swimming concluded with 833. This marks the sixth time in the history of this venue that Canada has won, but this time by a narrow margin in the closet finish ever.
One of the top gold medal winners for Canada was Mary-Sophie Harvey who dominated the field with wins in the 100 butterfly (1:03.88) new Canadian age group record, 200 breaststroke (2:39.28), 200 butterfly (2:22.48), 100 breaststroke (1:15.45), 200 IM (2:22.81), and silvered in the 100 freestyle (59.99). Her teammate Emily Overholt bettered the Canadian age group record in the 400 IM by two seconds clocking (4:50.64). She completed the meet with victory in the 100 butterfly (1:02.67), 200 butterfly (2:15.87), and 200 IM (2:22.81). On the men’s side, Markus Thormeyer was one of the stars for the Canadian team adding a victory in the 200 backstroke (2:10.60), 100 backstroke (1:00.52) and silver in the 200 freestyle (1:159.22
For Southern California it was young guns Matthew Lee & Hunter Hitchens along with teammate Eva Merrell that proved to be a force for their team’s scoring that edged a 2nd place margin against Canada. Lee collected all four golds in the 11-12 boys 200 freestyle (2:07.24), 100 freestyle (58.76), 50 freestyle (26.90), and 200 IM title (2:23.11). Adding to his medal collection was a silver in the 400 freestyle (4:26.70). Hitchens provided a golden sweep in the11-12 boys 100 butter fly (1:03.77), and 200 backstroke (2:22.13). He placed silver in the 200 fly (2:22.08) , 200 IM (2:23.89), and bronzed in the 100 backstroke (1:07.57). Teammate Eva Merrell won the 11-12 girls 100 backstroke title in (1:06.14), took victory in the 200 backstroke (2:21.98), 50 freestyle (26.94),100 freestyle race in (58.24), and silvered in the 100 butterfly (1:04.67).
Mexico’s Ricardo Vargas Jacobo won the 13-14 boys 1500 freestyle (16:41.93), and cruised in another gold for the 400 freestyle, clocking (4:09.25). Jacobo won his silver victory of the meet in the 200 freestyle (1:58.03) for another podium spot.
Pacific Northwest’s Cole Avery claimed first touch in the 13-14 boys 200 IM (2:11.43) for gold, and grabbed silvers in the 100 backstroke (1:01.11), 200 backstroke (2:11.95), 50 freestyle (25.29), completing the rest of his medal winning with a bronze in the 200 butterfly (2:12.21). Teammate Ivan Graham captured gold in the 11-12 boys 200 butterfly (2:19.22), and 100 breaststroke (1:13.89). Graham followed up with a bronze in the 200 IM (2:24.43) ending his individuals. Lia Campbell rounded out the top three earning a silver in the 50 freestyle (27.74), and claimed bronze in the 100 freestyle (1:00.35).
Pacific Swimming’s top scoring performances came from Copper Burrill taking the silver in the boys 14-15 boys 50 freestyle (24.80), and earning two bronzes in the 200 freestyle (1:56.74) , and 100 freestyle (53.34). Elise Locke convincingly won the 17-18 girls 200 freestyle (2:05.53, and finished with a bronze in the 400 freestyle (4:26.49). Michael Messener topped the 14-15 boys 400 IM (4:31.39), and pocketed bronze in the 200 IM (2:10.20).