Nicol Closes Mel Zajac With World’s 9th Fastest 50 Breast


The Mel Zajac Jr. International meet in Vancouver wrapped up tonight with some impressive swims from Canada’s senior swimmers, as they prepare for the upcoming World Championships in July.

2016 Olympic finalist Rachel Nicol cranked out a new best time in the women’s 50 breast, moving up to 9th in the world with a time of 30.84. Prior to tonight she had been 31.19 at Canadian Trials which had her tied for 19th in the world, and her best time sat at 30.86 from the 2015 World Championships in Kazan.

Nicol also broke the meet record of 30.91, set back in 2006 by 2000 Olympic champion Megan JendrickFaith Knelson of the Canadian junior team took 2nd in 32.06, and Team Manitoba’s Kelsey Wog took 3rd in 32.47.

Richard FunkYuri Kisil and Markus Thormeyer all had dominant wins on the final night, representing the Canadian senior team. All three will head to Budapest this summer.

Funk finished off the breaststroke sweep with a quick 27.92 in the 50, also breaking the meet record of Scott Dickens (27.98) from 2012. Fellow Canadian senior Kaelan Freund was the only other one under 29 in 28.87.

Kisil threw down a solid win in the 100 free going 49.35, less than two tenths off Brent Hayden‘s meet record of 49.16. With over two months until Worlds, 49.3 is a strong in-season time for Kisil, who will be looking to crack the final in Budapest after finishing 10th at the Olympics last year. The door is certainly open to do so, with two of the Rio finalists, Kyle Chalmers (gold) and Santo Condorelli (4th), both not competing.

Markus Thormeyer, who narrowly missed the Worlds standards at the Canadian Trials but was named to the team for relays, took 2nd behind Kisil in the 100 free in 50.60. He followed that up with a win in the 100 back about 16 minutes later, clocking 55.15 to drop more than three seconds from prelims. Robert Hill (56.34) and Tim Zeng (56.37), both on the Canadian senior team as well, took 2nd and 3rd.

Along with Nicol, the Canadian women swam well on the final night taking two more wins. Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson claimed the 100 free in 56.06 and Mackenzie Padington took the 800 in 8:37.99.

On the international side, German Johanna Roas from the University of Denver won the women’s 100 back in 1:01.29 over American junior Alexandra Sumner (1:01.61). Roas also placed 2nd behind Seltenreich-Hodgson in the 100 free.

Puerto Rican Andrew Torres, also from the University of Denver, won the men’s 200 fly in 2:01.95, with Connor Wilkins of Oakville and Nicolaas Dekker of the Richmond Rapids tying for 2nd in 2:03.26.

The other individual winners on the final night were Jon McKay (Victoria) in the men’s 1500 (15:47.66) and Dakota Luther (USA Jr.) in the women’s 200 fly (2:13.27).

The Canadian juniors won the women’s 400 medley relay in 4:10.45, led by a 59.19 fly split from Maggie MacNeil. In the men’s race, Thormeyer (55.99), Funk (1:00.60), Josiah Binnema (54.25) and Kisil (49.01) all had strong splits to lead the Canadian men to a decisive win in 3:39.85.



In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago


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 …

Read More »