Nicol Comes Away With an Impressive Win at the Mel Zajac Jr International

Rachel Nicol was one of five members of the Canadian Pan American Games team to take home gold on the first night of the Mel Zajac Jr. International which will be held at the University of British Columbia over the next three days.

Nicol took the women’s 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:08.94, “It’s really nice to see this result as a place marker, as an indication of where I’m at,” said Nicol.

“I didn’t have a fixed idea of where I’d rank at this meet, coming in not rested. It’s nice to see that even under not ideal conditions, I was still able to perform decently. I exceeded my expectations in the 100.”

“I can count on one hand the number of times I have been under 1:09.”

In fact the 22 year old Nicol has only gone under the 1:09 mark three other times with her lifetime best of 1:08.15 being posted at the Canadian Swimming Trials in April where she won the event.

“I have traditionally tried to work as a 200 breaststroker and see how the 100 goes, but the 100 is definitely coming together. I’m really looking forward to going into the summer with how the 100 and the 50 are going.”

Nicol finished well ahead of Fiona Doyle who touched in a time of 1:10.30 followed closely by Tera Van Beilen who hit the wall in a time of 1:10.35.

Brittany MacLean and Olivia Anderson battled for the women’s 1500 freestyle crown. MacLean, a mainstay on the Canadian national team and Anderson were neck and neck up until the 1300 meter mark. MacLean separated herself from Anderson in the last 200 meters finishing in a time of 16:41.21. Anderson collected the silver touching in a time of 16:44.50.

Yuri Kisil and Keegan Zanatta went head to head in the men’s 200 freestyle, the only other close race of the evening. Kisil took the race in a time of 1:51.96 followed by Zanatta who posted a 1:52.15.

Noemie Thomas, who has returned to Vancouver to train for the summer won the women’s 50 butterfly with ease recording a time of 27.27, finishing more than a second ahead of the field.

Emily Overholt, who won the 200 freestyle at the Canadian Swimming Trials, took the event this evening in a time of 2:01.91 over three seconds ahead of Molly Gowans.

“I’m happy that I won the event but not super happy about the time,” said Overholt, who is also committed to join the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in 2016. “But I’m training pretty hard right now. We’re getting ready for this summer so it is a good measuring stick, but you always want to be faster.”

“My third 50 (metres) was really good and I’m happy with the middle 100. I could have got out a little faster. The technical parts were better than they were in the prelims [Friday] morning, but overall I’m not where I need to be.”

Overholt’s lifetime best is a 1:58.69 which she posted at the Canadian Swimming Trials.

Other winners included:

  • Men’s 800 freestyle – Eric Hedlin – 8:13.48
  • Women’s 200 backstroke – Emma Schanz – 2:13.16
  • Men’s 200 backstroke – Carter Griffin – 2:01.00
  • Men’s 100 breaststroke – Kevin Cordes – 1:02.42
  • Women’s 400 IM – Allison McCloy – 5:00.96
  • Men’s 400 IM – Tristan Cote – 4:26.93
  • Men’s 50 butterfly – Erik Risolvato – 24.89

After the first day the UBC Dolphins are dominating the team scores with 324 points followed by the University of Calgary (165) and Tualatin Hills (153.5).

Full results can be found here.

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About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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