The 52nd annual Mel Zajac International will be held this weekend in Vancouver and has already attracted some of the top swimmers in Canada as well as some international talent with the likes of American breaststroke star Kevin Cordes.
With the psych sheet released, there are plenty of match-ups which will prove to be very exciting to watch.
Cordes is entered in the three breaststroke events and is the top seed in all of them. He’s favoured to win at the meet, and will have the chance to down some of the meet records. All three breaststroke records are held by Canadian Olympian Scott Dickens.
Entering the meet with seed times all faster than those records, it’s likely that they could go down this weekend.
It looks as though Cordes has the opportunity to run away with the breaststroke races in Vancouver. On the women’s side, it’s not looking like it will be as close as there are plenty of top-level competitors who will be fighting for that top spot.
Tera Van Beilen is the top seed in all the breaststroke events, but she’ll need to fight tooth and nail if she’s going to want to retain that position. Her long-time CIS Championships rival Fiona Doyle will be present as will recent national team qualifier Rachel Nicol. Throw in Erin Stamp and Rebecca Terejko and the field is jam packed with talent.
The women’s fly events won’t be as crowded as Noemie Thomas is the clear leader in all of them. She had an amazing season with Cal and showed some excellent results at the 2015 Canadian Team Trials, knocking out a very fast 100 time and showing incredible improvement in the 200. This will be Thomas’ first time competing in Vancouver since she left to train at Cal, so it will prove to be an exciting return for her.
Thomas is entered in all three fly events and looks to be the leader by a long shot.
Brittany MacLean’s return to the pool will be a storyline to watch this weekend as well. She took some time off after the 2015 Canadian Team Trials in order to promote recovery for her injuries. Recently, she’s been training at home in Toronto. This will be her first meet since trials. She’s entered in some focus events as well as some off events this weekend. She’s the top seed in the 1500 free and 800 free. She’ll also be seen swimming the 200m IM and 100m backstroke.
On the men’s side the most exciting races should be the sprint freestyles. With guys like Yuri Kisil, Alex Loginov, Stefan Milosevic, and Luke Peddie all trying to establish themselves as the top freestyler in Canada, things will get competitive. Kisil is also going to enter in waters we haven’t seen him swim in recent years, with a dabble in the 400m freestyle.
To see the full psych sheets click here.
All meet records are below: