Canadian Sydney Pickrem broke her first Canadian record in the heats of the women’s 200m IM this morning at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Pickrem battled all the way through the race with top seed American Caitlin Leverenz, and pushed herself to a 2:11.16. That time is just seven one-hundredths of a second faster than the previous Canadian record set by Eric Morningstar in 2011.
The 18-year-old youngster was in second at the 50 while Leverenz took the first 50 out hard. With Leverenz’s weakness being the backstroke, Pickrem took advantage of that and really picked up the pace.
Splitting a 33.26 on the second 50, Pickrem tied Leverenz at the touch and held on for the breaststroke. As Leverenz extended her lead on her best stroke, Pickrem managed to hold on with a swift 37.97 breaststroke split.
Coming home, she was behind Leverenz but made up some room with 25-meters to go. On that last 25, Pickrem kicked things up a notch, but ran out of pool and settled for second in her heat.
Leverenz won in 2:11.04, just 12 one-hundredths ahead of Pickrem.
With that time, not only is Pickrem the new Canadian record holder, but she’s also currently ranked sixth in the world in this event.
If Pickrem manages to better Leverenz tonight, it will put Canada in a great position to top the medal tables at these Pan American Games. Currently the Canadians two golds behind their American counterparts, but are the favourites to win two golds tonight.