Taylor Ruck Misses 200 Free Final At Canadian Olympic Trials

2021 CANADIAN OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

One of the fastest women in the 200 freestyle over the last five years won’t be contesting the event in Tokyo.

Taylor Ruck swam to a time of 2:01.06 in the women’s 200 freestyle preliminaries on Day 2 of the 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials in Toronto, ranking her 12th in a field of 19 swimmers and effectively out of tonight’s final in the event.

The Canadian Trials are racing 10-swimmer finals, so Ruck would need a pair of scratches to get slotted into tonight’s session.

Ruck, 21, had a breakout 2018, especially in this event, winning both the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championship titles over the likes of Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky.

Ruck’s best time and Canadian Record stands at 1:54.44, set at the Pan Pacs, which ties her for fourth among all women since the conclusion of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Women’s 200 Free LCM Rankings, Sept.1, 2016 – Present 

  1. Ariarne Titmus (AUS), 1:53.09 – 2021
  2. Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 1:54.22 – 2019
  3. Katie Ledecky (USA), 1:54.40 – 2021
  4. Taylor Ruck (CAN) / Siobhan Haughey (HKG), 1:54.44 – 2018 / 2020

Ruck was among the early nominees to the Canadian Olympic team in the women’s 100 free, and qualified in last night’s 100 back, but it doesn’t look like she’ll be competing individually in the 200 free at next month’s Games.

Penny Oleksiak, who has already been nominated to the team in the 200 free, paced the prelims in a very solid time of 1:57.07, her fourth-fastest swim ever and good for 15th in the world.

14-year-old Summer McIntoshwho has likely qualified for the team in the 400 freestyle despite not racing it on Day 1, lowered her 13-14 National Age Group Record in 1:57.40 to qualify second, having set her previous mark of 1:57.65 just over a month ago.

Rebecca Smith (1:58.70), Katerine Savard (1:58.71) and Mary-Sophie Harvey (1:58.94) were the next three up, while Brooklyn Douthwright set a new best of 1:59.12 for sixth. Kayla Sanchez, who owns a best of 1:57.23, also advanced in 1:59.20.

In the men’s 200 free it was the top two swimmers from last night’s 400 final that led the heats, with Jeremy Bagshaw the lone man cracking the 1:50 barrier in 1:49.60. Bagshaw was the runner-up on Saturday in the 400 free to Peter Brothers, who qualifies second for the final tonight in 1:50.08.

The Canadian men have not qualified for the 800 free relay at the Olympics.

Cole Pratt, who qualified for the Olympic team in last night’s 100 back, was notably a no-show in the event.

The second set of Canadian Trials prelims will be at 12:30 ET with the women’s and men’s 100 breaststroke.

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Tree Hugger
1 month ago

I wonder how the totally rational and logical comment section is going to blame Greg Meehan for this…

Bobo Gigi
Reply to  Tree Hugger
1 month ago

It’s just a fact that she has disappeared since she changed her coach, her training place and since she went to Stanford.
A great international career was promised to her after her stellar year of 2018.
Maybe it has nothing to do with going to Stanford in particular but it looks like she should not have changed what worked so well for her.
And yes, Stanford doesn’t have a great track record in the last decade about the career development of most of their great female recruits. But it’s not so much better for Cal.
Read the comment I made earlier today about that fact and the concerns I have for the amazing new generation of… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Too bad all she’ll have to fall back on in the end is …. checks notes…. a Stanford education. Career development for the careers that are going to count are certainly being made at Stanford. I realize she and others took time off from school, but let’s not judge Stanford or Cal compared to, say, the Aussies, who’s careers seem restricted to commentating if they get that gig. It’s no swim in the park to do Stanford or Cal academics and try to compete with pros who do nothing else, or to swimmers at other colleges where you get credit if you can spell “cat”. Some of the dumbest academic people in the world are swimmers. Ruck’s not one of… Read more »

Coachy
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Nobody is challenging the academic credentials of Stanford. You don’t need to …… checks notes…. check your notes to know that wasn’t the topic of conversation at all. Your argument of “Stanford can do no wrong in the pool BC they get a Stanford education” is….. checks notes…… stupid.

Robbos
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Why do you say this ‘the Aussies, who’s careers seem restricted to commentating if they get that gig’.

Do you not think we have universities in Australia?

Joel
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Actually swimmers in Australia are some of the smartest athletes, many with very good university degrees.

Nope
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Not Stanford…………..she has been at the Swim Ontario HPC for far too long now to blame Stanford.
All swimmers go through ups and downs, just sucks she is having a down the last couple months. It happens. Hopefully everything falls into place for her in the coming weeks.

Tree Hugger
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Yes but she hasn’t trained with Greg in 2 years…

SCCOACH
Reply to  Tree Hugger
1 month ago

I think trials is the first meet bobo has followed in 2 years

SCCOACH
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

But why are we even talking about Stanford when Ruck hasn’t been there in 2 years?

Swimlikefishdrinklikefish
Reply to  SCCOACH
1 month ago

I think there’s a mental component to phelps, he fully trusts him and he likes bowmans more quantitative approach compared to Eddie Reese who makes up sets on the spot.

nuotofan
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

I would say: “perhaps yes”. The Bowman-Phelps technical relationship hasn’t been so easy (and that’s pretty obvious considering how many years it lasted).., for instance, after 2009 Phelps expressed his desire to train for some weeks with the Auburn Group of sprinters to develop more speed.and try new things in training.
About Ruck, anyway, the story is completely different: She arrived in Canada, to train at HPC (from Scottsdale) in the second half of 2017, after disappointing Worlds’ selections which followed disappointing Olympic selection as well. And the positive impact of that move was huge: in every single meet she was really convincing till the huge win in the 200 free and overall performances at 2018 Commonwealth Games in… Read more »

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  nuotofan
1 month ago

And some get better and then fall apart changing coaches a la Dean and Rooney.

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

The blame Greg Meehan game does not apply for a female swimmer that was not on the Stanford swim team for 2019-2020 NCAA Season or the 2020-2021 NCAA Season.

Swim mom
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

She split a 1:39 in a relay at NCAAs. We have to stop this nonsense of criticizing performances of women at this age. Women’s bodies change significantly throughout their careers. For some, it’s easier to get through the water when they have not fully matured. Some improve as the put on weight/ body fat like all healthy women, some don’t. You wonder why there are so many eating disorders and mental health issues among women swimmers. These unhelpful comments and bashing of programs need to stop.

Coachy
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Comparing the attrition rates of Stanford and Ivy League schools with power 5 schools is not a good comparison unless you are also I closing swimmers who quit swimming and stayed in school. You don’t transfer from Stanford.

Taa
Reply to  Tree Hugger
1 month ago

It’s not Meehan it’s the CA educational system poisons the mind. Once a swimmer experiences it they are never the same

MarkB
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

Oh boy!

50free
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

I can see this being tru. The thought process really messes you up and brings a loser mentality.

Ole 99
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

All that teaching of French… how is one supposed to focus on swimming fast with all that mumbo jumbo in your head

Taa
Reply to  Ole 99
1 month ago

Funny you say that my girlfriend is French

Corn Pop
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

You don’t have to pretend in 2021.

Last edited 1 month ago by Corn Pop
NC Fan
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

@Taa That is one of the dumbest SwimSwan comments in a long time, especially in context of a private university that is one of the top few in the world and has absolutely nothing to do with the ‘CA educational system’

Taa
Reply to  NC Fan
1 month ago

Stanford is still the crown jewel of the system even though it’s private. You have to admit that CA is not pulling their weight in putting swimmers on the team

W_P_1
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

Because California had some of the heaviest covid restrictions, so training was a lot different and a lot later than those who train elsewhere.

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  NC Fan
1 month ago

And hooboy, that’s saying something to be ranked dumbest.

ScovaNotiaSwimmer
1 month ago

Ok, it’s time to worry about Ruck now :/

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
1 month ago

Isn’t she already assured a spot on the team? Possible she is not tapered at all yet…

oxyswim
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

She’s training with everyone else at the HPC and further off her bests than most of that group.

Swimlikefishdrinklikefish
Reply to  oxyswim
1 month ago

I wish there was a way to measure overtraining. Simone is obviously the main case but I would assume many swimmers have gone through it. Texas comes to mind where juniors and seniors have really rough seasons after explosive years. I bet townley was over trained a bit into his senior year.

oxyswim
Reply to  Swimlikefishdrinklikefish
1 month ago

Townley was suffering from a bad case of crushing too much Texas BBQ and Natty light, not overtraining.

Huh
Reply to  Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

Even if she isn’t tapered… a 7 second add in a 200 does not bode well. You rarely see even top male swimmers add that much time in season in a 200.

MX4x50relay
1 month ago

7 second add? Hopefully something isn’t wrong

Rob
1 month ago

The CBC sports livestream coverage is terrible for this event. It’s bad enough that loved ones can’t watch the event in person but now the livestream didn’t work this morning. I feel for the disappointed parents who were trying to watch their child swim, especially those whose children won’t be in finals tonight. That may have been their only opportunity to see their child swim. The coverage is embarrassing and CBC sports and Swim Canada should pull up their socks, so disappointing!

CanSwim
Reply to  Rob
1 month ago

The echo in the interviews last night was bush league. I had no idea what Thormeyer was saying (neither did his mom).

Rob
Reply to  CanSwim
1 month ago

due to the pandemic limiting attendance and therefore trials being more dependent on quality technology to bring the event to parents, friends and fans, they should have invested in this to ensure the best possible coverage. It’s not like they didn’t months and months to figure it out!

Last edited 1 month ago by Rob
Coachy
Reply to  Rob
1 month ago

The “pandemic” isn’t limiting attendance. The government is.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Coachy
1 month ago

yep

Bo Swims
Reply to  CanSwim
1 month ago

The first prelims session on Prime for Australia was bad too with the same people doing commentary TV/on deck.

bob
Reply to  Rob
1 month ago

I totally agree.If this production had been done by some high school students as a project,I,d give them an E.Also I cannot be convinced that vaccinated parents cannot attend this event.Fans are attending these meets all around the world.If you,re vaccinated ,why can’t you wear a mask, properly space yourself and see your son or daughter compete?Timid and stupid in my opinion, or we`re really smart and the rest of the world is stupid.

John
Reply to  bob
1 month ago

It’s not a swim Canada decision, it’s a provincial decision which as everyone knows. Ontario is currently in one of the strictest and longest lockdown/phases reopening around

Olympic roster
Reply to  Rob
1 month ago

we had a camera or two at the British trials, we had a commentator, we had a recently retired big star swimmer to interview qualifiers all within a simple YouTube stream, that you can catch up with, rewind, whatever…that’s all you need…the 🇺🇸 and 🇨🇦 trials may learn from that…

Jamie5678
Reply to  Olympic roster
1 month ago

It’s really been an education watching the trials coverage this last month or so.

US coverage is really rather excitable. They have good disco lights though – this does seems to have confused some of the swimmers however.
Australian trials are much more sentimental than I expected. The coverage of the prelims was awful. Always good to see Nicole Livingstone however.
Canada – I’ve not seen much but it appears to be the diametric opposite of the US – the lighting is very unflattering.

Britain’s were quite simple accessible and straightforward. I miss James Parrack on Eurosport though.

Joel
Reply to  Jamie5678
1 month ago

Prelims in Australia was not awful

Jamie5678
Reply to  Joel
1 month ago

No offence intended. I just thought that they threw Magnussen and Nay into the deep end. I really like heats in terms of determining if a 15 year old in lane 3 has swum a PB and silly things like that. Magnussen and Nay didn’t really provide that type of context – they actually didn’t really say very much at all.

But that might just be be and I’m pleased you enjoyed it.

Coachy
Reply to  Rob
1 month ago

Is “pull up their socks” a Canadian phrase? What’s that mean?

iceman
Reply to  Coachy
1 month ago

It means something like ‘put an effort to improve your performance’. Personally, I first heard it from Abbie Wood, in a swim swam podcast, so I don’t think it’s Canadian.

Joel
Reply to  Coachy
1 month ago

Very common phrase in Australia

Rex
1 month ago

Hard work paying off! Shaping up for an exciting final!

toastedcoconut
1 month ago

people really speaking too soon about Canada beating the US..

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free
Reply to  toastedcoconut
1 month ago

I mean if we are using US logic it’s “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realise we were in Tokyo yet”

toastedcoconut

it’d be different if they were comparing trials results, but the canadian trials hadn’t even happened yet and they were saying Ruck and Oleksiak were going to split 51.xx on their relays..

canadaman11
Reply to  toastedcoconut
1 month ago

Yean, I know this is completely knee-jerk, but I think medals for Canada in both the 4×100 and 4×200 free relays are now off the table.

CanSwim
Reply to  canadaman11
1 month ago

Bronze is still a real possibility. Remember Ruck is pre-qualified for the team, so if she is swimming better next month they have the option to race her on the relay.

Relay Enthusiast
Reply to  canadaman11
1 month ago

In the 4×100 I thought the US would be competing for gold with Australia but after both countries trials Australia will be way ahead. I think the US will be back battling for silver and bronze with Canada and Great Britain. GB have Anderson and Hopkin (52.5 splits), Lucy Hope (53.89 flat start) and Abbie Wood (53.8 split).

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

Women’s 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay
AUS
CAN
NED
CHN
GBR

Who knows where the USA will end up?

Jamie5678
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

As John rightly say below – this is all a bit premature. But without Ruck firing it’s China that Canada need to worry about on both freestyle relays. As things stand be my admittedly dodgy reckoning ….

Australia are strongest.
Then clear water.
USA and China are then the only countries with 4 women sub 1.58 and sub 54 from a flat start. China look slightly stronger than the USA because of Zhang Yufei.

Between Oleksiak, Sanchez, MacNeil, Savard, Smith and McIntosh, Canada should still not be far off that but it’s a lot harder without Ruck.

Britain are a little bit off that but might be wishing they’d entered a 4×200 team at this rate.

Relay Enthusiast
Reply to  Jamie5678
1 month ago

Why would GB be off that? They won the european title with Hopkin swimming terribly and all swimmers untapered. Hopkin swam 53.6 in that relay then 52.6 later that meet. So GB should’ve been 3:33.1 at the europeans. Then Freya Anderson can drop a lot of time. GB will go 3:32 mid which will be right in contention.

Jamie5678
Reply to  Relay Enthusiast
1 month ago

There’s not much use speculating on who might be tapered and who might drop. Whatever applies for Britain applies for everyone else.

On paper, China’s best swimmer is quite a lot faster than Britain’s fastest. And unfortunately for Britain, China’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th fastest is quicker than Britain’s equivalent too.

It’s not swum on paper though and Britain certainly have a good squad and an outside chance but it would be a surprise if they grab a medal.

AnEn
Reply to  Jamie5678
1 month ago

Agreed, also not sure why people keep mentioning GB but not the Netherlands.

AnEn
Reply to  Jamie5678
1 month ago

GB realistically had no chance of winning a medal in women’s 800 free relay. You also think that Germany could medal in that event (since those two nations are pretty much on the same level)?
In the 800 free relay it is Australia for gold, China/USA for silver, China/USA/Canada for bronze.
In the 400 free relay it is Australia for gold, China/USA/Canada/Netherlands/Maybe GB for minor medals,

Jamie5678
Reply to  AnEn
1 month ago

Yes you’re right.

The Dutch were beaten by GB in Budapest but were without Kim Busch. Not sure she’s good enough to make a huge difference but I’d expect the Netherlands and Britain to be even closer but slightly adrift of the medals along with Canada now that Taylor Ruck seems to be misfiring, it really ought to be Aus for the win and then China verses the USA for silver and bronze followed by Canada, GB and the Dutch in a slightly separate race.

The 800 is again Australia out on their own. China and USA will be in the race for the minor and medals and Canada have more depth here so will be more competitive.… Read more »

Relay Enthusiast
Reply to  Jamie5678
1 month ago

Yeah it’s a shame about Siobhan but I guess she’ll always have that 200IM in rio. 2:06 pushing Hosszu all the way. GB has young talent in the 200. Plenty teenagers between 1:58-2:00 that can drop to 1:56-1:57 by the next olympics. Also imagine if Fran Halsall was still swimming. She has the british record of 52.8.

GB Would have Halsall, Anderson, Hopkin, O’Connor. Now that would win a medal.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  AnEn
1 month ago

china will only contend in one freestyle relay, as they have a bad relay selection policy that only permits each swimmer to swim on up to 2 relays. yang is essential to the success of both free relays while zhang is their top 100 swimmer and would be top 4 in the 200. with china being a gold medal contender in the mixed relay, zhang and yang are a lock to swim that event, leaving them available to swim on only one free relay. with ruck looking off and li doing a pb in the 200 free this year, i feel like china will focus on the 4×200

Last edited 1 month ago by Old Man Chalmers
Jamie5678
Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
1 month ago

Did not know that. Thank you.

That would indeed mean that all three of Canada, Britain and the Netherlands are in with a good shout.

Very strange policy though!

John
Reply to  toastedcoconut
1 month ago

Your saying this after 1.25 sessions of racung? Who’s speaking too soon now?

Smith-King-Huske-Manuel
Reply to  toastedcoconut
1 month ago

Let’s wait until the conclusion of the Canadian trials to compare the flat start times. However, the preliminary times posted in the women’s 200 meter freestyle do not look promising.

Bill G
Reply to  toastedcoconut
1 month ago

In the 4×100 free relay, with Canada leading at the 300m mark at 2019 worlds and finishing third within 1.6 secs of the Aussies with a quartet of teenagers …. a year ago I thought there was a non-delulsional basis to think Canada could win that relay in Tokyo. The spectacular times from the Aussie trials last week gave that prediction pause (e.g., 3rd going 52.76) and … all Canadian swimmers would need to be 100% on form.

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free
1 month ago

Whaaaaaaaaaat

Swimmer888
1 month ago

She just hasn’t been the same since stanford

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 …

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