As Taylor Ruck has risen through the ranks to be one of the fastest age-group swimmers in America, her Canadian heritage has raised wonderment as to whether or not she can break American age-group records, and if she swims internationally, who she would swim for.
Ruck was born in Kelowna, British Columbia, however, her family moved to Scottsdale, Arizona when she was less than a year old for her dad’s work. Growing up in Scottsdale, Ruck joined the Scottsdale Aquatic Club and has since become much of a star, breaking Canadian age-group records and dominating junior competition in the United States.
Despite living most of her life in the United States, Ruck does not have American citizenship and is therefore illegible to break American age-group records or swim for the United States internationally. With her Canadian citizenship however, she has been able to break Canadian age-group records.
“I haven’t really been aware of what the Canadian national age group records are, but I am aware that I am getting pretty close to some of the USA national age group records held by Missy [Franklin], and that’s really exciting for me because Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky have been big time influences on me and probably thousands of other young female swimmers,” Ruck said. “I think my 100 and 200 free and my 100 and 200 back are getting close, but I’ve been told that if I break any of them it won’t count because I’m Canadian. But that’s ok, because just to possibly get my times close to Missy [Franklin] when she was my age is a huge honour.”
Looking at age-group records might be a thing for the past for Ruck as she’s in a pretty good spot to make the Canadian national team for worlds this summer. After an absolute slaughter of the backstroke events at the Austin Pro Swim Series, Ruck came away with a 1:01.25 in the 100m backstroke, and 2:10.22 in the 200m backstroke.
The most significant thing about those two times is that they meet the FINA ‘A’ standard for the 2015 World Championships, meaning she could secure a spot on the Canadian roster as long as she finishes top two in either event at trials in a similar time.
The 100m backstroke has a few top swimmers that she’ll need to slip by if she wants to guarantee a spot on the team. There’s Dominique Bouchard who beat her in Austin, Brooklynn Snodgrass who is currently competing collegiately with the Indiana Hoosiers, Florida Gator Sinead Russell (who is currently battling some serious health issues), and rising backstroke star from the Newmarket Stingrays Danielle Hanus. With stiff competition, it’s still doable.
In the 200m backstroke it will also be too close to call with no definite favourite in the event besides Hilary Caldwell. Add Geneviéve Cantin into the mix and it’s a very competitive field for the 14-year-old swimmer to try and make the team.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to try and make one of the Canadian teams so that I could possibly compete for Canada. It would be a dream come true for me. I know that I’m going to have to work really hard to earn a spot, so that’s all I’m focused on.”
Canadian Trials is the next big meet for Ruck, starting on April 1st in Toronto, Ontario at the new 2015 Pan Am Sports Centre. From there she’ll head to Mesa in April for the Arena Pro Swim Series with the possibility of making another pro swim series stop in Santa Clara in June.
Ruck has the possibility to be selected for a variety of teams at the trials including the World Championship team, the Pan Am team, and the Junior World Championship team. There’s clear potential for Ruck to make one of the senior teams, and a very solid chance for her to represent Canada at the Junior World Championships.
With no plans in place to become an American citizen, it seems as though Ruck is planning to don the Maple Leaf for any possible future international competition. Ruck has spent tons of time in Canada as well with family in Kelowna, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.