Thormeyer Opens Mel Zajac Jr. International Meet with Multiple Golds

2017 Mel Zajac Jr. Invitational

The 2017 Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet is underway, as day 1 finals are in the books. Swimmers gathered in Vancouver to compete in the 200 back, 100 breast, 200 free, 400 IM, 50 fly, women’s 800 free, and men’s 1500 free. Read on for highlights from today’s finals session.

Canadian Olympians Markus Thormeyer and Hilary Caldwell put on a show in the 200 back to open the session. Caldwell, a Rio Olympic medalist, dominated the field to win it in 2:10.98. In the men’s version of that event, Thormeyer threw down a 2:00.65 to win by over a second. That was just 2 tenths shy of his personal best, which stands at a 2:00.41 from Canadian Olympic Trials last year. Thormeyer hauled in 2 golds tonight, as he returned to win the 200 free in 1:50.18.

The men’s 400 IM saw a tight battle between Canadian Tristan Cote and the USA’s Kieran Smith, as they raced stroke-for-stroke into the wall. Smith had the edge through the halfway mark, using his backstroke speed to create a lead of more than a second. Cote made a big move on the breaststroke leg, moving just ahead of Smith. In a nailbiter of a finish, Cote hit the wall in 4:20.34 for the gold, just .03 ahead of Smith (4:20.37). Though he was just shy of gold, that was still a huge swim for Smith, as he dropped over 3 seconds off his previous lifetime best of 4:23.25.

The women’s 100 breast also featured one of the most exciting races of the session between Canadian breaststroke stars Rachel Nicol, Kelsey Wog, and Kierra Smith. Through the front half, Wog took the early lead with a 32.20 to turn over half a second ahead of Nicol and Smith. On the 2nd 50, however, Nicol and Smith pushed their back-half speed, with Nicol running down Wog to take the win in 1:08.53. Wog narrowly held off Smith’s charge, taking the silver in 1:08.56 ahead of Smith’s 1:08.70.

Additional Event Winners:

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently working on her M.A. in …

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