Friday was the final day of the 2013 Spring CanAm Championsihps, the U.S. Paralympics-hosted qualifying meet for the IPC World Championships for both the Americans and the Canadians, and we saw the meet close just as it started: with more fast swimming.
Victoria Arlen, quickly becoming the new star of the American team, completing a sweep of the S6 freestyle events with a win in the 500 free in 5:28.46. That’s the best time in the world this year, though it’s going to take under 5:20 to win gold in Montreal more-than-likely.
Jessica Long, the defending “star” of this squad, won her own S8 race in a huge time of 4:43.42 – basically matching her swim from prelims. That’s again easily the world leader, and just missed her own World Record from last year’s Paralympics by about a second.
In the S13 race, Canada got their shots in as Valerie Grand’Maison, one of the stars of their program, won in 4:41.89. This is not an event that she’s taken on much since winning it at the 2010 World Championships, as it’s not on the Paralympic schedule, but there’s a big opportunity there for medals at this summer’s World Championship. American Rebecca Meyers was the only swimmer last year better than this time, and she was 2nd in this race in 4:41.94. Grand’Maison came off of the last wall and ran Meyers down, setting up for a great battle just across the border in Canada.
In the men’s 400, NBAC’s Ian Silverman continued his reign over the S10 distance freestyles. After breaking World Records in the 800 and 1500 earlier in the meet, Silverman had to settle for just a win in the 400 free in 4:10.37. He’ll shoot for this World Record over the summer: he missed it by only half-a-second at the Paralympics.
In the sprint backstrokes, Justin Zook crushed his own American Record in the 50 meter race by half-a-second, going 28.66 for the victory.
In the women’s S5 race of the same, Alyssa Gialamas won the 50 backstroke in 50.39. That’s two-seconds better than anyone in the world was last year, though it’s quite a bit away still from the World Record.
Grand’Maison wrapped her meet with one more win, going a 1:11.45 in the S13 100 fly to win by ten seconds. A couple of young up-and-comers were behind her, with 14-year old Colleen Young touching 2nd in 1:21.32, and 14-year old Cailin Currie touching in 1:23.86.
Silverman likewise wrapped his meet with one more victory, this one coming in the 100 fly where he was a 59.33. 16-year old Alexander Elliot was 2nd in 59.66.