Canada Games Just a Warm Up for Canada’s Junior Team

By guest writer Julia Wilkinson-Minks (2008 & 2012 Canadian Olympian)

SHERBROOKE, Canada, August 8. ON the final night of swimming at Canada Games, the Ontario women walked away with a perfect relay record, but for many of the swimmers, celebrating the season will have to wait. Several of the athletes competing here in Sherbrooke will be heading to Dubai to represent Canada at the World Junior Championships in a few weeks.

In the first event of the evening, Jeffrey Swantson brought his backstroke record up to 2 and 1, winning the 50 in 26.15, just slightly faster than his preliminary time of 26.18. He was not able to lower the record of 25.96 that he set leading off Ontario’s 4×50 medley relay last night, however. In the women’s 50 backstroke, 15-year old Danielle Hanus of Team Ontario lowered her meet record from the medley relay by one hundredth, taking gold in 28.94. This time ties her for third in Canada this season.

In the freestyle splash and dash, Yuri Kissel took gold for Alberta in 23.37, only one hundredth of a second ahead of second place Sergey Holson from Team BC. In the women’s 50, Victoria Chan set a new meet record in prelims, but was unable to repeat her performance this evening and ended up second behind Ariane Mainville of Quebec. Mainville won in 25.83, eight tenths slower than Chan’s preliminary time. Chan holds onto the record, but Mainville got to stand on the top of the podium.

In the men’s 1500 freestyle, Jon McKay proved that great distance swimmers will continue to come out of the west coast, taking gold for British Columbia in 15:40.35. This time broke the previous meet record of 15:49.45 set back in 1993 by Liam Weseloh.

15-year old Sophia Saroukian took gold in the women’s 800 freestyle, finishing in 8:51.90. She was joined in the sub-9 minute club by British Columbia’s Danica Ludlow who touched in 8:57.32 to take the silver medal.

In the men’s 200 IM, Evan White won another gold medal for Ontario, setting a new meet mark of 2:04.02. This shattered the meet record of 2:06.79, set by Chad Murray in 2001. White will be representing Canada later this month on the Junior National team heading to Dubai for World Junior Championships.

British Columbia’s Emily Overholt set her second record of this competition, winning the women’s 200 IM in 2:17.66. This was well under the old mark of 2:19.00, set by Marieve Deblois in 2001. Overholt, like White, will be looking to improve on this performance as she sets foot on the international stage at World Juniors.

In the final relays of the night, Team Ontario flexed their muscles once more. Although the Ontario men will leave Sherbrooke with only four of the five gold medals after falling to Alberta yesterday, the women managed to not only win but also set records in six of six relays. The team of Kennedy Goss, Erin Stamp, Kylie Masse and Victoria Chan capped off a great meet for the province by winning handily in 4:10.27. The Ontario men’s relay of Jeffrey Swantson, Eli Wall, Evan White and Bryce Kwiecien-Delaney won in a new record time of 3:45.45.

In the men’s para 50 freestyle, British Columbia’s Dalton Boon completed his gold rush with another win in 26.94. Saskatchewan’s Sam Ryan took her second gold of the meet in the women’s 50 freestyle, finishing in 34.96. Ontario’s Alexander Elliot won the men’s para individual medley, Alberta’s Kennedy Pasay took gold in the women’s medley.

In the Special Olympics category, Elliott Moskowy took gold for Team Alberta in 29.14; on the women’s side, Quebec’s Miori Henault won her third gold medal of the week in 34.46.

Julia Wilkinson-Minks is a two-time Olympian for Canada and was a finalist in the 200-meter IM at the 2008 Beijing Games. In 2010, she became Texas A&M’s first ever NCAA champion in swimming when she won the 100-yard freestyle. She graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Speech Communication. Julia retired from competitive swimming following the London Olympic Games and now lives in Texas with her husband Shane.

Follow her on twitter @juliah2o

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