By guest writer Julia Wilkinson-Minks (2008 & 2012 Canadian Olympian)
SHERBROOKE, Canada, August 5. NOT a single meet record survived the second day of Canada Games swimming competition in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The last time this meet was held, it was back in 2009, but the pool was short course; the 2009 competitors were unable to post new records in their fancy polyurethane suits, and so miraculously, this is one meet with no records from the “suit era”. That being said, these records have simply been itching to be broken.
In the first event, the men’s 50 breaststroke, Sergey Holson of team British Columbia set a new meet mark of 28.95. This bested David Riley’s record of 29.18 that he had set in the preliminaries. Not only was Riley unable to hold onto his record, but he finished out of the medals in 5th place. On the women’s side, 16-year old Marie-Laurence Godin of Quebec also earned a meet record on top of her gold medal, winning in 32.47 ahead of Ontario’s Erin Stamp, who finished in 32.69.
17 year old Yuri Kisil of team Alberta broke the men’s 100 freestyle record this morning, earning the top seed for tonight’s final in 51.33. This shaved two tenths off the old meet record, set back in 2001 by Canadian Olympian and former Texas A&M sprint star Matt Rose. Kisil was a bit slower in the final, but still managed to get his hand on the wall first, earning a much-anticipated gold medal for Alberta in 51.33.
Team Ontario’s Victoria Chan also broke Olympian Genevieve Saumur record with her preliminary swim in the women’s 100 freestyle, posting a 56.30, which she lowered this evening en route to winning the gold medal. Chan finished in 56.05, chased by Alberta’s Paige Kremmer and Ontario teammate Kennedy Goss who finished in 56.39 and 56.53, respectively.
In the men’s 200 butterfly, Evan White demolished the meet record, which had stood since before he was born. White won in a quick 2:01.99, well under the old mark of 2:03.61, set back in 1993. Ontario went 1-2 in this event, with White’s teammate Gamal Assaad sneaking under the old record time, earning silver in 2:03.56.
Pages of the history books continued to flip back, and in the women’s 200 butterfly, Sophie Marois of Quebec snuck under the meet record as she held off Breanne Siwicki for the gold medal. Marois’ time of 2:16.03 broke the meet record of 2:16.13 by a much smaller margin than White’s record, but this was the most impressive record to break so far, since it had stood since 1981.
More records fell in the 400 IMs, and British Columbia swept the gold medals. Luke Reilly won the men’s event in 4:24.26, and 15-year old Emily Overholt took first in the women’s race in 4:47.08.
Team Ontario continued their relay winning streak, taking both the men’s and women’s 4×50 freestyle relays in record-breaking times. The team of Mitchel Ferraro, Edward Liu, Oliver Straszynski and Bryce Kwiecien-Delaney finished in 1:33.55, a new meet record. On the women’s side, Victoria Chan, Sharalynn Missiuna, Kylie Masse and Kennedy Goss took down team Alberta for gold and set a new record of 1:44.70.
In Para swimming action, this evening’s event was the S1-S3 50 breaststroke/ S4-S14 100 breastroke, the winner being chosen by points. Thomas Swinkels took the gold in the men’s event, Hannah Smith of Alberta for the women.
This evening also featured Special Olympic athletes, who participated in the 50 breaststroke and 100 freestyle. Magnus Batara of British Columbia won the men’s 50 breaststroke in 36.80; Cassidy Rosalie Linh Tran of Ontario took gold for the women in 51.36. In the men’s 100 freestyle, Alberta’s Elliott Moskowy won in 1:04.30; Miori Henault won the women’s 100 freestyle in 1:14.68.
Competition continues through August 8th.
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