PHOENIX, Arizona, March 28. BRITTANY MacLean was the star of the first day of competition at the Canadian Olympic Trials, breaking the national record in the 400 freestyle with a 4:06.08 and making the Olympic team. Second place finisher Savannah King also made the Olympic team with a 4:07.02. Both swimmers broke the former record of 4:07.32 that had stood since 2005. Alexa Komarnycky finished third in 4:08.67, a time under the FINA A qualifying standard, but unfortunately only two swimmers per country per event can compete in London.
Katerine Savard and Scott Dickens also got under the FINA A cut in their events to automatically qualify for the Olympics. Savard swam a 58.45 to win the 100 fly and Dickens posted a 1:00.43 in the 100 breast. Dickens challenged the national record of 1:00.23 in prelims with a time of 1:00.39.
Julia Wilkinson is on track to make the Olympic squad in the 100 back in finals tonight. She was the top qualifier in today's prelims, just ahead of Sinead Russell, who could also challenge for a spot on the team. We'll have a complete recap of finals tonight on swimmingworld.com.
Glenn Snyders made it three-for-three in breaststroke events today at the New Zealand Olympic Trials, winning the 200 today in 2:11.80. Snyders was already qualified for the Olympic team based on his performances last summer, but still had performed well this week despite not fully resting. His time of 1:00.04 in the 100 breast on Sunday is second-fastest in the world.
The accolades keep piling in for Caitlin Leverenz. Yesterday she received the Honda Sports Award for the top collegiate female swimmer this year. As you may remember, Leverenz set American records in the 200 and 400 IMs at the NCAA championships and was one hundredth of a second off the American record in the 200 breast. Leverenz won the 200 IM and 200 breast and was second in the 400 IM to Katinka Hosszu.
Finally, Czech swimmer Michal Rubacek has been handed a two-year ban for a positive drug test, thus ending any hope of him qualifying for the Olympic Games. Rubacek tested positive for methylhexanamine, a banned stimulant, at the country's December nationals. This substance has been the subject of a few high-profile doping bans recently, including American Sean Mahoney and Brazilian Fabiola Molina. Rubacek is the national record holder in the 50 and 100 butterflies and swam for the Czech Republic at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.