MONTREAL, May 11. ALTHOUGH Canada will be the center of the swimming world this summer, as it hosts the World Championships in July, the nation’s swimmers need a huge jumpstart if they are to shine in the smallest way on home soil.
Tuesday night, the Canadian World Championship Trials got under way with little excitement and nary an athlete producing a time that would suggest the possibility of a medal position this summer. The highlight swim of the opening evening of action was Brittany Reimer’s triumph in the women’s 400 freestyle.
Clocking 4:13.05, Reimer earned a bid to the World Champs and held off Tanya Hunks, who placed second in 4:15.38. The Canadian record-holder in the event, Reimer was far from her national standard of 4:09.34, set in 2003. Chanelle Charron-Watson claimed third place in 4:15.46.
In the men’s 400 free, Colin Russell (Indiana University) bested the competition with a winning time of 3:52.81, under the qualifying standard for Worlds. Andrew Hurd, however, managed a mark of only 3:54.62, nearly five seconds slower than his national record.
More established in the 200 breaststroke, Mike Brown took the top spot in the 100 breast with a time of 1:01.83, ahead of the 1:01.97 turned in by Scott Dickens. Morgan Knabe, the nation’s elite breaststroker for years, finished third in 1:02.42. Brown actually went faster during the morning preliminaries, where he recorded a swim of 1:01.66.
Liz Warden was first to the wall in the women’s 200 individual medley, thanks to an effort of 2:16.34, well ahead of the second-place time of Michelle Landry (2:17.60). Marianne Limpert, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist in the event, placed third in 2:17.70.
Other winners from the first night included Mike Mintenko in the men’s 50 butterfly and Audrey Lacroix in the women’s 100 fly. Mintenko posted a time of 24.26, slightly quicker than the 24.27 of Thomas Kindler. Lacroix, meanwhile, went 1:00.57 to hold off Kelly Stefanyshyn (1:00.80).