Canadian Olympic Trials, Night One: Summer McIntosh Opens with World-Best 3:59.04 in 400 Free; Maggie Mac Neil to Defend Title

Photo Courtesy: Emily Cameron

Canadian Olympic Trials, Night 1: Summer McIntosh Opens with World-Best 3:59.04 in 400 Free

Summer McIntosh has seven events ahead of her this week in Toronto at the Bell Canadian and Paralympic Trials. If the first is any indication, they may well be appointment viewing.

McIntosh won the women’s 400 free on Monday at the Toronto Pan AM Sports Centre in 3:59.06. That’s the fastest time in the world this year and guarantees that McIntosh will swim the event at the Paris Olympics this summer.

All the action from the first evening session:

Men’s 400 freestyle

The big name in the men’s race didn’t stick around for the evening, with top seed Lorne Wiggigton scratching. That left Alex Axon to vault from fifth in the morning to the win in 3:50.10. The time is more than two seconds shy of the Olympic B cut.

Eric Brown was second in 3:52.27, sixth tenths up on veteran Jeremy Bagshaw.

Wigginton went 3:50.97 in the morning, nearly two seconds shy of his best time but still two seconds ahead of the field. Brown was second in 3:53.03.

Women’s 400 freestyle

McIntosh didn’t have much company around her. Second seed Ella Jansen scratched the evening after a lackluster morning swim. Third seed Mabel Zavaros was a non-factor.

That left McIntosh to chase world record pace. She slowed late, ending up ahead by nine seconds in 3:59.06. That’s faster than the 3:59.44 used by Erika Fairweather to win the World Championship in Doha in February. It would’ve edged Fairweather for bronze at the World Championships last summer, behind Ariarne Titmus’s world record of 3:55.38 and Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh was fourth in that race in 3:59.94. Her best time is the world junior record of 3:56.08 from this same pool 14 months ago.

Julie Brousseau finished second in 4:08.12. That’s an Olympic B cut, .22 off the auto standard. Kathryn Hazle, the second seed in the morning, dropped to sixth. Zavaros, seeded third entering the meet and third after prelims, plummeted to seventh in 4:15.97. Jansen was ninth in the morning in 4:15.83.

Women’s 100 butterfly

The reigning Olympic champion Maggie Mac Neil will defend her title after going 56.61 to win. She pulled away from Mary-Sophie Harvey, who finished second in 57.31. That is also under the Olympic A standard.

That leaves Rebecca Smith in the unlucky third position and with an A cut to boot, in 57.89, but it bodes well for Smith’s form in the 100 free and the jockeying for relay spots.

Mac Neil went 55.59 to win gold in Tokyo. She was 56.45 to win silver at the 2023 World Championships. The World title in Doha this year went to Angelina Kohler of Germany in 56.28.

Men’s 100 breaststroke

In what promises to be a busy week, Finlay Knox carved himself a spot on the Canadian men’s medley relay by winning the 100 breast in 1:00.66. That was .33 seconds ahead of Apollo Hess. Brayden Taivassalo was third in 1:01.10, and Tokyo Olympic medley relay breaststroker Gabe Mastromatteo was fourth in 1:01.40. The A cut is 59.79.

Para Events

Danielle Dorris tied her world record with a time of 32.99 in the multi-class 50 fly. The S7 swimmers was the fastest in the field, with fellow S7 swimmer Tess Routliffe second in 36.26.

Sebastian Massabie lowered his world record in the S4 50 fly in the morning by going 38.68. He had set the mark at the World Para Swimming Series in Indianapolis at 39.51 seconds. Massabie was exactly a second slower at night in 39.68. The multiclass 50 fly was won by Charlie Giammichele (S7) in 33.88.

Reid Maxwell set the Canadian S8 record in the 100 fly with a time of 1:06.43. The fastest overall time was turned in by S10 swimmer Fernando Lu (59.35), ahead of fellow S10 swimmer Alexander Elliot by a tenth.

Katie Cosgriffe trimmed a tenth off her nationals S10 record in the 100 fly by going 1:06.75. She had set the mark in Toronto in January.

Dorris, Routliffe and Cosgriffe all hit Paralympic A cuts.

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10 days ago

Maggie is looking good. But will still have a fight on her hands up against her top opponents including Australia’s Emma.
I read that Summer is unhappy with her time. Probably wise as a Kiwi and Aussie are within half a second of this time.
The US Trials are still to come. Plus the Australian Trials. Second ranked Aussie Pallister is in form and will look to break 4min. Then of course the World Record holder Titmus is within a whisker of Summer’s time and that’s without a taper. The WR could fall at our Olympic Trials!

Mark Rauterkus
Mark Rauterkus
10 days ago


Quote above. Third seed Mabel Zavaros was a non-factor.

Humm. This is the Swimming World site, right.

9 days ago
Reply to  Mark Rauterkus

Agreed! Such demeaning comment 🙁 Wonder why sometimes athletes break down due to all the negative media comments. DO BETTER SWIMMING WORLD MAG!

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