Danica Ludlow Claims Emotional 400 Free Victory at 2015 Canadian Swimming Championships

Photo Courtesy: Swimming Canada/Scott Grant

Danica Ludlow made good on an aim to honour late coach Randy Bennett by winning women’s 400-m freestyle at the Canadian Swimming Championships on Saturday.

Keeping calm before races has been top of mind for the 18-year-old Ludlow of late. Yet thoughts of Bennett, the long-time head coach of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria who died in April after a battle of cancer, were on her mind at the Pointe-Claire Aquatic Centre. Ludlow delivered by posting a winning time of four minutes 14.86 seconds, passing 15-year-old Molly Gowans of University of Victoria-Pacific Swim Club in the final quarter. Gowans earned silver in 4:15.15.

“I know that Hilary (Caldwell) and Ryan (Cochrane) and Jeremy (Bagshaw) are over in Kazan swimming for him right now (at the world championships),” said Ludlow, who is representing Island Swimming Club. “I saw Hilary post on Facebook that she hoped that he was watching. I definitely wanted the same thing tonight. Hopefully, he was. He’s a big part of the reason I’m still swimming today. It’s pretty big for me.

“He’s done so much for swimming in Canada and he’s set up an awesome program in Victoria that I’m training at,” Ludlow added. “We have Ryan Mallette coaching us now and we have two new coaches coming next year and I’m excited for the legacy Randy made.”

Gowans led with 100 metres left before Ludlow chased her down.

“I don’t think I would have been able to go as fast as I did without Molly. We pushed each other.”

Keegan Zanatta of UBC Dolphin Association clocked 3:54.52 to win men’s 400-m freestyle.

Meantime, 17-year-old Anders Klein of Edmonton Keyano Swim Club won men’s 200-m backstroke by the slimmest margin, clocking 2:01.70 to beat France’s Oleg Garasymovytch by one-hundredth of a second. The result is a good omen for Klein, who is two weeks out from competing at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Singapore.

“I’ve wanted this for a long time, probably for at least a year,” Klein said. “I guess it’s good for building into next year. It’s my best splitting so far out of all the 200 backs I’ve done and being a national champion is great. It’s great for me, since I’ve still been doing a lot of endurance work (to prepare for the world junior championships).

“In the last year I’ve improved significantly,” Klein added. “I can pull off a 2:04, 2:05 at an in-season meet when I’m under extreme training conditions. I can put up good races. I think that has helped me in this situation. I’ve definitely done a lot more at this meet than I ever have at a national competition.

Nineteen-year-old Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., a FISU Universiade gold medallist, won women’s 200-m backstroke in 2:09.70. Olympian Barbara Jardin (2:11.87) earned silver.

UBC Dolphin Association’s Coleman Allen had a unique double-gold night. The 22-year-old Pan Am Games swimmer tied with Oakville Aquatic Club’s Gamal Assaad in 100-m butterfly at 54.23 seconds for the second shared gold medal of the meet. Allen also anchored the Dolphins’ men’s 4×100-m relay victory in tandem with Stefan Milosevic, Luke Peddie and Marshal Parker.

In women’s 100-m butterfly, 15-year-old Toronto native Penny Oleksiak swam 1:00.41 for her second gold of the meet and third medal overall. Oleksiak earned silver in Friday’s 100-m freestyle and gold in 50-m butterfly on Thursday.

University of Calgary Swim Club’s Jason Block (28.26) and UBC Dolphins’ Rebecca Terejko (31.84) nabbed 50-m breaststroke titles.

The Montreal Aquatic Club quartet of Arianne Mainville, Marie-Lou Lapointe, Sarah-Lee Hevey and Frederique Cigna combined for a winning 4×100-m women’s relay time of 3:47.55, shading the host Pointe-Claire relay by 0.13 seconds.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World. To reach our audience, contact us at newsmaster@swimmingworld.com.

2015 Canadian Swimming Championships: Day 3 – Results

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