Gareth Saunders, Pacific Coast Swimming

April 5-10: Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials

Pacific Coast Swimming continued their distance freestyle roll on day four of competition at the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials in Toronto. Second year Vike Kaitlin Gervais swam a lifetime best of 9:00.34 in the preliminaries of the women’s 800 metre freestyle, on her way to qualifying for the A flight. Her time, a personal best by four seconds, puts her in ninth position for Saturday night’s final.

“Coach Peter Vizsolyi has been working a lot with me the past couple months on body position and technique, and making it strong enough to withstand an 800,” said Gervais after her prelims swim. “You can always work on speed and going a faster pace, but technique is key for a successful race.”

With the best Canada has to offer at the meet and berths to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on the line, Gervais commented on the excitement in of the trials, saying “I knew I needed to be competitive, be out at the 400 as the top 1 or 2 in my prelims heat. I had to be excited but not too excited– it’s easy to get overwhelmed for a race at a place like Olympic Trials.”

With finals slated for Saturday night at 5:00pm, Gervais feels confident that she can improve on her preliminary swim. “Tonight I’m definitely aiming for sub nine minutes. That was my goal in the morning and I just missed it, but now’s my second shot. If you have a lane, you have a chance!”

The final of the women’s 800 metre freestyle will go at 5:00pm PDT on Saturday, and can be live streamed at

Women’s 200 fly:

Jessica Luo, the youngest swimmer at Olympic Trials, swam to a preliminaries time of 2:28.13 in the women’s 200 fly. The completion of her swim wrapped up her first senior national meet experience, and she now turns her focus to continuing to build momentum for the remained of the long course season.

Erin Lawrance touched the wall in the 200 fly in a time of 2:23.08. Right on her personal best, she showed great front-end speed to get out to the one hundred-metre mark.

Men’s 100 Free:

Fourth year Vike Brett Zollen swam to a time of 52.86 in the men’s 100 free prelims on Friday morning. A personal best, Zollen got out quickly to the fifty-metre mark and was able to carry his speed home to dip under the fifty-three seconds. The swim sets him up well as he now turns his focus to the 50 free and 200 Individual Medley on Sunday.

Women’s 800 Free:

Kaitlin Gervais posted a best time and will swim in the 800 free finals Saturday night at the Pan Am Games Aquatic Centre. She will be in the mix as fourth through tenth place sit within six seconds of each other after prelims.

Victoria Mock, first year Vike and long time Pacific Coast Swimming athlete, swam to a prelims time of 9:08.82 in the 800 free. Her clocking was just over her personal best and placed her twenty-second in the field.

Swimming her second race of the day, Erin Lawrance continued her first trials meet with a 9:32.44 showing in the 800 free. Although the time was not a personal best, Lawrance gained valuable experience competing in the distance freestyle event at senior national competition.

Preliminary sessions go at 7:00am PDT each day, while finals run at 4:00pm PDT each night. More information can be found at

Pacific Coast Swimming is an athlete-focused, professionally led and parent-supported swim club, committed to having swimmers at all levels achieve their full athletic potential. PCS swimmers range in experience from our youngest beginners to high performance international athletes. We are proudly affiliated with the University of Victoria Vikes Swim Program through the University of Victoria – Pacific Coast Swimming Association (UVPCS).

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