Gareth Saunders, Pacific Coast Swimming
Distance freestylers Kaitlin Gervais and Jon McKay highlighted day five at the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials in Toronto, which saw five UVic-Pacific Coast Swimming athletes hit the water. Gervais swam in the Women’s 800 Freestyle A Final on Saturday night, placing tenth, just over her personal best that she swam in the preliminaries session.
“I missed making Olympic Trials in 2012 by seven tenths of a second, which was really disappointing. So to be here for 2016 and to swim in the A Final is incredible,” said Gervais after her race. “These are people that I have looked up to for years, and now to be racing in the same final with them trying to qualify for the Olympics is an amazing experience.”
Jon McKay did what he needed to do in the Men’s 1500 freestyle prelims to book a lane for Sunday night’s final. With the 1500 being the longest swim on the event list at Olympic Trials, athletes look to have good preliminary swims without emptying the fuel tank.
“Jon has a good lane for finals, but really a contest in prelims who could get to finals the easiest,” commented UVic Vikes head coach and PCS Technical Director Peter Vizsolyi. “ It should be exciting in the final as there are probably four guys that can get to the standard for the one spot behind Ryan Cochrane.”
McKay will swim his 1500 Free A Final at 5:00pm PDT on Sunday, as he looks to dip under the Olympic Qualifying Standard of 15:14.77. Continued coverage of the meet can be found at www.pacificcoastswimming.com and live feed can be streamed at http://www.cbc.ca/sports/videos.
Women’s 800 Freestyle:
Second year Vike Kaitlin Gervais swam to a time of 9:04.69 to place tenth in the Women’s 800 Freestyle A Final. Her swim concluded a great week of racing in which she made both an A final and B final. Both swims are huge steps in Gervais’ progression, as she looks to build on her first Trials experience moving forward to the summer long course season.
Men’s 1500 Freestyle:
Jon McKay punched his ticket for the Men’s 1500 Freestyle Final with his preliminary swim on Saturday. The final, which goes Sunday evening at the Pan Am Games Aquatic Centre in Toronto, is stacked with depth as there are five men with a legitimate shot at dipping under the Olympic Qualification Standard of 15:14.77.
Men’s 200 Backstroke:
Evan Letkeman capped off his week at Canadian Olympic Trials with his 2:07.98 performance in the Men’s 200 Backstroke. Letkeman, although just over his best time, showed great front-end speed to get out to the one hundred metre mark in a very good time. The 2015 CIS All-Canadian now turns his focus to building for the upcoming long course summer season, and will be leaned on as a leader with the Vikes this coming fall with the departures of seniors Richard Bourgeois and Sarah Galbraith.
Second year Vike Buzz Mallender capped off his first Trials experience with a 2:09.02 showing in the Men’s 200 Backstroke. For Mallender, the week was about gaining experience competing at the senior national level. With only two years of year round swimming under his belt, watch for Mallender to take another big leap in the coming twelve months as he continues his steady rate of improvement.
Men’s 100 Fly:
Sixteen-year old Lucas Tyler continued his impressive meet with another stellar performance. In the Men’s 100 Fly preliminaries on Saturday, Tyler swam to a best time of 56.21, and finished the race as the top swimmer his age in Canada. Tyler has a number of domestic and international meets that he is eyeing for his summer long course season, and will now turn his focus to putting in a solid block of training prior to swimming at those competitions.
Preliminary sessions go at 7:00am PDT each day, while finals run at 4:00pm PDT each night. More information can be found at http://www.pacificcoastswimming.com/.
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).