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Sunday, May 26, 2024

The High 5 Swims from the Inaugural Canadian Open


After a weekend of racing on the Pan Am Sports activities Centre in Toronto, the inaugural Canadian Open is within the books. A few of Canada’s largest swimming stars had been in attendance, tuning up forward of the Canadian Olympic Trials subsequent month.

There have been some sturdy swims over the 4 days, and we’ve put collectively a rating of our high 5 swims from the meet. As at all times, these lists are subjective so in the event you don’t see your swim of the meet right here, be happy to shout it out within the feedback beneath.

5. Alexander Axon, 400 Freestyle — 3:49.33

Whether or not they had been in Toronto on the Canadian Open or in San Antonio on the ultimate Professional Collection Cease, there have been loads of NCAA athletes making a fast turnaround from the 25-yards to 50-meter pool. Ohio State sophomore Alexander Axon was one such swimmer. On the males’s NCAA championships, he swam a lifetime finest within the 500-yard prelims (4:12.62) and earned a spot within the ‘B’ ultimate.

Now again in meters, he’s continued to make strides in mid-distance free. Previous to this meet, Axon’s lifetime finest was a 3:51.16 from the TYR Professional Championships in July 2023. After cruising a 3:53.91 in prelims for the quickest time of the morning, Axon bought set to defend his place in finals.

Axon got here from behind to win the lads’s 400 freestyle at this meet, passing Lorne Wigginton to win by .52 seconds. Axon turned in a brand new lifetime finest of three:49.33, which marks his first time cracking the three:50 barrier. That’s a 1.83 second drop for Axon, which places him inside shouting distance of the Olympic ‘B’ lower time (3:47.91) with about 5 weeks earlier than Canadian Trials.

4. Maggie MacNeil, 100 Backstroke — 59.93

Summer season McIntosh bought the higher of Maggie MacNeil within the 100 butterfly, the occasion MacNeil gained her Olympic title in. MacNeil was quicker this weekend (57.24) than she was presently within the run as much as her Olympic gold medal, however we’re highlighting MacNeil’s 100 backstroke on this record.

“It was one thing enjoyable to get my meet began,” MacNeil stated after her 100 backstroke win on the primary night time of competitors. The race got here all the way down to the contact between McNeil, McIntosh, and 2024 Worlds bronze medalist Ingrid Wilm. MacNeil bought her hand on the wall first, stopping the clock in 59.93, .03 seconds forward of McIntosh.

MacNeil doesn’t race the 100 backstroke within the long-course pool that always, although she’s proven her prowess within the stroke each at SCM Worlds and in yards throughout her NCAA profession. Her 59.93 is the second-fastest time of her profession within the occasion and simply her second sub-1:00 swim. Her PB sits at 59.45 from April 2021.

Whereas it might have simply been a enjoyable off-event to begin her meet with and never an occasion she’s pursuing significantly for what she says could also be her ultimate Olympic Video games, it’s nonetheless a robust swim from MacNeil. Collectively together with her different races, she put collectively a robust “gown rehearsal” forward of Olympic Trials subsequent month.

3. Summer season McIntosh, 100 Freestyle — 53.90

There are a pair choices for which McIntosh swim is essentially the most spectacular. She gained 4 occasions in 4 days, and posted the quickest 200 freestyle time in 2024 on the opening night time of the meet (1:54.21). Except for the 200 free and 200 IM, McIntosh took on a non-traditional lineup for her, racing all 4 100s. And on the danger of overwhelming this record with freestyle occasions, we expect that of these swims, it was her 100 free that stood out essentially the most.

McIntosh gained a stacked ultimate that included Maggie MacNeil, Mary-Sophie Harvey, and Penny Oleksiak. McIntosh beat all three, charging to the win in a lifetime finest 53.90. It was McIntosh’s first sub-54 second outing. Her earlier lifetime finest stood at 54.39 from March 2023, which she neared in February 2024 with a 54.58.

McIntosh led the sphere round on the flip with a 26.20 to the ft. She got here again in 27.70, holding off MacNeil for the win and the one sub-54 second effort within the subject.

Breaking that 54 second barrier is one other achievement unlocked for the versatile 17-year-old. And like the following entry on this record, this swim aids Canada’s Olympic relay hopes.

2. Mary-Sophie Harvey, 200 Freestyle — 1:56.76

Whereas McIntosh earned the ladies’s 200 freestyle win in a powerful 1:54.21, Mary-Sophie Harvey put collectively a superb swim for second forward of swimmers like Julie Brousseau and Ella Jansen.

Harvey fired off a lifetime finest 1:56.76, which marks the primary time she’s damaged 1:57 and is a brand new Quebec Provincial file. Some of the spectacular components of the swim was the way in which that she cut up it. Harvey damaging cut up the race; she turned on the midway level in 58.57, then got here charging via the sphere on the again of the race in 58.19.

At 24 years outdated, Harvey is discovering new heights at simply the best second forward of the Olympic summer season. She’s been racing lots this season and has been constantly dropping time on this occasion. On the finish of November within the U.S. Open, she posted a lifetime bets 1:57.70. In lower than six months, she’s taken .94 seconds off that point, first dropping to 1:57.06 in March then bettering that point at this meet.

Together with making her a favourite for a person Olympic berth, Harvey’s enhancements this season additionally increase Canada’s Olympic hopes within the 4×200 freestyle relay.

1. Nicholas Bennett, 200 Freestyle — 1:54.20

On the primary night time of competitors, Nicholas Bennett raced by himself towards the clock within the 200 freestyle. The 20-year-old made the a lot of the clear water, firing off a brand new Canadian Para S14 file with a 1:54.20.

He opened the race in 26.58. Then, he cut up 28.94 and 29.67 over the center 100-meters and closed in 29.01, taking .21 seconds off the earlier file. He owned that mark as nicely, a 1:54.41 he swam in 2022.

“I used to be anticipating to be near my finest time however not beating it,” Bennett advised CBC after the race. “It’s been two years since I’ve posted a finest time on this [event] so I’m nonetheless course of it. That was unrested and untapered so we’ll see what we are able to do subsequent month on the Trials once I’m slightly bit extra prepped.”

This in-season file is a robust signal for Bennett, who’s trying to observe up his first S14 world titles (200 free, 200 IM) from the 2023 Para Swimming World Championships with Paralympic gold this summer season. Bennett completed sixth on the Tokyo Video games and this time would have earned him bronze.

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