December 18, 2017
17 December 2017 (Toronto, ON) - Day 3 of the Ontario Junior International Swim Meet saw another bunch of firsts in the pool as we contested the 200IM, the 100 Free, the 200 Back, the 50 Breast, the 800 & 1500 Free as well as the 4x100 Medley Relay.
Up on the blocks first was Cole Pratt in the men’s 200IM. 15 year-old Pratt qualified second in the event with a lifetime best and new Provincial record of 2:01.50, right behind British Swimming’s James McFadzen, a bronze medalist at last summer’s European Junior Championships. Mcfadzen was right on his best time in the prelims with a 2:00.82 swim providing himself with an 8/10th of a second cushion on Pratt. It would come down to the breaststroke and freestyle legs of this race to determine the final result. Mcfadzen out split Cole in the prelims by two seconds on the breaststroke while Cole had his number on the freestyle by more than a full second. Pratt had to be within striking distance coming off of the breast on to the free to have any chance whatsoever. Both swimmers were out of the blocks like a shot with both McFadzen and Pratt set a blistering pace on the front 100 hitting 55.5 & 55.7 before turning on the breaststroke. James Mcfadzen was a 34.2 spit while Cole hit 35.8 - a difference of 1.6 seconds giving them a split difference at the 150m mark of 1:29.7 for Mcfadzen and 1:31.5 for Pratt - a margin that seemed almost too much. On the freestyle leg Cole impressed on the underwater as he came off the 150m mark gaining ground with every big kick. By the 175m bulkhead wall it was McFadzen with only an ever so slight advantage going into the last turn. Freestyle splits for both swimmers - James at 28.7 and Pratt at 28.0. Final time for Cole was 1:59.58, for second, just behind Mcfadzen in 1:58.55.
The 100m freestyle and big Alexander Pratt was up against his former team Canada teammate, Ruslan Gaziev, who was a part of Alex’s gold medal winning and World’s Junior Record setting relay from the Indianapolis World Junior Championships last summer. Pratt had already won the 200m freestyle and the 400m freestyle - breaking both the meet and Canadian National Age Group record in the win. Now, he was swimming down to the 100m race - not his speciality but the kid has been on fire in everything else so why not give it a go! In the prelims Gaziev was 48.90 after splitting 23.32 and then 25.58 while Pratt was 23.74 and 25.19 for a 48.93 final time. The answer, we thought, to the riddle of this race was going to be found on its last 25m. Who could come off of that bulkhead at the 75m with the most energy after the completing the quickest turn and who could translate that sling shot momentum into what it was going to take to get the hand on the wall first? Little did we know a big part of the outcome of this race was going to be determined right off of the start with Gaziev getting the jump on the field and everyone else. Alex was out in 24.06 and back in 24.9 for a 49.03 silver medal swim.
For Cole Pratt it was round two up against Britain’s James McFadzen who had also qualified for the 200 back in first place. Like the 200IM it would come down to the last 25m of the race - the question here tonight in the 200 back race was could Pratt be close enough to the leaders before that last wall to get to him by the end of the race? Cole broke his own provincial record in the prelims with his 2:00.22 swim and had set himself a goal of cracking two minutes in the race and was looking to see where he could end up and if he could end up on the podium in this one. Out first with the same blazing speed that saw him win the 50m backstroke the other night was Loic St. Martin from CAMO quickly followed by McFadzen and then Pratt. Through the 100m and 150m mark not much else had changed and it looked like that was the way it was going to end up…right up until all three of them came off of the 175m wall with St. Martin out in front. Pratt was incredibly tough on the finish outspliting every other finalist by almost a second in 28.9 but it wasn’t enough as St. Martin stood for the win just missing the Canadian Age Group record by a couple of tenths swimming 1:55.59 with Mcfadzen second in 1:57.14 and Pratt taking bronze in 1:57.59.
The mile, the 1500m freestyle, the last individual race of the night was another big opportunity for our Alexander Pratt. He had won the 200m and 400m races previously and added a silver in the 100m event to his belt tonight as well. In the 1500 he was looking to break the eight (8) minute mark in the first 800m of the race and then carry through over the next 700m to see how close he could get down to 15 minutes for the overall 1500. Alex swam a textbook race to throughout the first 800m - these splits are shown here for part of the historical record as to how it should be done for future generations of little Cascade swimmers:
27.0, 29.6, 29.9, 29.9, 29.9, 30.2, 29.9, 30.0, 29.4, 30.0, 29.7, 30.0, 29.6, 29.1, 28.7, 26.9*, 31.2**, 30.4**, 30.3**, 29.6, 29.6, 29.7, 29.5, 29.5, 29.8, 29.6, 29.5, 29.6, 29.5, 27.2.
*This was the last 50m of the first 800m of the race.
**These three fifties were swum as smooth, strong & stronger to get himself back on pace after the last 50m of the 800m effort.
Alexander got himself to 7:50.57 - his first Canadian National Age Group Record ever (imagine that - he is already a World’s (Jr) record holder looking for his first Canadian record! We all remember his part in the World's Jr Record smashing mixed 4x100m Free Relay from last summer at World Juniors in Indy...) and taking down the old mark set by former teammate Chad Bobrosky nine years earlier in the supersuit era of 2009. Back in October, at our fall meet, Pratt had tried this same tactic before getting himself down to 8:02 in the 1500m event at the Rocky Mountain Cup but then not really having the fuel in the engine to to continue at that quick clip for the rest of the 15. Could he do it here - rising to the occasion in this tremendous pressure pot situation? If you look at the splits above you can see the way it went for Alex as the “Alberta Locomotive” just kept on’ a chuggin’! To cap off an already great swim in for him what had already been a great meet he managed to break the Canadian NAG record in the 1500m in a crushing performance of 14:46.21. It was also a OJI meet record by three seconds.
High Point Swimmer Awards for the meet went to both the top male and the top female performance based on a comparison of the current world rankings. In the women’s events it went to current Olympic Champion in the 100m freestyle, Penny Oleksiak, for 100m freestyle. She won the event tonight in 52.34 which, based on results before the meet, ranked her number 8 in the world. On the boys side of the meet, Alexander Pratt, and the stellar 1500m freestyle that he put up on night one was enough to garner him the laurel wreath as champion of the men’s side of the meet. His 1500m freestyle swim ranked him 18th on the same world rankings chart. Both Alex and Penny also won the high point award for the most points in their combined individual swims scoring 5-3-1 for gold, silver and bronze medal performances.
The meet overall was a good one for the group and the coaches, ours as well as the national team coaches from around the country, were pleased with the results of our kids.
Other races tonight
100 Free Miranda Kasko 57.40 15th
200 Back Isak Nash 2:02.22 9th
50 Breast Sarah Knott 32.73 10th
4x100 MR Cascade “A” 3:54.05 7th
Isak Nash 58.52
Cole Pratt 1:07.69
Alex Pratt 56.43
Adrian Gramatke 51.41
Full Results can be found here: http://www.swimontario.com/liveresults/