Western Canadian Championships - Day 1 Report

12 April 2018 (Victoria, BC) - The Western Canadian Championships now in its second year of the new format event - long course metres and post Canadian Championships / Trials - has always been a strong event for the Cascade Swim Club. The swimmers who attended Canadian Championships use the event as an opportunity to consolidate performances from the week before while for the majority of the crew this its the big spring Championship event and “best time” opportunity for early season long course swimming.

The Cascade crew landed earlier in the week and managed time to head down to the wharf to enjoy a local delicacy which, I am told, was invented here in Victoria - “Fish & Chips!”. The swimmers got to enjoy their fish and chips down right beside all the sea lions making that part of the town their own - and a little safer too these days and you can no longer by smelts to feed them!

A number of rookies at the meet this year with a lot of first-timer boys and girls making their Western Canadian Championships debut in Victoria including the following young budding superstars:

Connell, Adam

Kelly, Payton

Sidhu, Sahib

Sitolay, Karnika

Woodrow, Hayden

Zielke, Shayla

First events for the day were the 200m freestyle events for which Cascade has a very strong reputation and has for several years going all the way back to the Chad Bobrosky era of medalling at the World Junior Championships in 2011.

First medal of the the night came in the form of a win in the boys 14-16 year-old category as Cole Pratt took gold swimming a well put together 1:54.24 swim in 26.5, 29.1, 29.2, 29.2. Alexander Pratt followed that up with a win of his own in the 17&O age category with a 1:50.88 performance - driving home on that last 50m like an absolute dynamo. 25.9, 28.2, 28.9 and then 27.7 on the last 50.

In the 100m backstroke young, 14 year-old, Ella Varga continues to impress with the improvements she has made over the last several months including technical improvements in the underwater work. 1:05.34 was her best time coming in to the meet and 1:05.46 was her swim in the prelims - right on her best. In the morning she was 32.0 followed by 33.4 on the second 50m. At night she was 31.59 on the way out, which is pretty quick for Ella, and then 32.82 on the way back for a new lifetime best of 1:04.41 and silver medal. The time ranks her #3 in the country for girls 14&U in the event.

In the boy’s races we had Cole Pratt take the win in the 14-16 year-old category by going out in 27.93 then back in 28.69 for a lifetime best time of 56.62.

A big swim came out of the boys 17&O category as Sebastian Somerset, who took silver last week at the Canadian Swimming Championships in 56.04, was on the hunt to crack that 56 mark for the very first time. Seeing Cole in the heat before him hit his lifetime best and edge a little bit more down towards Seb’s best time was more than enough motivation for Somerset. Sebastian crushed it on the way out in 27.11 before coming back in 28.88 to win the gold in a new lifetime best of 55.99 - just a few 10ths of a second off of the Canadian age group mark of 55.24.

In the 1500m freestyle our medal came from the morning swim put down by Mathieu Cyr. Mathieu we hits his 50m splits like a metronome each time he gets in to race was no different on this one lapping 33 mids the whole way to drop almost twenty full seconds and get to 16:39.64 and take the bronze medal.

The last race of the night was the 4x100m Free Relay and our boy’s team has been on fire all year long. In this one Cole Pratt led out the team in a new lifetime best of 52.56, This was followed up by Sebastian Somerset hitting a 52.09! Sho Neilson was rock-solid as ever going 53.11 and the team was anchored by Alex Pratt in 50.64 for a final time of 3:28.40 and the gold medal.

Overall it was a solid start to meet and the team’s title defence for both the overall medal count, the boys medal count and the boys team title banner. We will see what day 2 brings us!

Other finals swims:

200 Free

Liz Harper, 2:09.19 (10th)

Ava Free, 2:05.59 (5th)

Alex Katelnikoff, 1:56.65 (7th)

Sho Neilson, 1:56.01 (5th)

Isak Nash, 1:57.01 (10th)

100 Back

Alex Butler, 1:05.17 (4th)

Payton Kelly, 1:08.81 (16th)

Stephen Hou, 58.57 (4th)

Sho Neilson, 59.58 (5th)

200 Breast

Isabelle Roth, 2:37.02 (4th)

Matthew Ketchin, 2:24.33 (4th)

800 Free

Liz Harper, 9:22.68 (7th)

Ava Free, 9:05.70 (5th)

1500 Free

Youssef Maksoud, 16:31.03 (10th)

Matthew Ketchin, 16:55.22 (13th)

4x100 Free Relay

Cascade Girls: Jasmine Kwan, 1:00.72; Alex Butler, 1:00.46; Ava Free, 59.66; Emma Sutton, 1:00.20 (7th)

Cascade Boys: Sahib Sidhu, 55.17; Stephen Hou, 54.55; Youssef Massoud, 52.83!! Alex Katelnikoff, 52.79 (4th)

Cascade Boys: Isak Nash, 54.84; Mathieu Cyr, 55.19; Kian Pratt, 56.06; Sebastian Cariaga, 57.49 (13th)

Medal Tally after Day 1

1. CASC 5G 1S 1B 7T

2. UVIC 3G 2S 2B 7T

3. ISC 2G 1S 2B 5T

4. LOSC 1G 1S 2B 4T

5. SKSC 1G 1S 1B 3T

6. UCSC 1G 1S 0B 2T

Points Standings after Day


1. CASC 500

2. UVIC 277

3. UCSC 218

4. HYACK 160

5. SKSC 139

6. EKSC 128


1. UCSC 367

2. ISC 287

3. CASC 170

4. RDCSC 150

5. CP 118

6. SPART 105


1. CASC 670

2. UCSC 585

3. UVIC 377

4. ISC 370

5. SKSC 209