April 18, 2018
Canadian Swimming Championships
A small contingent of MSSAC swimmers travelled to Montreal to compete in the Canadian Swimming Championships April 5-8. Christian Arseneau came up from the University of Alabama and made B finals in the 100fr and 200IM. Our youngest swimmers in the High Performance squad also made second swims. Christian Florea swam a great 200fly in heat 1 to make a B final and Morgane Shuster had a clutch 400IM in the prelim to climb up the rankings and make a B final. These were great performances for these two who were attending their first Canadian Swimming Championship. Also competing in his first CSC was Colin Wang. Colin swam his lifetime best preliminary swims but was just shy of getting into the B finals. Roxie Ramirez also scored in the top 20 in the meet in her 1500 freestyle. With the exception of Christian Arseneau the swimmers travelled home from this meet, had 2 days back home in Mississauga and then travelled to Windsor for the Eastern Canadian Championships.
MSSAC Moves Up 16 Places at Eastern Canadian Championships
After some restructuring of the program following the 2015-2016 season the High-Performance program is certainly moving in the right direction. The 2016-2017 season saw the team finish in 25th position overall with 4 bronze medals. This year the team moved up 16 spots to finish in 9th position out of more than 120 teams with 5 individual medals, 1 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze and 1 relay bronze medal. Bart Hojda led the way for the team with lifetime bests on his way to 3 of those medals. Bart won gold in the 200Br with a 2:22, silver in the 100br with a 1:05 and silver in the 200im with a 2:10. Roxie Ramirez had an awesome 1500fr on the last night to win the silver medal in 17:31. Morgane Shuster got on the podium in the 400IM to earn the bronze in a 5:05. The men’s 400 medley relay won bronze with Art Saarloos swimming back, Bart in the breaststroke leg, Christian Florea butterfly and Colin Wang anchoring the relay. Others making A finals for the team were Christian Florea with a 6th place finish in the 200fly, Nicolette Goncalves with a 9th place finish in the 100fly edging closer to her best time upon her return to the pool, Art Saarloos with a 9th, 5th and 6th place finish in the 50fr, 100fr and 100bk respectively, Morgane Shuster with a 6th place finish in the 1500fr and 200IM, Colin Wang 5th in the 50fr just missing the podium and a 9th in the 100fly and Roxie Ramirez with a 6th place finish in the 800fr.
B-finalists included Angela Saarloos in the 100Br finishing 14th overall in a lifetime best 1:15.03 and also making the B in the 50Br in a personal best of 34.32. Art Saarloos finished in 15th in the 50bk, Morgane Shuster placed 15th in the 400fr and 14th in the 800fr, Colin wang finished 11th in the 100fr in a time that would have seen him finish 5th in the A, he also swam an excellent 200fr in a personal best 1:58.2 to finish 12th. Christian Florea swam to a 16th place finish in the 100fly and Sarah-Mae Iannuccilli swam to 14th place in the 200IM in 2:29.
Other swimmers achiving best times were Bridget Manzella in the 50br, her first time under 35 with a 34.91, Jovan Dhanju in the 200fly with a 2:18.72 and Kevin Ireland in the 200fly as well with a 2:22.
The competition was not without controversy. Over the first 2 days there was a substantial current in the pool which undermined the performance of the athletes. If you were in lanes 7, 8, or 9 for your preliminaries you were certainly at a disadvantage as you swam into the current going back to the start end and yes a few MSSAC swimmers paid the price. It was unfortunate for the athletes and the facility figured out how to deal with it by day 3 of the meet. Our swimmers took it well and soldiered on despite this, a testament to their character. It was an unfortunate condition that affected many athletes at the meet and there were some events that the athletes were allowed to reswim as a time trial. Formal complaints went to both Swim Canada and the Canadian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association and I hope for the sake of the athletes it is taken with sincerity and concern.
Despite all of the pool problems MSSAC had a fantastic meet with many swimmers catapulting up the national rankings and setting themselves up well going into Canadian Trials and Canadian Junior Championships this summer.