Western Canadian Championships - Day 2 Report

12 April 2018 (Victoria, BC) - Day 2 of the Western Canadian Championships in damp and rainy Victoria was just about as good as Day 1 - if you can believe that! Leading the combined points score, men’s banner and medal tally after one night of racing motivated the crew to remain focused and to not be resting on their laurels when they came into finals tonight - but, before we get to tonight’s races, some recap from the morning’s timed finals session.

With the size of the meet as it is, which despite the format changes over the last two years is still quite big, a few events had to be moved around to accommodate. The relays were all swum today in the morning prelims session with the 4x200 Free Relay being on the slate. Cascade was up to their old tricks this morning trying to pull an “Aces & Eights” move on the field — looking to come 1-2 in the men’s race by splitting their top two relays as evenly as they could. Was it even possible? On paper, yes but, the true test was going to be the tale of the tape at the end of the race.

Just before the boys though came our Cascade girls and “A” squad of Ava Free, Emma Sutton, Jasmine Kwan and Liz Harper. Ava was rock solid on her lead out split of 2:07.28; Emma Sutton was next 2:12.41; Jasmine Kwan took third spot in 2:12.07 and then Liz Harper brought it home as the anchor in 2:11.98. Bronze medal for the girls in 8:43.74.

The boy’s 4x200m free relays were split along family lines with the “A” team being made up of Alex Pratt,Matthew Ketchin, Alex Katelnikoff and Mathieu Cyr while the “B” team fielded Youssef Maksoud, Cole Pratt, Sho Neilson and Isak Nash. Both teams were very strong and would potentially lead to a very close finish at the end of the race. Alex Pratt led the race out in 1:52.77 while Youssef Maksoud was second to the wall behind Pratt in 1:56.90 - so far so good for the two teams. Next in the water was Matthew Ketchin for the “A” team who split a 1:58.86 while Cole Pratt put down a 1:53.20 for the “B” team putting them into the lead ahead of their “A” team counterparts. Sho Neilson took the reins from Pratt (C) to be the next swimmer in for Cascade while distance ace, Alex Katelnikoff, dove in for the Cascade “A” team. Katelnikoff was 1:56.27 while Neilson was 1:55.03 to keep the “Beta” squad out in front by 2 seconds. Anchors away now as Isak Nash, for the “Bravo” team, and Mathieu Cyr for team “Adrenalin”, were in. Isak split 1:57.09 while Cyr was 1:58.86 with the Cascade “B” team taking gold in 7:42.22. The “A” team was second overall in 7:46.53. A 1-2 finish and mission accomplished for Cascade.

First race off of the blocks at night was the 100m freestyle and Cascade, buoyed by their strong showing on their 4x100 free relays the night before, put up even more solid performances here. Cole Pratt, who went a best time leading out the relay last night in 52.56, went 52.84 in prelims qualifying second in 14-16 year-old age group. In the prelims Pratt played it pretty cool through the first 50 out in only 25.74 before coming home in 27.10. At night, he let it out a little more getting down to the turn in 25.41 to turn third at the 50 and then dropping a 26.60 on the way back for another gold and new best time of 52.01 - just missing the 52-mark.

In the big boy final, Alexander Pratt - bronze medalist last week in Montreal, qualified out in front in 51.35 just ahead of former senior national team member Kyle Troskot. In Montreal Pratt had been 50.41 for the bronze getting to the first 50m wall in 24.70. This morning in prelims Alex had been smooth and calm in 25.13 before coming back in 26.22. In the race at night, the big final, Alex took it out a bit more aggressive in 24.86 and then managed to rip it on the back end in 26.02 sec and 50.88 final time - good for gold.

In our 50m backstroke races we had a pretty good contingent of swimmers in the water. Alexandra Butler had qualified 3rd overall for the final after her 30.36 swim. At night Alex was a bit better getting down to 30.25 and taking the bronze.

The boys 50m backstroke featured Sebastian Somerset, bronze medalist last weekend at Canadian Championships who had qualified first in the morning with a solid 26.81 swim. Sebastian went for it like a rocket but was just a little bit, little bit…a little bit too far on the underwater. Deeked for going past the 15m. In a bit of mixup around the final results they Stephen Hou was awarded the bronze medal by mistake only to have it corrected. Stephen, in a fine display of Cascade sportsmanship, recognize the error before the officials even had and went to return the medal to the right swimmer. Technically, when results are called official and medals all awarded they are final results but, good on Stephen for not wanting a medal that was truly earned. Stephen finished 4th overall with a 27.60 best time.

On another note, Isabelle Roth had to battle not only the field last night but a gusher of a bleeding nose that happened right after her 200m breaststroke in finals on day 1. Roth had to spend a few hours in emergency before they cauterized the blood vessels to stem the bleeding. I have never seen how they actually cauterize wounds these days to close them up - but in the movies they usually use a red-hot poker to seer the flesh closed - not sure if this was the same procedure they used on Isabelle or not - but if they did, she looked remarkably well the next morning swimming a 1:14.98 in the prelims of the 100m event to qualify 3rd. In the evening, At night 1:13.68 for 4th.

In the 400 IM, the King of all events or the Queen of all events as it were, we saw Mathieu Cyr, a powerhouse in this event, qualify himself 3rd overall after the prelims in a new lifetime best time swim of 4:42.83. At night, Mathieu got into a heckuva race taking it out quick and not looking back. Mathieu bettered almost every single one of his splits from the morning race to the evening final’s race:

Prelims Finals

30.33 29.61

1:05.58 1:03.93

1:41.69 1:39.10

2:17.25 2:12.90

2:58.25 2:53.25

3:39.98 3:33.56

4:11.87 4:05.55

4:42.83 4:36.43

A drop of almost 6.5 seconds at night for Matt to crack the 4:40 mark for the very first time and pick up the gold medal win and make his very first ever senior national qualifying time!

Up right after Mathieu…was Matthew! Ketchin that is. Seemingly inspired, or frightened, by young Cyr’s performance in the heat before. Ketchin was 4:41 in the prelims and after Cyr’s jaw-dropping swim of 4:36, which was better than Matt Ketchin’s lifetime best by a second, he was rarin’ to go. Out in 1:02.6 on the butterfly you could tell this was the start of something good. Backstroke was also a solid negative split (the way it ought to be) in 36.4 / 35/1 for 1:11.5 which set him up well for one of his strongest legs, the breaststroke. Even splitting the swim in 1:17.3 Matt just had 100m of freestyle to go. As always a 400IM’er wants to see that butterfly and freestyle split match with some small wiggle room to go either way (i.e. a slightly faster fly than free for those that are also 200m butterfly strong - think Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte) but usually it is a matter of pride amongst the 400 IM brotherhood to see that free right at the fly split or a little faster. Matt was 32.1 and 30.8 for a 1:02.9 almost exactly dead-even with his first 100m split to perfectly round out his 4:34.46 bronze medal swim.

It was another great evening for the Cascade crew that only gained ground on the rest of the competition coming out of the session ahead by a score of 958 to 373 on the boy’s side and 1238 to 1149 on the overall combined points tally. In the medals race it was not really that close as Cascade was truly asserting their dominance on the podium.

You can follow complete live results at the following link (available through our club websites “Follow Results” tab) or direct though here.

Other finals swims

100 Free

Stephen Hou, 54.69 (8th)

50 Back

Ella Varga, 31.15 (12th)

Sho Neilson, 28.05 (10th)

Isak Nash, 27.95 (9th)

4x200 FR

Cascade girls: Shayla Zielke, 2:15.19; Alex Butler, 2:14.00; Kaiya Robertson, 2:14.94; Karnika Sitolay, 2:13.35 (8:57.48 - 13th)

Cascade boys: Kian Pratt, 2:00.24; Stephen Hou, 2:03.54; Sahib Sidhu, 2:03.00; Sebastian Cariaga, 2:03.95 (8:10.73 - 9th - DQ)

100 Breast

Liz Harper, 1:16.95 (8th)

Matthew Ketchin, 1:10.60 (14th)

50 Fly

Sebastian Somerset, 25.94 (6th)

Alex Pratt, 25.95 (7th)

Youssef Maksoud, 26.67 (14th)

400 IM

Liz Harper, 5:14.38 (14th)

Medal Tally after Day 2

1. CASC 9G 2S 4B 15T

2. ISC 5G 3S 3B 11T

3. LOSC 4G 1S 2B 7T

4. SKSC 3G 4S 2B 9T

5. UVIC 3G 2S 2B 7T

6. UCSC 3G 2S 2B 7T

Points Standings after Day 2


1. CASC 958

2. UCSC 373

3. UVIC 370

4. RAPID 336


1. UCSC 776

2. ISC 584

3. RDCSC 303.5

4. CASC 280


1. CASC 1238

2. UCSC 1149

3. ISC 838

4. UVIC 512