Alberta Summer Championships Day 2 Report

29 June 2018 (Repsol Sports Centre, Calgary) - Day 2, Friday night, and the question everyone was asking themselves was what would it bring for our Blue & Gold?

First event of the night and first race of the night, the 100m backstroke, saw Devon Angus once again dip her toe into the action. She had qualified second in the prelims right at her personal best in 1:13.25 (just two tenths off). At night she delivered a crushing blow to the field taking more than two seconds off of that best time to swim 1:10.31 (so close to that 1:10 mark!) and take the gold medal.

In the girls 13-14 year-old race despite qualifying in first from the morning Ella Varga then found herself second at the 50m wall behind a powerful young 13 year-old out of the UCSC squad. This, though, was no cause for panic as it one of Varga’s signature moves of late - the come from behind surprise! Ella nearly even-splitted the whole thing and despite the palpations she may have given to friends and family in the crowd it was no surprise to this reporter that she managed to pull it off winning by the smallest margin possible - 1/100th of a second in 1:06.00 to 1:06.01!

Alexandra Butler qualified solid in the morning with a 1:06.0 effort that was near to her lifetime best of 1:05.1 putting her in third and one of the middle lanes for finals. She did it with plenty of front end speed, out in 31.5, which meant if she could get the back end of her race in order for the finals we were sure to see something quick. At night she smoked the field on the way out on the first 50m in 31.0 which was  a half-second better than anyone else; the real part of the race is always that second 50 and that is where things got interesting. The field closed up together and it became a real fist fight the last 15m. Alex had a fantastic swim and if it wasn’t for a near superhuman effort on the part of Red Deer’s national junior team member, Kyla Leibel, this race would have been Butler’s. Leibel won in 1:04.71 to Alex’s 1:04.81. It was the silver but more importantly for Alex it was her lifetime best cracking 1:05 for the very first time!

Not to be outdone by his older sister the younger Butler was also putting up a strong show in the first of our boy’s races. 1:09.8 in the morning for 5th and then a 1:08.60 effort at night gave Addison the bronze medal in our 13&U boys category.

In the boy’s 14-15 year-old category Mathieu Cyr qualified in first with a smooth, energy saving 1:02.3 swim (he’s been 59.9), only to show them what it is all about at night in the finals. Matt was in a two-way race to about the 75m mark before moving away at the wall hitting 1:00.60 for gold.

In our 16&O category national junior team member Sebastian Somerset was testing out his front end speed while up against the Foothill Stingray’s own national junior team member (they will be teammates this summer at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships) Finlay Knox. Somerset was out in 27.7 while Knox sat back in 28.5 - the two came together near the 75 before Sebastian poured some rocket fuel into the afterburners to come to the wall in 57.61 to Knox’s 57.86,

In the boy’s 200m butterfly we saw some pretty solid racing from our Cascade crew once again as this time Kian Pratt delivered a dominant swim against the field. 7th at the 50m mark, Pratt moved up to the 3rd at the halfway point although still trailing behind the race leader by almost a second and a half. At the 150m wall, the last turn, Kian sat in 3rd still 1:40.7 trailing the 1:40.6 and 1:40.1 in front of him by the two OSC swimmers. Pratt laid down a 33.5 final fifty to out swim the next closest swimmer by a full second winning in 2:14.29.

Our 200IM is one of our stronger events for the club across all genders and all ages. Devon Angus continues to show herself one of the dominant swimmers in the girls 12&U category in the province right along with the quickly rising young Corah Wilson, the even younger Maddy Connell and the sprint machine Hannah Auch. This one though was Angus’s show here in the IM. Devon had already taken 3 seconds off of her lifetime best going from 2:41 to 2:38 in the morning which set herself up really well for the final. Out in 32.7 then 1:11.8 the front end of this race was giving her no trouble whatsoever. After a 47 second breaststroke and 35 second freestyle she hit the wall in 2:34.53 for seven seconds off of her best time on the day and winning the whole event at the same time.

The boys 13&U have a  got a pretty good 1-2,3 punch combo going on these days with the likes of Butler, Gain and Werner Enns here in the final of the 200IM. Addison was solid in the prelims at 2:25 with Gaine back just a bit in 2:29. At night Addison delivered the win with his 2:22.56 performance while Gaine went a new lifetime best time of 2:28.74 for the bonze medal. Kadin Werner Enns also swam in the final going 2:25.32 for 5th overall.

In our boys 16&O category Cascade newcomer Laird Douglas was in just by the hair on his chinny-chin-chin qualifying 8th for the final in 2:18.1. At night he managed to move all the way up to third place for the bonze medal swimming 2:15.99 for the hardware.

In one of the highlight races of the night, the girls 12&U 400m freestyle, young Corah Wilson and the Bow Valley Riptides Joanna Robertson traded back and forth volleys like galleon ships on the high seas caught up in the middle of the Napoleonic war. The margin between these two swimmers ebbed and flowed between negligible to the left and then negligible to the right - 0.3, 0.8, 0.5, 0.3, 0.3, 0.02!, 0.2 and then 0.2 on the finish. Corah, at the end of her race - like at the end of all of her races, was spent having left it all in the lane. You can tell the effort she has put in each and every time is right to the max by the look on her face and this one was no different - final time 4:51.21 just behind Robertson in 4:50.96. The great effort between the two girls resulted in a 2 second PB for Robertson who won gold and a 6 second best for Wilson with the silver.

In our boys race we saw another great battle between two hardy foes with Mathieu Cyr and another crosstown rival from the University of Calgary who decided now was as good a time as any to see what happens when you put up the iresistable force of a T-Rex against the immovable object of the Cascade mountain! Both swimmers came to the meet with lifetime best times of 4:10 and both were out for the gold. UCSC let the way through the 50, the 100, the 150, the 200, the 250 before both turned at the 300m mark separated by only 1/10th of a second. You know how much 1/10th of a second is? It is about the amount of time it takes your body to respond to any message your brain sends it telling it do something (i.e. kick your legs!). At the 350m wall Cyr finally took the lead but only by 1/100th of a second! 3:44.05 to 3:44.06 - this was Ella Varga’s 100m backstroke from the beginning of the night all over again - we’d come full-circle! At the finish though, Cyr left nothing to be guessed as he put his legs into overdrive crushing the last 50 31.2 to 32.0 to take the win in the biggest margin between the two swimmers the entire race - 4:15.34 to 4:16.12.

Our boys 16&O saw Youssef Maksoud steadily climb from 4th at the beginning of the race to 3rd by the halfway point to second by the 300m mark where he then spent the next 100 metres fighting off all sorts of challenges to his silver medal hopes. In the end a strong last 50m gave him the edge to hold on to silver in 4:12.81.

The relays at the end of the night are always a fitting conclusion to the day and always exciting to watch. In the girls 12&U category, swimming the 4x50m Free Relay, the quartet of Devon Angus,Hannah Auch, Madilyn Connell and Corah Wilson have been putting up great swims so far in the first two days of the meet and they found themselves in heated head-to-head battle with the contingent from UCSC. Devon Angus led (28.97), Hannah Auch was second (30.29), Maddy Connell was next (30.21) and Corah Wilson anchored (31.19). The race was close with UCSC getting the win in 1:59.61 to our 2:00.66.

In the 13-14 year-old girls category, this relay and all the rest were now 4x100m Free Relays, Cascade had a strong team with Shayla Zielke (1:01.50), Payton Kelly (1:02.84), Ella Varga (1:01.28) and Rakiya Johnson (1:02.68) for a final time of 4:08.30 and the silver medal.

Our boys 14-15 years-old team swam Kian Pratt (56.62) in the lead-out, Mathieu Cyr was next (55.30) then came Sebastian Cariaga (57.21) and finally Hayden Woodrow (58.05). Final time for the team was 3:47.18 for silver.

The last race of the night was the boys 16&O which saw Sho Neilson on lead out (54.99) and then Jacob Windsor next (54.45). The time by Jacob was a lifetime best split by a full-second! Youssef Maksoud was next (55.13) and then Isak Nash (55.46) anchored the team. Final time for the big boys was 3:40.03 for the bronze medal.

Combined Boys & Girls Team Scores

1. UCSC 658

2. EKSC 384

3. CASC 363

4. OSC 184

5. TRITON 99

6. KSC 83

7. LASC 81

8. GPP 67

9. RDCSC 62

10. CP 56

Link for live results.