Western Canadian Championships - Day 1 Report

11 April 2019 (Edmonton, AB) - Day 1 of the Western Canadian Championships saw a tonne of improvement from a lot of swimmers in all sorts of events all the way from the 100m backstroke to the 1500m freestyle.

First up for the night was the 200m freestyle which saw Ava Free throw down a lifetime best time of 2:04.76 for the silver medal. This was a comeback performance for Free after breaking her hand earlier this season and having to spend more time on the bike then in the pool for a vast majority of the New Year. Ava worked through all of that recovery to get herself to the silver and…wait for it…

In the boy’s 200m freestyle Cole Pratt was the top-seed in the 16&U race with a 1:54.55 prelims swim. Pratt, looking potentially for a spot on Canada’s 4x200 Freestyle Relay at the World Championships in Korea, wanted to put something down in the low-150 range which would then be considered for the team. He got, almost, there dropping three seconds from his lifetime best going 26.1, 28.2, 28.4, 27.9 for 1:50.84 swim and win.

In the 100m backstroke, para, Peyton Morey, competing at her first ever Western Canadian Championships, went a best time in the morning prelims cracking 1:20 for the first time with a 1:19.80 swim. At night she took it out hard again looking for another sub-120 swim. Ask a rookie member of the Cascade team here at Westerns this was Peyton’s first go at it under the big lights and she proved to be  up to the task - 1:19.11 and the gold medal.

Ella Varga, 15&U, qualified first with a solid 1:04.40 swim in the morning. At night she was up against two swimmers from Canada’s World Junior team and one of whom is also on the World team (O’Croinin) - it was a stacked heat. 31.19 at the 50m mark (4/100ths slower than last week) but back a bit better in 32.28 for 1:03.47 a best time and a solid gold medal swim. How about this though, also right beside her and crushing it on the middle 50m (the second and third 25m), Payton Kelly killed it in 1:04.16 for her ever Canadian senior trials time and the silver behind Varga!

In the boys race Cole Pratt solidified the event for himself with a 54.88 performance - 2/10ths slower than his Canadian NAG (National Age Group) record that swam last week in Toronto at the Trials. Pratt swam this one a little differently working on his back-end (last 50m) speed as he will need to swim 54.06 or better prior to the world’s in July to potentially be able to enter this event at championships:

Westerns           Trials

27.11                26.54

27.77    54.88   28.10   54.64

In the boys 17&O race Sebastian Somerset was looking to build on his lifetime best he did in Toronto as well, 55.94 a time that placed him 6th overall at the Trials event and helped win him a post on Canada’s Jr team attending World Juniors in Budapest in August:

Westerns          Trials

27.25               27.24

28.67   55.92   28.70   55.94

The last events of the night were the 800&1500 Freestyles where we had Ava Free and Ellie Maradyn go silver and bronze in the girls 15&O category with 9:07.40 and 9:21.84 swims. 

In the 4x100 FR the boys absolutely dominated the event winning by more than four full seconds. Cascade threw done a dominating squad with Sebastian Somerset, Jacob Windsor, Sho Neilson and Cole Pratt all racing in the blue and gold. Somerset was lead out in lifetime best at 52.03, Jacob Windsor backed that up with his 53.81 swim which then led to team speech giver extraordinaire, Sho Neilson, to go third in 53.15. Anchor duty fell to Cole who brought the club home in 50.80 for a 3:29.79 win.

Other best time results from finals:

200 Free

Ella Varga, 2:08.36, PB 8th

Payton Kelly, 2:08.84, PB 13th

Kian Pratt, 2:00.08, PB 14th

100 Back

Kaitlyn Auch, 1:06.42, PB 12th

Caleb Gaine, 1:03.94, PB 18th

800 Free

Corah Wilson, 9:40.11, PB 21st

1500 Free

Adam Connell, 17:20.41, PB 19th

Will Bissett, 17:00.64, PB 5th

100 Free (Relay Lead Outs)

Payton Kelly, 59.55, PB

Angus, Devon, 1:01.43, PB

Almasi, Gray, 1:01.45 PB

Kian Pratt, 55.16 PB

Team Points


1. CASC 366

2. EKSC 329

3. UCSC 287

4. PCS 198

5. SKSC 143


1. EKSC 396

2. CASC 357

3. UCSC 341

4. HYACK 169

5. MANTA 159


1. EKSC 725

2. CASC 723

3. UCSC 628

Cascade Milestones

Adam Connell, Corah Wilson & Danael Llew picked up Junior Nat times.

Payton Kelly picked up her first ever senior Canadian trials cut.

Ava Free was awarded the fish of the day for her great cumulative efforts on the day including her double-silver performances in the 200 (pb) and 800 free and rock-solid 58.70 split on the 4x100 FR.

Racing continues through Sunday night and as the points score indicates here…the fight is on!


Live Results Link