EVANETZ AND AMEY QUALIFY IN 100 FLY
On the fourth night the already limping men's program suffered another shock
when Jon Cleveland failed to make the Olympic team in the 200 breaststroke.
Eight years ago at the 1988 Trials, Cleveland beat the defending Olympic
champion Victor Davis in the same pool to make his first Olympic team. This
time he just managed to hold a revved up Andrew Chan at bay with his time
of 2:17.48. Chan's fluid stroke showed promise as he finished second in
2:18.04. In order to swim the event in Atlanta, Cleveland will have to equal
or better the FINA standard of 2:15.59 at one of the designated meets before
A much improved Andrew Chan reached the podium in both breaststrokes. For larger 40k photo click on image. Photo © Marco Chiesa
Happily, the women's 200 IM was once again a tight race to the finish, and
Joanne Malar wowed the crowd with her third win, adding a fourth event onto
her agenda for Atlanta. Both Marianne Limpert and Nancy Sweetnam pushed
her, taking the fly leg out in under 30 seconds, with Sweetnam very competitive
in the breaststroke, but Malar's freestyle was not to be beaten. All three
women were under the FINA standard, and Limpert, the record holder in this
event, finally clinched an individual spot on the team. "This is the
event I was focussing on," she said. "It's hard to swim the 100
and 200 free first just because they are not my main events. I'm glad I
qualified but I would have liked to be a bit faster." The times: Malar,
2:15.49; Limpert, 2:15.75; Sweetnam, 2:16.82. Along with the breaststrokes,
women's IM is still one of Canada's strongest disciplines.
It was a bad night for Stephen Clarke as he missed the team yet again in
the 100 butterfly. What made it worse was the fact that he had more than
made the FINA standard of 54.59 in the morning, but his heat time of 54.47
was null and void when the final was over. Eddie Parenti got it together
and overtook Clarke to earn his second Olympic berth with a time of 54.53.
Clarke, who had been favoured to win this event, was second in 54.67, fractions
of a second away from a ticket to Atlanta. He was obviously devastated and,
although he will no doubt try again at one or more of the second-chance
meets, the tight schedule (and this is the worry for all those in this position)
may leave him with precious little rest for the main event.
Jessica Amey understands that kind of heartbreak. At the 1992 Olympic Trials,
the Calgary swimmer made the standard in the heats of the 100 fly, only
to miss the mark by 6/100 in the final. Then at last summer's Pan Pacific
Championships she missed the prequalifying standard by 3/100. This time
she was dead on the mark of 1:01.69, albeit relegated to second place. After
a disappointing 200 freestyle, Sarah Evanetz of the Pacific Dolphins had
a great race and came through to win the event in 1:01.18, a personal best.
Emotional moment as Amey embraces Evanetz. For larger 40k photo click on image. Photo © Marco Chiesa
Both women were ecstatic after the race, with Amey jumping out of the pool
to hug her coach, Deryk Snelling. The jubilant Amey, a pro at "cutting
it close," had shaved her head after a bet with teammate Mark Versfeld.
"I lost my hair this afternoon, so I figured, okay, I've got nothing
left to lose...go for it now!" she laughed. "I'm really, really
glad I made it." Evanetz was all smiles. "It hasn't quite hit
me yet," she said. She echoed Amey's thoughts on the difficult nature
of an Olympic Trials situation. "I think that there's a lot more pressure
on actually making the team at the Trials than there is at the Games themselves.
That's when I'm most nervous (at the Trials) and I think once I get to Atlanta
it's just going to be fun. I'm sure I'll do another best time-hopefully
under a minute. That would be great."
Shona Kitson of Windsor, who led the race to the 75 mark, finished in fourth
place (1:02.17) behind Andrea Schwartz (1:01.98).
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