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Canadian National Championships - Day 1

Versfeld Now Fastest Backstroker


Nick Thierry

Women's 200 Freestyle

Top qualifyer Jessica Deglau, 17, PDSA, took the lead on the third length and won her first 200 free national championships with a 2:01.65, the seventh fastest ever Canadian performance. Finishing second was Shannon Shakespeare, 20, HWAC, with 2:01.99. Joanne Malar, 21, HWAC, was third with 2:02.18. Karine Chevrier, 19, CAMO was fourth with 2:02.27. All four women were under the required Pan Pac standard of 2:03.22.

Men's 200 Freestyle

There was outside smoke from Mark Johnston, 17, BROCK, swimming in lane eight, who paced himself perfectly. He was second at the 100, moved into the lead at the 150, and held on to win with 1:52.27. Veteran Eddie Parenti, 26, PDSA, made a valiant effort to take the lead but just fell short. His time in second place was 1:52.45. Michael McWha, 20, WAC, was third in 1:52.76. There were no Pan Pac individual qualifyers as the required standard of 1:51.69 remained out of reach. However there will be a relay entry as the top four times bettered 7:28.82, and the winner is an automatic selection regardless of time.

Women's 100 Backstroke

A new leaf was turned in the results book. Two rookies took top spot and are going to Japan.

Erin Gammel, 17, Kamloops Classic, won her first nationals with 1:03.51. She had the lead at the 50. Kelly Stefanyshyn, 15, MANTA, closed strongly at the finish for second with 1:03.85. Both were under the Pan Pac standard of 1:03.88.

Michelle Lischinsky, 21, Manitoba Marlins, was third with 1:04.14, as Marylyn Chiang, 21, MANTA, who had the best start and turn with 14 metre underwater kicks, faded to fourth.

Men's 100 Backstroke

Mark Versfeld, 21, PDSA, made it look easy. Taking the lead midway down the first length, he split 27.65 at the 50 and had a body-length lead at the finish. His time of 55.73 is the third fastest on the Canadian all-time list.

Chris Renaud, 20, UCSC, was second with 57.08, and Sean Sepulis, 20, GMAC, was third with 57.13.

Only Versfeld made the Pan Pac qualifying time of 56.71.

Women's 400 Individual Medley

Joanne Malar, 21, HWAC, was second after the 100 fly, but took the lead on backstroke and increased it on breaststroke, finishing well ahead of the field in 4:47.86. Carrie Burgoyne, 15, MANTA, had the lead after the fly, fell back on the backstroke, and moved back into contention after breaststroke. Her time, in second, was 4:52.06, under the Pan Pac standard.

Nancy Sweetnam, 23, Lindsay Lightningbolts, took the bronze in 4:53.11.

Men's 400 Individual Medley

Curtis Myden, 23, UCSC, took the lead after the 100 fly opening leg and was never pressed as he gradually moved further and further into the lead. His splits of 58.81 after fly, 2:05.16 after back, 3:17.52 after breast, and his final time of 4:17.17 was just off his Canadian record of 4:16.90 when he won the bronze at the 1996 Olympics.

Top swim of the meet for Myden
For larger 64k photo click on image. Photo © Marco Chiesa

Owen Von Richter, 22, Etobicoke, was second in 4:25.15 and Philip Weiss, 18, Pacific Sea Wolves, was third in 4:28.68. All three were under the Pan Pac standard.

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