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Canadian National Championships - Day 3

Hersee Wins First Nationals In 200 Back


Nick Thierry

Women's 200 Individual Medley

The three fastest ever Canadian I.M. swimmers raced as they have over the past decade one more time.

Marianne Limpert, 24, CAMO, took the lead on the first length and was never challenged, winning at the end by a body length.

Joanne Malar, 21, HWAC, battled with Nancy Sweetnam, 23, LLSC, for the silver. Limpert and Malar qualified for the Pan Pacs.

The medal winners splits:
Limpert Malar Sweetnam
29.46 30.27 29.72
1:04.85 1:05.85 1:06.23
1:44.99 1:46.23 1:45.87
2:17.12 2:17.92 2:18.39

This could be Sweetnam's last nationals, as she's planning to give triathlon and maybe rowing a try. A two-time Olympian and 1990 Commonwealth gold winner in this event, she won 21 Canadian titles in her decade on the national scene.

Men's 200 Individual Medley

The race was for second and a spot on the Pan Pac team, as Curtis Myden, 23, UCSC, easily cruised to a 2:02.4 in his specialty. He was challenged at the 100 after the backstroke leg by Mark Versfeld, 21, PDSA, who finished second with 2:04.07.

In third was Philip Weiss, 18, PSW, with 2:05.40.

Women's 50 Freestyle

Laura Nicholls,18, ROW, who was first at the 25 by a head, was pressed towards the finish by top morning qualifyer Alison Zwarich, 16, UCSC, but she finished strongest with a time of 26.18. Winners get an automatic Pan Pac spot but a second entry has to make Pan Pac standard of 26.17.Zwarich just missed with 26.21.

Men's 50 Freestyle

After a false start by Robert Braknis, the real race got underway. Top qualifyer Craig Hutchinson, 22, PCSC, crept gradually into the lead at 35 metres to touch first with 23.25. Stephen Clarke, 24, ROW, was second with 23.35. Hutchison earned a spot as the event winner, and Clarke was already on the Pan Pac team.

Women's 200 backstroke

Joanne Malar, 21, HWAC, in her second final of the evening, paced the race perfectly taking the lead at the 150 and finishing with almost a body length lead, touching in 2:16.27.

Kelly Stefanyshyn, 15, MANTA, won her second silver in 2:17.53 with a surge at the end of the race to move ahead of Nikki Dryden, 22, PDSA, with 2:17.99.

Early leader Michelle Cruz, 16, ACE, won the start, had the lead for the first half, but faded to fifth.

Men's 200 Backstroke

Chris Renaud, 20, UCSC, and the Canadian record holder had a lot to prove. He gave it a good try, taking the first half of the race with 28.16 and 59.31 at the 100. But then the three Pacific Dolphin backstrokers moved into contention.

knnern Hersee, PDSA, bacstroke w
Dustin Hersee, PDSA, backstroke winner
For larger 64k photo click on image. Photo © Marco Chiesa

First to take the lead was Greg Hamm, 21, who reached the 150 first with 1:30.23, then Dustin Hersee, 21, and Mark Versfeld, 21, fought for the lead.

The eventual winner, Hersee, touched with 2:01.78 and Versfeld got the second with 2:02.19. Hamm picked up third with 2:02.40, sweeping the medals for PDSA.

It was Hersee's first national title. His previous best was a silver at the 1996 Summer Nationals.

A Canadian club relay record fell in the women's 4x200 free when the Pacific Dolphins went 8:20.27, bettering the former record of NYAC of 8:21.45 from 1989.

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