In the past year Courtenay Chuy has gone from obtaining her first national qualifying standard to becoming a National Champion in the 200 breaststroke and earning a spot on the Canadian Commonwealth Games Team. This 13-year-old has only been swimming year-round for three years and has brought great hope to the future of Canadian swimming. Moving up to the senior group of the Hyack Swim Club under Head Coach Lance Cansdale this past season has helped Chuy make the transition from being a successful age-group swimmer to a force on the national swimming scene.
Going into Commonwealth Trials in August, Chuy was hoping to improve on her best times, qualify for some second swims, and try to be competitive with Canada's best breaststrokers. Her coach had told her over the course of the season that 2:29 for her 200 breast was obtainable, but Chuy did not think she could realistically take six seconds off her best time. She touched the wall in 2:29.18 and saw her name in first place in front of ex-National champions and Olympic finalists, and suddenly she was one of the world's best.
In order to make this transition, Chuy has been training 20 to 25 hours a week, swimming 4000 to 7000 metres per practice. She enjoys doing sets at near-race pace. One of her favourite sets is 8 x 100 breast on 8:00 at maximum effort. Another set that has helped her gauge her level of training is a maximum effort set where she swims 1 x 400, 2 x 200, and then 4 x 100 breast. Her favourite part of swimming, though, is when she gets to the meets.
"I like to stay relaxed and calm before my races," says Chuy.
After this season, Chuy hopes to start gearing towards other major competitions.
"I expect to keep improving," says Chuy. "Maybe not by six seconds anymore. But I don't think I'm peaking too fast."
|Courtney Chuy, CAN|
|BIRTHDATE||March 16, 1985|
|HEIGHT||5 ft. 9 in. / 175 cm|
|WEIGHT||135 lbs / 61 kg|
|REPRESENTS||Hyack Swim Club|
|98 Nationals 2nd 100 breast 1:10.31 |
1st 200 breast 2:29.18
|98 Youths 1st 100 breast 1:13.36 |
1st 200 breast 2:35.02
|97 Nationals 11th 100 breast 1:13.17 |
10th 200 breast 2:37.37
|97 Canada Games 6th 100 breast 1:13.80|
|97 Youths 2nd 100 breast 1:15.10 |
1st 200 breast 2:38.83