Cochrane Leads Island 1500m Battle
Apr 6, 2013 - Craig Lord
Olympic silver (2012) and bronze (2008) medallist Ryan Cochrane, dipped below the 15-minute mark to take the 1500m free at Canadian World Championship Trials in Victoria, drawing Island teammates Will Brothers, 18, and Eric Hedlin, 19, with him to the cusp of membership of the sub-15 club.
The last day of the meet saw Ashton Baumann, son of medley legend Alex, join the Canadian team after a tie for the 200m breaststroke title. For the 1500m men, three into a world championships don't go, so Cochrane, already on the team for the 400m and scheduled to race the 800m too, will compete alongside Brothers, his 14:59.73 ahead of the silver medallist's 15:02.48, over 30 laps at FINA World Championships in Barcelona this summer, Hedlin locked out on 15:03.64.
Those are the best three times in the world so far this year. Expect that to change when Sun Yang and Co step up in China within hours and a wave of trials around the world hit the ranks over the course of the next month.
The 500m splits and the last 200m from home tell the tale of how it panned out.
It was like a Canadian version of the 1976 Olympic final. But then that was 1976 and elsewhere at the trials there was much evidence of the catch-up Canada faces if it is to be a threat to the podium come the big meet. One of the aims of the Canadian programme, headlined by a 2020 turnaround, is to have its swimmers step up from trials times and be at their best not for qualification but the big meet proper. That will be essential if the majority of the 30-plus squad selected this past week are to make finals in Barcelona.
Domestic challenge helps the process and none came tighter than that in the 200m breaststroke. Richard Funk, 20, and Ashton Baumann, son of Canadian legend Alex Baumann, shared the 200m breaststroke crown in 2:14.84, with James Guest, 16, third in 2:15.87. Baumann, joining the team, is based in New Zealand.
In other action, Tera Van Beilen took the 200m breaststroke in 2:25.84 ahead of Martha McCabe, on 2:27.35, and Ashley McGregor, 2:27.55 (In heats, Fiona Doyle clocked 2:30.21 to set an Irish record inside the 2:30.63 that had stood to Shani Stallard since last year); Savannah King, claimed the 800m free in 8:33.49 ahead of Alexa Komarnycky's 8:34.17, with Tabitha Baumann 17, on a best of 8:41.13 for third; Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, 17, clocked 2:13.29 to win the 200m medley ahead of Komarnycky's 2:14.28, Paige Schultz third in 2:15.78; and Andrew Ford claimed the 200IM among men in 2:00.03, with Evan White, 17, and Alec Page, 19, on 2:02.38 and 2:02.46 respectively.
The 50m free finals went to Chantal Vanlandeghem, 19, in 25.19, and Chris Manning, on 22.71, 0.01sec ahead of Luke Peddie, 19.
The Canadian team for the 2013 FINA World Championships: