GREENSBORO, North Carolina – Kylie Masse led the Canadians to a five-medal night at the U.S. Winter National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Masse won gold in the 100-metre backstroke in 59.27 seconds. The 22-year-old finished 0.75 ahead of second place Phoebe Bacon.
“That was my first long-course race of the season, so I was focusing on putting together a good race and seeing where I’m at with training,” said Masse. “I was hoping to get under 59, but that’s okay, there are things to work on. It was a stepping stone, and it gives me a baseline to work with and see what I need to improve.”
The Windsor, Ont., native set the world record in the event at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, but her record was broken earlier in 2018 by American Kathleen Baker.
“I definitely want to get the world record back. I want to keep improving my stroke and not get too fixated on the time, but as soon as it was broken, I knew I wanted it back. It was definitely motivating and put a fire under my butt.”
The four other medallists, Carson Olafson, Tristan Cote, Markus Thormeyer and Kelsey Wog each captured bronze.
Carson Olafson of the High Performance Centre – Vancouver earned his first international medal with a third-place finish in the 200-m freestyle in 1:49.84.
“I was right off my best time, and it was right after I swam the 100-m butterfly, so it’s cool to be able to do that after a double,” said Olafson. “I’m really excited to do that at this time of the season. I just need to stay focused on the process, and try to make little improvements every day.”
Cote, of Mississauga, Ont., took home bronze in the 400-m individual medley in 4:24.61.
“It felt okay, especially for where we are in the season,” said Cote, 22. “I’m looking to get better as we go through the season. This time shows me I’m on track. I’ll work on staying mentally prepared towards what trials brings, trying to get under the FINA A, and doing all the little things in practice to get me there.”
In the men’s 100-m backstroke, Markus Thormeyer of HPC – Vancouver touched in third in 54.09.
“I’m pretty happy with that time,” said Thormeyer, of Delta, B.C. “It’s a good time for this early in the season and hopefully I can build off that.”
Wog picked up her second medal of the championships in the 100-m breaststroke. The University of Manitoba swimmer finished third in 1:08.58 after capturing silver in the 200-m individual medley on Thursday.
Rebecca Smith finished in the top five in two events on Friday. The HPC – Ontario swimmer finished fourth in the 200-m freestyle in 1:59.71 and fifth in the 100-m butterfly in 59.42.
Josiah Binnema was also fifth in the 100-m butterfly. Binnema, of HPC – Vancouver touched in at 54.14.
Toronto Swim Club’s Eli Wall finished sixth in the 100-m breaststroke in 1:01.70.
U.S. Nationals run until Saturday, and full results are available here.