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Sanchez shines with two golds, Smith solid on Day 1 of age groups

News, Swimming –

CALGARY – Kayla Sanchez collected two gold medals and bronze, all in different strokes, while Rebecca Smith had an impressive 100-metre butterfly victory on the opening night of the Canadian Age Group Championships.

At the Talisman Centre, a group of teens showed why they will represent Canada at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Maui, Hawaii, in late August. Sanchez was one of four double winners in 100-m butterfly and 200-m backstroke. The Ajax, Ont., native won the former in one minute 2.19 seconds and the latter in 2:17.70, while tying for the bronze in 50-m breaststroke.

“Ever since I moved to MAC [Markham Aquatic Club], I have been working on my 400 IM [individual medley], and getting all my other strokes in order because my coach believes in having diversity in your swimming,” said Sanchez, who competed on the Canada Youth Team in the spring. “I’ve been trying to get my fly together and today it was good. It’s fun to not just do freestyle because you get to swim every day and compete and test yourself against different people.”

Smith, 16, posted a 59.55-second 100-m butterfly. She was more than 1.6 seconds ahead of Danielle Hanus, who also had a two-medal night.

“I’ve been really working on my dolphin kick throughout the training and it showed in that race just because we’re not fully rested and it helped me through that,” said Smitha Red Deer, Alta., native who competed against senior swimmers last month on the Mare Nostrum series in Europe. “I think I can work on my underwater and turn [elements] and my finish too. Just so I can not get tight at the end. But for sure, that will help me at the junior Pan Pacs.”

My coach believes in having diversity in your swimming. I’ve been trying to get my fly together and today it was good.
– Kayla Sanchez

Also in 200 backstroke, Tai Long Singh, who is part of the Intensive Training Program – Montreal, surpassed his own expectations by winning the 16-year-old boys’ race in 2:06.82.

“I was focused more on looking at how close I to my best times, non-rested and not shaved,” Singh said. “The fact that I went a best time in what is not really a main event, signals I’m doing what I should be doing.”

Philip Kay, Sanchez’s clubmate in Markham, captured the boys’ 17-18 200-m backstroke in 2:06.52.

“Basically The races I swim, the 200 and 400 IM, it’s all about the race plan,” Kay said. “I’m using this meet – unrested and unshaved – to practise that so that when I get to Pan Pacs, it will all be second nature to me. With the taper and the shave it should become that much easier.”

In the 14-year-old girls’ class, Jade Hannah of Halifax, N.S., also won 100-m butterfly in 1:01.56 and triumphed in 2:16.90 in 200-m backstroke. Two 13-year-olds, the Richmond Rapids’ Amanda McCallum and Cascade Swim Club’s Cole Pratt, also pulled off a butterfly/backstroke double.

The Age Groups, which continue through Sunday, are being webcast at

Wednesday’s gold medallists included:

100-m butterfly

Girls 12 and under: Elan Daley, Markham Aquatic Club, 1:06.91

Girls age 13: Amanda McCallum, Richmond Rapids, 1:03.87

Girls age 14: Jade Hannah, Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club, 1:01.56

Girls age 15: Kayla Sanchez, Markham Aquatic Club, 1:02.19

Girls 16-18: Rebecca Smith, Cascade Swim Club, 59.55

Boys 13 and under: Cole Pratt, Cascade Swim Club, 58.56

Boys age 14: Ethan Placek, Whitby Dolphins, 1:00.07

Boys age 15: Ryley McRae, Kamloops Classic Swimming, 57.05

Boys age 16: Guillermo Cruz Zuniga, Academie de Natation, 56.02

Boys 17-18: Alex Perreault, Ottawa Swim Club, 55.72

200-m backstroke

Girls 12 and under: Stephanie Lee, Pacific Seawolves, 2:24.81

Girls age 13: McCallum, Richmond, 2:20.50

Girls age 14: Hannah, HTAC, 2:16.90

Girls age 15: Sanchez, MAC, 2:17.70

Girls 16-18: Danika Huizinga, MAC, 2:16.16

Boys 13 and under: Pratt, CASC, 2:12.66

Boys age 14: Stephen Hou, CASC, 2:12.32

Boys age 15: Sebastian Somerset, CASC, 2:08.42

Boys age 16: Tai Long Singh, Club Natation Neptune / Intensive Training Program – Montreal, 2:06.82

Boys 17-18: Phillip Kay, MAC, 2:06.52

50-m breaststroke

Girls 12 and under: Tillie Claggett, CASC, 35.62

Girls age 13: Pilar McCann, OSC, 32.88

Girls age 14: Faith Knelson, Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas, 31.99

Girls age 15: Lili Chicoine, Blue Machine, 32.27

Girls 16-18: Jillian Pauletto, Pointe-Claire Swim Club, 32.80

Boys 13 and under: Michael Schmidt, UVic-Pacific Coast Swimming, 31.03

Boys age 14: Gabe Mastromatteo, Kenora Swimming Sharks, 29.47

Boys age 15: Brian Yu, Richmond, 30.35

Boys age 16: Joshua Young, Red Deer Catalina, 29.27

Boys 17-18: Kaelan Freund, Lethbridge Swimming, 28.58

1,500-m freestyle

Girls 12 and under: Kyli Olthafer, University of Calgary Swim Club, 18:54.75

Girls age 13: Sophie Lorette, UVic-Pacific Coast Swimming, 17:50.19

Girls age 14: Octavia Lau, Hyack Swim Club, 17:46.27

Girls age 15: Chantel Jeffrey, Columbia-Shuswap Selkirks, 18:00.00

Girls 16-18: Marie-Sophie Harvey, Club Natation Neptune, 17:16.70

Boys 13 and under: Mathieu Cyr, University of Calgary Swim Club, 17:22.51

Boys age 14: Drew Edwards, Keyano Swim Club, 17:03.00

Boys age 15: Alexander Katelnikoff, CASC, 16:06.49

Boys age 16: Alexander Pratt, CASC, 15:58.47

Boys 17-18: Alexander Blaskovich, Pacific Seawolves, 16:20.24