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Jeffrey achieves 1,500 free/open water double at Age Groups

News, Swimming –

CALGARY – In her third career 5-km open water race, 15-year-old Chantel Jeffrey found the energy for a finishing kick to win the gold medal in the girls 14-18 event at the Canadian Age Group Championships on Monday.

Going the from the familiar confines of the pool to a natural body of water forces a swimmer, especially a young one, to step out of her/his comfort zone. Jeffrey, who had already shown her long-distance ability with a 1,500-m freestyle win, got locked in early and won in 58 minutes 58.46 seconds. Her fellow B.C. competitor, University of Victoria-Pacific Coast Swimming’s Erin Jennings (59:13.28, silver) and the Calgary Patriots’ Marit Anderson (59:44.84, bronze) also finished in less than a hour.

Swimmers from British Columbia won three of the four events.

“[The game plan was] to go out fast – but keep my length,” Jeffrey said. “Usually I panic a bit during open water. This time I felt really strong, and that was my game plan. On the last lap you pretty much go for it and see what happens.

“I definitely like the feeling I had today with my length and strength. I’m definitely going to keep the strategy of trying to go my fastest on the last lap.”

Alex Woinoski of the Simon Fraser Aquinas club won the boys 14-18 gold in 54:36.51, followed by Brodie Young (57:03.53, silver) and Cascade Swim Club’s Matthew Ketchin (57:07.60, bronze).

Usually I panic a bit during open water. This time I felt really strong, and that was my game plan. On the last lap you pretty much go for it and see what happens. – Chantel Jeffrey

Fifteen girls and 12 boys in the age 12-13 cohort took on the challenge of the 2.5-km open water race. Anthony Gutierrez of U Vic-PCS, Michael McGillivray of the Regina Optimist Dolphins and University of Calgary Swim Club’s Mathieu Cyr broke away from the field in the boys 12-13 race. Gutierrez got the gold in 24:23.68, just four seconds ahead of McGillivray (24.27.76, silver) and about six ahead of Cyr (24:29.53, bronze).

“You just have to believe in yourself, if you don’t do that you won’t win,” Gutierrez said. “It’s just a matter being ready and being warmed up – making sure that you weren’t down or being lazy. Sometimes races don’t start when you get in the water, but they start behind the blocks.”

Geneviève Louis-Seize of Elite Natation Longeueil won gold in the girls 12-13 race in 26:37.36. The Richmond Rapids’ Charlie Ford (26:52.47, silver) and Codiac Viking Aquatic Club’s Brooklyn Douthwright (27:03.53, bronze) also made the podium. Douthwright, of Riverview, N.B., prevailed by just more than 1.5 seconds in a bronze battle with Edmonton Keyano’s Emma O’Croinin (27:05.06).

Many of the swimmers who competed over these past six days at the Age Group championships will face senior-level competition at the Canadian Senior Championships, which begin on Thursday in Edmonton.

For full results:

Combined Team Scores – OPEN WATER – Through Event 98

1. Hyack Swim Club: 99
2. Natation Gatineau: 74
3. Edmonton Keyano Swim Club: 69
4. University Of Calgary Swim Club: 55
5. Regina Optimist Dolphins: 53
6. Goulbourn Sea Hawks: 34
7. Elite: 22
7. Simon Fraser Aquatics: 22
7. Cascade Swim Club: 22
7. Uvic-Pacific Coast Swimming: 22
11. Richmond Rapids: 20
11. Triton Swimming: 20
13. Chena Swim Club: 19
13. Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club: 19
13. Kisu Swim Club: 19
13. Codiac Vikings Aquatic Club: 19
17. Kenora Swimming Sharks: 18
18. Mount Pearl Marlins: 17
19. Shearwater Bluefins Swim Club: 16
19. Kamloops Classic Swimming: 16
21. Calgary Patriots Swim Club: 15
21. C. N. St Jerome: 15
23. Columbia Shuswap Selkirks: 14