Taylor Ruck did something only Penny Oleksiak has ever done, as the High Performance Centre – Ontario made an impression at Swim England National Winter Championships in Sheffield.
The 17-year-old Ruck won the 100-m freestyle Saturday in 52.96, making her just the second Canadian (and second under-18 swimmer ever) to break the 53-second barrier. Oleksiak’s gold-medal time of 52.70 from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is the only other sub-53 time by a Canadian or a junior.
Ruck also won the 200-m backstroke in 2:06.87 to lower her own 15-17 national age group record. Earlier in the meet, she won the 100 back in 1:00.09, and tied Brittany MacLean’s Canadian record in the 200-m freestyle, taking silver in 1:56.94 for a national age group mark. Her teammate Kayla Sanchez, 16, was fourth in 1:59.33 after winning the 50 in a personal best 25.29 on Day 2.
Meanwhile, Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C., who joined the group for the five-day meet, won the 100-m breaststroke in 1:08.07 and the 200 in 2:24.09. Smith was fifth in the 50 with a personal best of 31.88 earlier in the meet.
Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., also found her way to the top of the podium, winning the 100-m butterfly on Day 1 in 58.18 and the 50 fly in 26.61 on Day 3.