ATLANTA – With the Commonwealth Games about to start in a month, Taylor Ruck showed why she is one of Canada’s top swimmers headed to the Gold Coast with four victories this weekend at the second stop on the Pro Swim circuit.
Ruck, the 17-year-old from Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Ontario, concluded her meet on Saturday with a photo-finish win in the women’s 100-m backstroke in 59.13 seconds.
Olivia Smoliga of the U.S. was second in 59.14 and Federica Pellegrini of Italy third in 1:00.56 with Jade Hannah of High Performance Centre-Victoria fourth in 1:00.60.
In the very next women’s event Ruck was second in the 200-m individual medley in 2:11.69. Madisyn Cox of the U.S. was first in 2:09.82. Erika Seltenreich- Hodgson of Ottawa was third while HPC Ontario swimmers Kayla Sanchez and Rebecca Smith were fourth and fifth and Hillary Meltcalfe of Vancouver sixth.
Also this weekend Ruck posted wins in the 200-m freestyle – with a Canadian record time – the 200-m backstroke and the 100-m freestyle.
‘’I’m very excited for the Commonwealth Games,’’ said Ruck, 17, a double medallist at the Rio Olympics. ‘’All these times are making me really excited to see what’s in store and I’m just excited to compete among best, especially the Australians.’’
Jeremy Bagshaw of HPC Victoria added a bronze in the men’s 400-m freestyle. Faith Knelson of HPC-Victoria was fifth in the 100-m breaststroke.
Also for the men, Markus Thormeyer of Delta, B.C., and Mack Darragh of HPC-Victoria were fourth in the 100-m backstroke and 200-m fly, Darragh was also fifth in the 200-m IM.
Swimmers from three high performance centres (Victoria, Vancouver and Ontario) were together at the meet.
‘’A lot of the Commonwealth Games athletes were here,’’ said Martyn Wilby, Swimming Canada’s Senior Coach, Olympic Program. ‘’So it gives all of us a chance to get together and be as one group and we can use that as we move forward into the training camp before the Games.’’
The next stop on the circuit is April 12-15 in Mesa, Arizona.