WINNIPEG – Fresh from last month’s bronze in the open water five kilometre at the FINA World Championships, Eric Hedlin of Victoria ruled the pool on Thursday in his 1500-m freestyle victory to open the 2019 Canadian Swimming Championships.
Hedlin clocked 15 minutes and 24.82 seconds for the victory. Two junior Pointe-Claire, Que., swimmers followed. Patrick Hussey was second in 15:42.49 and Eric Brown third in 15:42.53.
“My stroke rate may have been a little bit low,” said Hedlin. “It took me awhile to get into it. I feel like I executed the race well. My goal was to get to 15:16 but that’s the way the 1500 goes sometimes, you don’t always reach your goals.”
Other winners in men’s competition were Cole Pratt of Calgary in the 200-m backstroke in 2:00.96, Raphael Marcoux of Quebec City in the 50-m freestyle in 22.58 and Eli Wall of Toronto in the 200-m breaststroke in 2:14.26.
On the women’s side, Jade Hannah of Victoria prevailed in one of the most exciting races of the night in the 200 backstroke. Hannah took the gold in 2:11.50, Olympian Kennedy Goss of Toronto followed in 2:11.79 and Regan Rathwell of Ottawa was third in 2:12.78.
“I was feeling strong in the final and we really pushed each other to swim faster,” said Hannah, 17. “I followed my race plan to a tee. After prelims, I had a lot to work on and my coach really wanted me to focus on the middle 100 and closing that gap between my first and second 50.”
Other winners in women’s competition were, Katrina Bellio of Etobicoke, Ont., in the 800-m freestyle in 8:44.58, Sarah Fournier of Quebec City in the 50-m free in 25.76 and Miranda Stever of Toronto in the 200-m breaststroke in 2:30.19.
In para-swimming, Matthew Cabraja of Brampton swept gold in both men’s race clocking 27.82 in the 50 free and 5:01.22 in the 400 free. Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.,(28.80) and Sabrina Duchesne of Quebec City (5:29.21) were the winners in the women’s 50 free and 400 free.
In the relays, world championship relay bronze medallist Emma O’Croinin helped Edmonton Keyano to victory in the women’s 4X200-m freestyle while Neptune Natation from Montreal took the men’s 4X200.
Competition continues through to Sunday at the Pan Am Pool.