Katerine Savard sets new Canadian record in 100-metre butterfly
Ryan Cochrane, Genevieve Cantin among other winners
Katerine Savard of Pont Rouge, Que., took gold in the 100 metre butterfly at the Canadian swimming trials on Friday, setting a new national record in the process.
Savard blasted from the start, lowering her Canadian mark by 0.04 to 57.27, the second-fastest time by any swimmer so far this year.
"I felt really good in the water and it's great to get a Canadian record this early in the season," said Savard. "Every time I race I try to swim a best time. I'm excited about the racing for this summer and I hope to win some medals."
Audrey Lacroix of Montreal was second in 58.69.
Both Savard and Lacroix went under the qualifying standard for nomination to the Canadian teams for the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships this summer. Noemie Thomas of Richmond, B.C., missed the qualifying standard by just 0.02 at 59.20.
The trials serve as the selection meet for this summer's Commonwealth Games in Scotland, and Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Australia.
In the men's 400 freestyle, Victoria's Ryan Cochrane clocked 3:47.30 seconds to win the race convincingly and all but secure his spot on those national teams.
"It's good but not where I want to be," said Cochrane. "But you always get a second chance in the summer and it should be really exciting."
Genevieve Cantin of Quebec City produced a powerful finish to win the 200 backstroke in a personal best time of 2:09.40. Sinead Russell of Simcoe, Ont., led most of the way and was second in 2:09.58, while world championship bronze medallist Hilary Caldwell of White Rock, B.C., was third in 2:10.11. All three went under the qualifying standard.
"I never expected that," said Cantin, 23. "I knew the race was going to be close at the finish. I'm looking forward to working even harder for the competitions this summer."
Two more swimmers went under the qualifying standard in the women's 400 freestyle with Canadian record holder Brittany MacLean of Toronto, earning the win in 4:06.20. Edmonton's Tabitha Baumann, daughter of Canadian swimming legend Alex Baumann, also made the cut clocking 4:10.68.
National team veteran Savannah King of Vancouver was third in 4:12.59, just 0.12 outside the qualifying time.
"I was hoping to go faster but I'm happy with the swim," said MacLean, seventh in the event at the 2012 Olympics. "I know there's lots of room for improvement. I wanted to take it out fast and hold on as best I could."
Three swimmers collected their third victories to complete golden sweeps in their respective strokes. Tera Van Beilen of Vancouver won the women's 50 breaststroke, Russell Wood of Calgary took the men's 200 backstroke and Richard Funk of Edmonton won the men's 50 breaststroke.
Coleman Allen of Vancouver was the winner in the men's 100 butterfly.