Several Canadian swimmers meet Commonwealth Games standard
Page, Seltenreich-Hodgson among Thursday winners at national trials
Olympian Alec Page held off a strong challenge from Luke Reilly to defend his gold in the men's 400-metre individual medley at the Canadian swimming trials on Thursday in Victoria.
Page, a Victoria native who competed at the 2012 London Games, was nearly caught by Reilly on the final length but managed to win in four minutes 15.80 seconds, just 0.06 ahead of Reilly.
Both swimmers also went under the qualifying standard to make the teams for the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships this summer.
"It was a great race," said Page. "I just managed to finish first. I saw that Luke was gaining on me and I just put my head down to the wall. It was fantastic to win this event at home."
The times were personal bests for both swimmers.
"I didn't expect to go that fast," said Vancouver's Reilly. "I've had my sights set on Alec for a while."
The top two swimmers in the women's 400 IM also went under the qualifying standard. Ottawa's Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, a national team rookie last season at the world championships, posted a personal best 4:40.07 in her victory. That was the sixth-fastest time in the world this year.
"I was aiming for under 4:40 but I'm quite thrilled with the time," said Seltenreich-Hodgson, who beat her previous best by more than two seconds. "I really hope to get a second go with the national team. Last year was a test run for me."
Emily Overholt of West Vancouver, B.C., was second in 4:42.84 after grabbing a big lead on the opening butterfly leg of the race.
Victoria Poon takes 100 free
Two-time Olympian Victoria Poon of Montreal took the women's 100 freestyle in 54.67. It was also under the qualifying standard and also the fastest time by a Canadian at home.
Richard Funk of Edmonton and Vancouver's Tera Van Beilen both earned their second national titles on Thursday but were disappointed with their winning times.
In the men's 100 breaststroke, Funk placed first in 1:01.43, about a second off the qualifying standard that's based on the 16th best time at the FINA World Championships last year.
"I'm not particularly pleased with the time," said Funk, the 200 breaststroke winner on Wednesday. "Still getting the wins is good and I hope that will be enough to get me on those teams."
Van Beilen led four Canadians below the qualifying standard in her 200 breaststroke but she fell short to meet the time again in the 100 breaststroke clocking 1:08.39.
Sinead Russell of Markham, Ont., and Russell Wood of Calgary also collected a second win with victories in the women's and men's 50 backstrokes, which are non-selection events.
Yuri Kisil of Calgary took the men's 100 freestyle for his first career national title.