Mix of youth and veterans reach podium to start Canada Cup

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TORONTO – Veteran Martha McCabe of Toronto and Canada Games champion Danielle Hanus of Newmarket, Ont., were among the 17 different individual winners in Friday’s short course races to open the Canada Cup swimming competition.

McCabe, a world championship medallist in 2011 and an Olympic team member last year, took the women’s 100-m breaststroke in one minute and 06.74 seconds, almost a second faster than her preliminary time.

“There were parts of the race that were sloppy but overall it’s a good time for this point in the season,” said McCabe. “To get the win is also a great bonus. It’s really beneficial to have short course races like this early in the season, it allows us to work on our racing technique a lot more.”

In short course racing, the swimmers turn every 25 metres instead of every 50 metres like at the Olympics.

The highlight race of the night was the women’s 100-m butterfly, which featured three world championship team members. Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que., was the winner in 56.99, less than a second off her Canadian record time. Noemie Thomas of Vancouver, the former national record holder, followed in 57.03 and two-time Olympian Audrey Lacroix of Pont-Rouge was third in 58.78.

“It was my fifth competition this month and I didn’t expect to do this well,” said Savard, who bested her times posted at the recent World Cups in Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing. “I just stuck with my race plan in the final and I was able to just beat out Noemie at the finish.”

Winners on the men’s side included national team members Zack Chetrat of Oakville, Ont., in the 200-m butterfly; Coleman Allen of Vancouver in the 100-m individual medley and Russell Wood of Calgary in the 100-m backstroke.

Competition ends Saturday at the Varsity Pool at the University of Toronto Athletic Centre.  Preliminaries are at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Full results: https://swimming.ca/liveresults/2013canadacuptoronto/

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