TORONTO – The Canada Cup – Toronto was the setting for the opening act of Swimming Canada’s Big Splash Awards Week.
The Youth and Junior Swimmers of the Year were announced during the opening ceremonies of the two-day meet Friday, along with the recipients of this year’s Victor Davis Awards.
It will be a week-long celebration of the best in Canadian swimming as the Big Splash Awards Week continues with a major award being presented each day next week.
Noemie Thomas of Richmond, B.C., took home the Junior Female Swimmer of the Year, headlining the list of Friday’s winners. Thomas still qualifies as a junior at age 17, but competed against the world’s best in 2013. She was the youngest woman in the 100-metre butterfly final at FINA World Championships in Barcelona, where she finished seventh.
Meanwhile, the Junior Male Swimmer of the Year also hails from Richmond. Luke Reilly, who turns 18 Saturday, set a national age group record in his fifth-place finish in the 400-m individual medley at the FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai.
Both winners in the youth category also represented Canada at world juniors. Emily Overholt of Vancouver won a bronze medal in the women’s 400-m IM, setting a new Canadian age group record in the process. Meanwhile Teddy Kalp of North York, Ont., helped Canada to a fourth-place finish in the men’s 4×200-m freestyle relay, and also made individual finals in the 400-m and 800-m free.
Each swimmer’s coach is also recognized with a Swimming Canada/CSCTA Coach of the Year Award. Tom Johnson (Thomas), Brian Johns (Reilly), Janusz Kaczmarek (Overholt) and Murray Drudge (Kalp) are this year’s winners.
In addition, six recipients of the Victor Davis Awards were announced. Each winner receives a bursary from the Victor Davis Memorial Fund, which was established to remember the four-time Olympic medallist, his contribution to competitive swimming in Canada, and to encourage other young Canadians toward excellence. Each year high performance Canadian swimmers receive bursaries to help them continue their training, education, and pursuit of international medals.
This year’s winners include Emma Ball of Guelph, Ont., the first ever recipient from Davis’s hometown. Also collecting Victor Davis Awards are Marie-Sophie Harvey of Trois-Rivieres, Que., Kelly Aspinall of Nanoose Bay, B.C., Stephen Calkins of Calgary, Bryce Kwiecien-Delaney of Oakville, Ont., and Jon McKay of Victoria.
Swimming Canada’s Big Splash Awards Week will continue through Friday, Nov. 29. In addition to the Team Aquatic Supplies Male and Female Para-Swimmers of the Year being handed out Monday and Tuesday on Breakfast Television Montreal, four other major awards will be announced through a variety of media. The OMEGA Male and Female Swimmers of the Year will be revealed later in the week, as will the Open Water Swimmer of the Year and the People’s Choice Race of the Year. Voting for People’s Choice Race of the Year remains open through Monday at https://www.swimming.ca/RaceoftheYearNominees