University of Victoria Vikes and Pacific Coast Swimming swimmer Nicholas Sinclair, currently taking the semester off from UVic studies as he focuses on training toward qualification for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, had a strong weekend of competition at the Austin Grand Prix swim meet in Texas over the weekend.
With just 193 days remaining until the Olympics begin, Sinclair qualified for two A Finals and two consolation finals for four Top 16 finishes at the high-level international meet.
On Saturday, he was the only Canadian to make it to the A final in the 200-metre freestyle racing, finishing 7th as the top Canadian in a time of 1:51.56. Then 15 minutes later, the Victoria native swam the 200-metre backstroke consolation final and finished with a time of 2:06.00
Fresh off the UVic and Pacific Coast Senior training camp in San Diego, Sinclair started the meet off on Friday with two fantastic races in the morning, first setting a personal best in the 100-metre freestyle preliminary race clocking in at 52.43 to finish 46th overall.
Then in the 400-metre freestyle race, Sinclair shaved over eight seconds off of his previous personal best time and managed to move himself 42 spots up from the psych sheets into fourth position going into the final later in the evening. There Sinclair improved on his time once again in the A Final, placing seventh overall with a time of 3:54.33 behind former Vikes teammate Ryan Cochrane of Victoria who finished at 3:50.66 to win the race.
The sophomore Vikes student-athlete also made the consolation final of the men’s 200-metre butterfly race, finishing 11th with a personal-best time of 2:04.87.
Former Vikes swimmer Cochrane, the 2011 CIS rookie and male swimmer of the year, won the gold in the men’s 400-metre freestyle and helped the Canadian men’s 4×200-metre relay team to a gold as well. Former Vikes swimmer MacKenzie Downing of Whitehorse, the flag-bearer for Canada’s FISU Summer Universiade team in Shenzhen, China, this past summer, helped Canada to victory in the 4×100-metre relay and won bronze in the women’s 200-metre butterfly. She also helped the women’s 4×200-metre relay team to a silver medal along with another former Vike Stephanie Horner and finished eighth in the women’s 100-metre butterfly.
“I’m really excited about getting on the podium,” Downing told Swimming Canada on Sunday. “In the past year, I have just missed the medals at the U.S. Meets, so this is a really good feeling. I’ve been training hard and working on my race tactics. I really came back strong in the last 100 metres.”
Another former Vikes swimmer, Hilary Caldwell of Surrey, B.C., finished in seventh spot in the women’s 100-metre backstroke.
400 Freestyle (VIDEO)
3:55.38 (PB, 4th fastest qualifying time)
200 Freestyle (VIDEO)
1:51.79 (7th fastest qualifying time)
200 Backstroke (VIDEO)
2:05.59 (16th fastest qualifying time)
2:05.61 (13th fastest qualifying time)