Cochrane, Wilkinson Add to Olympic Duties

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Montreal (ISN) – Ryan Cochrane and Julia Wilkinson added second races to their respective agendas for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London after winning their races at the Canadian Olympic Trials in Montreal Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, Cochrane was untouchable in winning the 400m freestyle in a time of 3:47.07, a time good enough for ninth best in the world, and well under the Olympic qualifying mark of 3:48.92.  He will now compete in the 400 m in London, along with the 1500 m free which he previously qualified for.

In the women’s 200 IM on Friday, both Wilkinson and Erica Morningstar of Calgary went under the Olympic qualifying standard clocking 2:12.78 and 2:12.99 respectively. For Wilkinson, it is a second Olympic assignment.

‘’Everyone talks about a rivalry between Erica and I,’’ said Wilkinson. ‘’But we don’t see it that way. We see it as helping each other to being the fastest in the world.’’

The trials started on Tuesday and Morningstar was anxious to get into action.

‘’The waiting is the hardest part but I’m glad it wasn’t on the last day,’’ said the Canadian record holder. ‘’I’m glad it was today and that I’m on the team.’’

In other news from Montreal Friday, Canada qualified for the men’s 4X100 freestyle relay, while Brent Hayden of Mission, B.C. and Audrey Lacroix of Pont-Rouge, Que. posted victories.

In total, six swimmers added their names to swimming Canada’s Olympic nomination list for a total of 23 after four days of competition. They were: Hayden, Lacroix, Richard Hortness of Medicine Hat, Alta., Colin Russell of Burlington, Ont., Thomas Gossland of Vancouver, and Morningstar. Wilkinson notched a second assignment with her win.

In the men’s 100 freestyle, Hayden, who was pre-qualified for a third Games, solidified his nomination winning in 48.53 seconds. Hortness took second in 49.21, Russell was third in 49.68 and Gossland followed in fourth in 49.98, for his first sub 50 second swim.

‘’I’ve got something bigger in me but this was the fastest I’ve ever raced in mid-season,’’ said Hayden, the 2007 world champion. ‘’I was definitely trying to go out fast. That’s what it’s going to take at the Olympics. There’s no room for feeling out the field. It’s just a question right now of racing more.’’

Hayden was the only one under the qualifying standard but the four top times combined allowed Canada to also qualify the men’s 4X100 freestyle relay. That means Hortness, Russell and Gossland have also earned their nomination to London as well.

Hortness was happy to return on a major Canadian team after missing the cut for the world championships last year.

‘’I’m really excited about the relay,’’ said Hortness. ‘’With Brent going fast and Colin, Thomas and I squeezing a bit more out I think we are really looking at putting something together for the top end of the Olympics.’’

Gossland was the most surprising name of the foursome but he made sure he was ready for these trials.

‘’My varsity coach (Steve Price) really pushed racing this year,’’ said Gossland 22. ‘I did about 70 races this season and we just practiced racing. It teaches you to be precise in everything and it paid off.’’

Russell joins his younger sister Sinead who qualified earlier this week.

‘’I was so happy that Sinead made it,’’ he said. ‘’She put a ton of pressure on me so I had to perform.’’

Lacroix completed a comeback victory in the women’s 200 butterfly in her final bid to make a second Olympic team. She clocked 2:09.01 with Katerine Savard, also of Pont-Rouge, second in 2:09.78 and MacKenzie Downing of Whitehorse third in 2:10.37. Savard met the Olympic criteria for the 100 butterfly earlier this week.

‘’I knew it was going to be a tight race,’’ said Lacroix, 29, who didn’t lead at any split. ‘’I saw the times these girls were doing I knew if I was going to win that race it was going to happen in the last 50 metres. I just remembered that my coach told me that no matter where you are in the last 50 to go my hardest.’’

Competition continues Saturday at the Olympic Park Sport Centre

 

 

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