Abdel-Khalik, Etobicoke, Pointe-Claire finish strong


MONTREAL – Aly Abdel-Khalik of Etobicoke Swimming made it 4-for-4, winning a medal for the fourth straight day as the Speedo Eastern Canadian Championships wrapped up Sunday in Montreal.

Abdel-Khalik capped a successful weekend by winning the men’s 200-m freestyle in a meet record time of 1:46.99. He also took the 200-m individual medley in 2:02.70 to clinch the male high point aggregate award for the meet.

“I was really happy to get under 1:47, that was the goal,” he said. “I wanted to swim fast. I shaved down and rested for it so I’m really happy with the performance.”

The 18-year-old plans to work on his speed through the final 50 metres in preparation for the World Championships Trials in Victoria from April 3-6.

“This is my last meet before world trials so I thought this was the perfect chance to rehearse the pressure and what I have to go through for world trials. I’m happy with the performance,” he said. “It’s exactly what I wanted to do, now I’ve just got to get back into training and hopefully improve a little bit more.”

Etobicoke Swimming won the overall women’s title, while the men finished second to Pointe-Claire Swim Club. Pointe-Claire also claimed the combined team banner.

The four-day short-course meet was held at the Centre Sportif Claude-Robillard in Montreal concurrently with the Speedo Western Canadian Championships in Saskatoon. This year, results from both meets are being combined on a virtual leaderboard at ?https://swimming.ca/liveresults/2013speedocombined/ with an overall title up for grabs.

Olympian Katerine Savard of CSQ won a pair of events Sunday, taking the 200-m freestyle in 1:58.78, and the 100-m butterfly in 58.51.

“The last few weeks I’ve worked on my stroke to get my arms to stay flat in the water. I think it’s getting better and I’m going to work on that until the trials,” Savard said.

Her goal is to qualify for this summer’s World Aquatics Championships in both the 100- and 200-m fly.

“I think I’m getting better mentally so I hope I’m going to go fast (at trials),” Savard said. “I (have been working on) my turns and my stroke the last few weeks and just to have fun.”

Savard was the high point aggregate winner among females, while Olivia Paskulin captured that title in the 15-and-under category.

In other highlights at Easterns, Oliver Straszynski of Toronto Swim Club charged from behind to overtake Mitchel Ferraro and set a meet record in the 16-and-under men’s 200-m freestyle. Straszynski edged the Uxbridge Swim Club product by .17, lowering the meet mark by nearly two seconds.

Ferraro got his hands on gold in the 50-m backstroke later in the evening, with a time of 26.04. He then followed up with a meet record of 2:04.62 in the 200-m IM to solidify his high point aggregate award for youth males.

Frederique Cigna of the host CAMO club earned Swim of the Meet honours on the FINA points scale for her win in 15-and-under 200-m freestyle (2:00.76). Other FINA Points winners were Ferraro, Abdel-Khalik and Victoria Poon of PPO for swims earlier in the weekend.

Rounding out the fastest women’s times Sunday were: Genevieve Robertson of Guelph Marlins in 100-m breaststroke (1:09.59), Kristina Steins of Dolphins Swimming in the 50-m backstroke (28.01), Paige Schultz of Toronto Swim Club in the 200-m IM (2:13.81), and Caitlin Hodge of Gatineau in the 800-m freestyle (8:39.47). Pointe-Claire won the women’s 4×100-m medley relay as Alexia Zevnik, Marie-Laurence Godin, Sara Touchette-McGowan and Gabrielle Daigneault combined for a time of 4:11.11.

Mary-Sophie Harvey of Megophias was among the 15-and-under women’s winners, breaking Savard’s meet record with a 1:01 in the 100-m butterfly.

“I think it’s fun. She’s pretty good and I know her. She’s probably going to be even faster in a few years,” Savard said.

Other women’s youth winners were: Olivia Paskulin of Pointe-Claire in 100-m breaststroke (1:10.81 – meet record), Emma Ball of Guelph Marlins in 50-m backstroke (28.91), Melanya Zaraska of Etobicoke in 200-m IM (2:20.14), Olivia Anderson of Etobicoke in 800-m freestyle (8:51.11)

Other top men were: Kyle Haas of Halton Hills Blue Fins in 50-m backstroke (25.07 – meet record), Antoine Bujold of Pointe-Claire in 100-m breaststroke (1:02.81), Ivan Cocunubo of Gatineau in 100-m butterfly (55.01) and Philippe Guertin of CAMO in the 1500-m freestyle (15:15.06). The team of Nicholas Lafleur, James Guest, Alexandre Magnan and Matthew Ackman won the men’s 4×100-m medley relay for Pointe-Claire with a time of 3:43.66.

And in the men’s 16-and-under action, other top times belonged to: James Guest of Pointe-Claire in 100-m breaststroke (1:01.14 – meet record), Marc-Olivier Caron of Outaouais in 100-m butterfly (55.83) and Liam Desjarlais of St-Jerome in 1500-m freestyle (15:40.87).

Full results are available at: http://results.teamunify.com/cansgsc/ for Westerns and https://swimming.ca/liveresults/2013speedoeastern/ for Easterns.

Scott Harrigan
Your #1 source for community and amateur sports related news on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and beyond! Send stories to scottharriganisn@gmail.com