Cochrane worlds fastest this year to win close race


VICTORIA – Two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane of Victoria posted the fastest time in the world this year – and he needed every second – to win an exciting men’s 1500-m freestyle to conclude the Swimming Canada World Championships Trials.

Five more swimmers added their names to Team Canada for the FINA World Championships this summer to bring the total to 34.

The worlds are July 19 to August 4 in Barcelona.

Cochrane won his prime event in 14:59.73 but received a big challenge from Will Brothers and Eric Hedlin, both of Victoria. Brothers charged Hedlin down on the final length to grab the second available spot for Barcelona by clocking second in 15:02.48 while Hedlin took third in 15:03.64. Brothers and Hedlin are now the second and third fastest Canadians ever in the event after Cochrane.
Hedlin will look to make the team in the 10-kilometre open water swimming event later this month.
‘’I’m glad it looked smooth but it didn’t feel that way,’’ said Cochrane, well short of his Canadian record of 14:39.63 set in a silver medal performance at the Olympics last year. ‘’Overall I’ve had a good weekend and to swim those three events (400-m, 800-m, 1500-m freestyle) is difficult. But if we want to be tough that’s what we have to do.’’
Brothers, 18, was somewhat of a surprise to earn his first national senior team berth, entering as the fourth seed with a qualifying time nearly eight seconds slower than No. 2 seed Hedlin.
‘’It’s great to see the hard work pay off,’’ said Brothers. ‘’I wasn’t aware we were on such a strong pace, I just put my head down and hoped for the best.’’
Other men to earn national team spots Saturday were Andrew Ford of Guelph, Ont., who came within a second of the Canadian record in the 200-m individual medley; Chris Manning of Brantford, Ont., who edged Luke Peddie of Edmonton by 0.01 seconds in the 50-m freestyle and Ashton Baumann of Ottawa in the 200-m breaststroke. Baumann tied with Edmonton’s Richard Funk at 2:14.84, setting up a potential swim-off, but Funk elected to decline the spot as he had already qualified in the 100-m breaststroke.
The strong performances continued for the women as all eight available spots in Saturday’s races were filled including two by a gutsy Alexa Komarnycky.
Komarnycky placed second and met the world qualifying standard in the 800-metre freestyle, then hopped out of the pool and did the same in the 200-m individual medley less than 10 minutes later. She will be the only Canadian swimmer to compete in three individual events at the worlds, having qualified in the 400-m IM earlier this week.
‘’The 200-m individual medley is an event I really wanted to swim at worlds,’’ said Komarnycky, who raced the 800-m freestyle at the London Olympics last year. ‘’It was my last race of the competition and I just wanted to go as hard as I could. To come close to my best time after just swimming the 800, is pretty satisfying.’’
Savannah King of Vancouver and Erica Seltenreich-Hodgson of Ottawa were the 800-m freestyle and 200-m IM winners. Also earning national team berths were Chantal van Landeghem of Winnipeg and Victoria Poon of Montreal in the 50-m freestyle and Tera Van Beilen of Oakville, Ont., and Martha McCabe of Toronto in the 200-m breaststroke.
Fans can watch on-demand replays of all sessions, with post-race interviews, highlights, photo galleries and more at Results are posted at

Complete team selection:
Barbara Jardin, Montreal, 200 FR, 1:58.25
Sinead Russell, Burlington, Ont., 100 BK 1:00.12
Kristina Steins, Burlington, Ont., 100 BK, 1:00.85
Audrey Lacroix, Pont-Rouge, Que., 200 FL, 2:07.89
Katerine Savard, Pont-Rouge, Que., 200 FL, 2:08.34; 100 FL, 58.06
Samantha Cheverton, Pointe-Claire, Que., 200 FR, 1:58.80; 100 FR, 55.67
Brittany MacLean, Etobicoke, Ont., 200 FR, 1:59.53
Savannah King, Vancouver, 200 FR, 2:00.34; 400 FR, 4:10.34; 800 FR, 8:33.49
Blake Worsley, Victoria, 200 FR, 1:48.80
Charles Francis, Montreal, 100 BK, 55.34
Zack Chetrat, Toronto, 200 FL, 1:58.01
Alec Page, Victoria, 200 FR, 1:49.36; 400 IM, 4:18.06
Aly Abdel-Khalik, Etobicoke, Ont., 200 FR, 1:49.59
Hassaan Abdel-Khalik, Etobicoke, Ont., 200 FR, 1:49.84; 100 FR, 50.57
Tera Van Beilen, Oakville, Ont., 100 BR, 1:08.15; 200 BR, 2:25.84
Alexa Komarnycky, Victoria, 400 IM, 4:41.65; 800 FR, 8:34.17; 200 IM, 2:14.28
Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, Ottawa, 400 IM, 4:42.71; 200 IM, 2:13.29
Victoria Poon, Montreal, 100 FR, 55.31; 50 FR, 25.24
Sandrine Mainville, Montreal, 100 FR, 55.32
Chantal van Landeghem, Winnipeg, 100 FR, 55.35; 50 FR, 25.19
Joel Greenshields, Calgary, 100 FR, 50.36
Richard Funk, Edmonton, 100 BR, 1:00.87
Tommy Gossland, Vancouver, 100 FR, 50.50
Luke Peddie, Vancouver, 100 FR, 50.62
Ryan Cochrane, Victoria, 400 FR, 3:47.08; 1500 FR, 14:59.73
Will Brothers, Victoria, 1500 FR, 15:02.48
Noemie Thomas, Vancouver, 100 FL, 58.31
Hilary Caldwell, White Rock, B.C., 200 BK, 2:09.31
Coleman Allen, Vancouver, 100 FL, 53.57
Russell Wood, Calgary, 200 BK, 2:01.01
Chris Manning, Brantford, Ont., 50 FR, 22.71
Martha McCabe, Toronto, 200 BR, 2:27.35
Ashton Baumann, Ottawa, 200 BR, 2:14.84
Andrew Ford, Guelph, Ont., 200 IM, 2:00.03

Rookie of the Meet: Male – Nathan Sawicki, Alberta Marlin Aquatic Club; Female – Olivia Anderson, Etobicoke Swimming
Swim of the Meet: Male – Ryan Cochrane, Island Swimming/Victoria Academy of Swimming (400-m freestyle, 3:47.08, 910 FINA points); Female – Sinead Russell, Dolphin Swim Club (100-m backstroke, 1:00.12, 903 FINA points)
High Point Aggregate Award: Male – Ryan Cochrane, Island Swimming, 15 points; Female – Tera Van Beilen, Oakville Aquatic Club/Vancouver National Swim Centre, 12 points

Scott Harrigan
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