Big Splash wraps up with top female swimmer

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VANCOUVER – Swimming Canada saved the best female swimmer in the country for last, closing out Big Splash Awards Week with the OMEGA Female Swimmer of the Year.

Hilary Caldwell of Victoria received the award from veteran sports broadcaster Scott Russell in Vancouver Friday as part of the Sports Day in Canada Tour presented by CBC.

The annual award recognizes the best performance by a Canadian female swimmer at the premier international meet of the year.

This year’s premier international meet was the FINA World Championships in Barcelona.

Caldwell was one of the fastest rising stars in Canadian swimming in 2013. Every time she got in the pool in Barcelona, she set a new Canadian record, capping her week with a bronze medal in the 200-metre backstroke.

Her award capped a week of announcements of Swimming Canada’s annual national Big Splash Awards. Earlier in the week her Island Swimming teammates Ryan Cochrane (OMEGA Male Swimmer of the Year) and Eric Hedlin (People’s Choice Race of the Year) were honoured. Other swimmer awards went to fellow Victorian Richard Weinberger (Open Water Swimmer of the Year), and Montrealers Benoit Huot and Valerie Grand’Maison (Team Aquatic Supplies Male and Female Para-Swimmers of the Year.)

Each winner’s coach was also recognized. Randy Bennett took home the OMEGA Coach of the Year in both the Male Swimmer and Female Swimmer categories. Meanwhile, the Team Aquatic Supplies Coach of the Year (Male Para-Swimmer) went to Pierre Lamy, while Peter Carpenter won the Team Aquatic Supplies Coach of the Year (Female Para-Swimmer). Finally, Ron Jacks was named Open Water Coach of the Year.

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