VANCOUVER – Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke, Ont., continued her strong in-season swimming Saturday at the Mel Zajac Canada Cup – Vancouver.
MacLean anchored the Canadian women’s 4×200-metre relay team to victory as the team of Samantha Cheverton, Alyson Ackman, Emily Overholt and MacLean set a new meet record of 8:08.00. MacLean’s teammates built up a lead of nearly four seconds over the University of California, Berkeley Golden Bears.
“It was fun. Doing this whole relay thing is great for us, the more we get up on the blocks together at a meet. Especially this year – me and Sammy have been on the team before but we have Aly and Emily who are new and the same with our 4×100 free, there’s a bit of a switch up,” MacLean said.
Earlier in the evening MacLean registered a convincing win in the women’s 400-m freestyle. The 20-year-old’s time of 4:10.77 was more than three seconds ahead of Franklin (4:14.33). Canadian national team member Tabitha Baumann, training with Edmonton Keyano, rounded out the top three at 4:15.62.
“I feel great,” MacLean said. “Racing in season is sometimes kind of hard but I’ve been trying to keep my yardage up throughout the meet so I can get right back into training when the meet’s done. I’ve never gone a 4:10 in season in a 400, so it felt great. My stroke feels long and I’m really happy with where I’m at right now. Hopefully this is just a stepping stone to a big summer.”
The entire Canadian national team is in action at the international competition, which features nearly 500 swimmers from 80 clubs and teams, including athletes from the USA, Guatemala, Iran, Suriname and Hong Kong. Canadians made up the bulk of the gold medallists Saturday, including several who will represent Canada at this summer’s Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships.
Franklin, who won two individual events and a relay gold Friday, did pick up one title Saturday, winning the women’s 50-m backstroke in 28.99.
Noemie Thomas of the High Performance Centre – Vancouver continued her strong performance in her home pool. The 18-year-old Richmond, B.C., native won the women’s 100-m butterfly in 59.04, adding to her 50-m gold from Friday. Her HPC – Vancouver teammate Tera Van Beilen, meanwhile, won the 200-m breaststroke gold in 2:28.41 after winning the 100 Friday.
Russell Wood of Calgary was also a repeat champion, taking the men’s 50-m backstroke in 26.66 a night after being tops in the 200.
National team and Oakville Aquatic Club teammates Evan White and Mack Darragh finished 1-2 in the men’s 200-m individual medley. White, 18, won in 2:05.40 while Darragh, 20, was close behind at 2:06.09. Fellow national team member Richard Funk of Edmonton won the men’s 200-m breaststroke in a time of 2:16.21.
Victoria’s Keegan Zanatta stopped the clock in 3:57.01 to win the men’s 400-m freestyle. Montreal’s Victoria Poon was fastest in the women’s 50-m freestyle at 25.93.
The UBC Dolphins men’s team of Coleman Allen, Stefan Milosevic, Jonathan Brown and Justin Chan won the men’s 4×200 free relay in 7:32.60.
In the women’s 200-m individual medley Caitlin Leverenz of Cal turned in a convincing victory with a time of 2:13.79. Geoff Cheah and George Bovell of the Michigan Wolverines rounded out the evening’s winners. Cheah, a native of Hong Kong, took the men’s 100-m butterfly with a time of 54.10. Bovell – a 2004 Olympic bronze medallist and former world record holder for Trinidand and Tobago won the men’s 50-m freestyle in 22.91.
The meet runs through Sunday.
Full results: http://results.teamunify.com/canubc/2014/zajac/