Seltenreich-Hodgson swim highlights first day of Commonwealth action

Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson

VANCOUVER – In her first Commonwealth Games, UBC Thunderbirds swimmer Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson just missed a podium spot for Canada, placing fourth today in the women’s 400-metre individual medley.

The Arts student from Ottawa finished her race in four minutes and 36.88 seconds, which is the second-fastest 400 IM time ever recorded by a Canadian woman. Australia’s Keryn McMaster won the bronze medal in 4:36.35.

“My goal this year was to break 4:40 so to go four seconds under that I’m pretty ecstatic. The energy was a huge part and knowing the competition I had were world-ranked athletes and I’m capable of being a part of them. I think today I was and I’m happy with it,” Seltenreich-Hodgson said in a Swimming Canada news release.

The 19-year-old made her senior national team debut at last year’s FINA World Championships, where she said nerves got the better of her. “It’s very exciting and very nerve-wracking at the same time,” she said of the feeling at her first Commonwealth Games. “Last year I was way more nervous. This year I had to take that experience and channel my nervousness into energy and excitement and I think I managed to do that pretty well.”

Seltenreich-Hodgson, who will be starting her second year with the Thunderbirds in the fall, will also swim in the 200m individual medley event. Her first heat will take place July 27.

Also in the pool, Tera Van Beilen was second in her semifinal heat in the 50m breaststroke in 30.74 seconds. The Kinesiology student from Oakville, Ont., who is entering her fourth year at UBC, will swim in the event final tomorrow.

Canada’s men’s field hockey team, ranked 16th in the world, battled hard against No. 6 New Zealand in the opening game for both countries but gave up two late tallies to fall 3-1.

Eleven of the 16 men on the Canadian roster have an affiliation with UBC. Graduate Scott Tupper was the team captain while goalkeeper David Carter, defender David Jameson and midfielder Mark Pearson, all of Vancouver, were the other T-Birds alumni in the starting lineup. Defender Gordon Johnston (Vancouver) and midfielders Taylor Curran (North Vancouver) and Keegan Pereira (Ajax, Ont.) were the current T-Birds who began the game for Canada. Its next game will against Malaysia on July 26.

Five former and current UBC Thunderbirds started for Canada in its 4-2 loss to India. New graduate Kate Gillis of Kingston, Ont., was the team captain. Abigail Raye (Kelowna, B.C.) was the other UBC alumna in the starting lineup, alongside three current T-Birds: Sara McManus (Delta, B.C.), Hannah Haughn (West Vancouver, B.C.) and Poonam Sandhu (Vancouver). Canada plays South Africa tomorrow in another preliminary round match.