By David Conlin, Vikes Communications
TORONTO – The 2016 Rio Olympics are just around the corner and seven Vikes athletes are set to vie for spots at the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic swim trials, hosted at the Pan Am Games Aquatic Centre in Toronto from Apr. 5-10.
Leading the way for the Vikes is third year Jon McKay, who is coming in off a gold medal performance in the 1500m freestyle at the CIS Swimming Championship. For his efforts, McKay was named a CIS First Team All-Canadian. The Victoria native will be swimming in the 400- and 1500-metre freestyle.
Also swimming in the 400-metre freestyle is Kaitlin Gervais, who earned four medals for the Vikes at the Canada West Championship in November and swam at the CIS Championship. The Toronto native is also competing in the 800-metre freestyle along with Victoria Mock, who earned silver in the event at the Canada West Championship and was a Canada West Second Team All-star.
Brett Zollen is the Vike swimming in the most events this week, as he’ll take part in the 100-metre breaststroke, 100-metre freestyle, 50-metre freestyle, and 200-metre Individual Medley. Evan Letkeman, who had a top-ten performance at the CIS Championship, is the next busiest Vike with three events: the 200-metre freestyle, 100-metre backstroke, and 200-metre backstroke.
Rounding out UVic’s swimmers at the trials are Richard Bourgeois and Buzz Mallender. Bourgeois holds the Vikes record for fastest 50-metre breaststroke and is competing in the 100-metre breaststroke while Mallender is set to swim in the 100- and 200-metre backstroke.
Along with the seven Vikes swimmers, five other athletes are attending the event as part of the Pacific Coast Swimming program. Lauren Crisp (100- and 200-metre backstroke), Jessica Luo (100- and 200-metre butterfly) Cale Murdock (200-metre freestyle), Erin Lawrance (400- and 800-metre freestyle, 200-metre butterfly) and Lucas Tyler (100- and 200-metre butterfly) are all hitting the water.
Kaitlin Gervais – 400 fr & 800 fr
Victoria Mock – 800 fr
Richard Bourgeois – 100 br
Evan Letkeman – 200 fr, 100 bk & 200 bk
Buzz Mallender – 100 bk & 200 bk
Jon McKay – 400 fr & 1500 fr
Brett Zollen – 100 br, 100 fr, 50 fr & 200 IM