Marit Anderson of Calgary showed this past winter her potential in open water swimming. On Thursday, she looked pretty good in the pool too with a thrilling victory in the 800-m freestyle at the 2018 Speedo Western Nationals swimming competition.
In women’s 16 and over 800 free, Anderson clocked 8:45.66. She edged Canadian championships silver medallist Molly Gowans of Victoria second in 8:45.68 while Octavia Lau of New Westminster, B.C. was third in 8:55.46
‘’I was sick last weekend at nationals so it was nice to come back here and have a very good race,’’ said Anderson, who won a silver medal at an international open water event in South Africa this past February.
“I felt a lot stronger in the water and it was great to battle Molly like that to the finish.’’
Other women’s 16 and over winners were Gowans in the 200-m freestyle, Avery Wiseman of Drayton Valley Alta., in the 200-m breaststroke and national champion Danielle Hanus of Victoria in the 100-m backstroke.
Winners in girls 13-15 were Amanda McCallum of Richmond, B.C., in the 200-m freestyle, Bailey Herbert of Langley, B.C., in the 200-m breaststroke, Haley Klenk of Mission, B.C., in the 100-m backstroke and Becky Dean of Regina in the 800-m freestyle.
In men’s 17 and over, winners were Alex Pratt of Calgary (also an open water swimmer) in the 200-m freestyle, Sebastian Somerset of Calgary in the 100-m backstroke, Brodie Young of New Westminster, B.C., in the 200-m breaststroke and Eric Hedlin of Victoria in the 1500-m freestyle.
‘’I wasn’t satisfied with my race,’’ said Pratt, who clocked 1:50.88. ‘’I was a bit slower this week than at nationals (last week in Montreal). I’m hopeful I can comeback a lot stronger in my other races especially the 800 freestyle.’’
Cole Pratt of Calgary (no relation to Alex) was the only double winner on the day with gold in the 200-m freestyle and 100-m backstroke in the boys 14-16 age group.
Other winners in the age group were Michael Schmidt of Victoria in the 200-m breaststroke and Drew Edwards of Edmonton in the 1500-m freestyle.
In Para swimming, the 100-m backstroke winners were Arianna Hunsicker of Surrey, B.C., and Connor Bissett of Whitecourt, Alta.
Competition continues through to Sunday.