HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
WEEKEND WRAP: The five-day Canadian Olympic swimming trials in Toronto have surpassed the halfway point and eight Ottawa and area swimmers have accumulated 11 finals. But Olympic dreams haven’t been accomplished as of yet.
Perth Stingrays’ Bailey Andison of Smiths Falls, ON., beat Swimming Canada’s Olympic A time standard in the women’s 200-metre individual medley, but she couldn’t finish first or second to earn a provisional berth on the Olympic team.
Andison, who took third place, was in fourth after the opening 50-metre butterfly leg, third following the backstroke and moved into second after the breaststroke. She entered the final 50-metre freestyle with a chance for an Olympic berth, but slipped to third.
She finished in 2:10.48, while Sydney Pickrem of Toronto Swim Club won the race in 2:09.24 and Kelsey Wog of Winnipeg was second in 2:10.21.
Alyson Ackman of Pembroke, ON., who came out of retirement two years ago, could be considered for the Canadian Olympic freestyle relay teams. The swim team will be announced Thursday.
Ackman won the women’s 400-metre freestyle on Saturday, but her personal-best time of 4:10.92 missed the Olympic A time standard by more than three seconds. She also was third in the 800-metre freestyle (8:41.58) on Monday and ninth over 200 metres (2:00.01).
Montana Champagne of Greater Ottawa Kingfish challenged early for an Olympic berth in the men’s 200-metre IM. He was third after the opening 50-metre butterfly, which is one of his strengths.
But he slipped to ninth in the 10-swimmer field after the backstroke leg. He slowly improved in the second half of the race, climbing to sixth after the breaststroke and fifth following the freestyle in 2:02.55.
In his opening race at the Olympic trials, Champagne placed sixth in the men’s 100-metre butterfly in 54.35 on Saturday.
Megan Wheeler of Nepean Kanata Barracudas finished 14th in both the women’s 100-metre backstroke (1:03.53) and 200-metre individual medley (2:19.95). Xavier Pimental of Natation Gatineau was 18th in the men’s 200-metre freestyle (1:56.06) and 12th in 1,500-metre freestyle (16:12.15).
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees’ Lauren Shearer placed 11th in the women’s 100-metre breaststroke (1:13.77), while teammate Adelle Yamashita-Ball won the first heat of the women’s 800-metre freestyle time final (9:08.04) and was ninth overall.
Ottawa’s Eli Wall of the Toronto Swim Club was third in the men’s 100-metre breaststroke (1:00.99). Greater Ottawa Kingfish’s Regan Rathwell was sixth in the women’s 100-metre backstroke (1:01.55) and 12th in the 200-metre IM (2:19.10).
Alex Perreault of Ottawa Swim Club was the 10th and last qualifier for the men’s 100-metre butterfly final, where he finished seventh (54.60). Breckin Gormley of the Barracudas placed seventh in the women’s 100-metre butterfly (1:00.53) and 19th in the 200-metre IM (2:25.18).
CANADIAN WOMEN FOURTH IN BASKETBALL
Meanwhile, a pair of Ottawa athletes involved in different team sports experienced losing their final two playoff games, missed the podium and finished fourth in a pair of international competitions.
After dropping its semifinal to host Puerto Rico 65-61, Canada rallied from a 15-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter of its bronze-medal game, but lost 87-82 to Brazil in double overtime at the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup.
Shooting guard Merissah Russell of Ottawa didn’t play in the semifinal or final, but she saw a combined 47 minutes of court time against Dominican Republic (quarter-final), and Virgin Islands, El Salvador and Columbia in pool play.
Russell connected on five of her 13 shots from three-point range (41.7 per cent) and six of 14 field-goal attempts overall (42.9 per cent) for 17 points. She averaged 4.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists a game.
WATER POLO PODIUM MISS FOR CANADA
Canada placed first in its preliminary pool at the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final in Athens with wins over Russia 12-10, Japan 16-10 and Hungary 13-12. After beating Kazakhstan 11-3 in the quarterfinals, the win streak was snapped.
In a rematch against a pair of preliminary-pool opponents, Canada fell 14-10 to Hungary in the semifinals and 10-8 to Russia in the bronze-medal game. Ottawa’s Jessica Gaudreault was one of Canada’s two goalkeepers.
OTTAWA SQUASH PLAYER SELECTED TO NATIONAL TEAM
Squash Canada has named its inaugural, 42-player NextGen and Junior National Squad Program team. Iman Shaheen of Ottawa was selected to the national junior team.
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