Aquatics Basketball Community Clubs Curling Elite Amateur Sport High Schools Rugby

HIGH ACHIEVERS WEEKEND WRAP: Ottawa junior swimmers shine at Canadian team trials

By Martin Cleary

Swimming Canada’s national trials to determine four different international teams attracted 623 junior and senior swimmers from 148 clubs for the six-day competition at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

Summer McIntosh was the swimmer of the meet, breaking two world records as well as five Canadian and world junior standards. She will be one of the team leaders for Canada at the world aquatic championships July 14-30 in Fukuoka, Japan.

The 400-metre freestyle and 400-metre individual medley world record holder from Toronto will be joined by other notable headline swimmers like Margaret MacNeil of London, Kylie Masse of LaSalle, ON., Penny Oleksiak of Toronto and Joshua Liendo of Markham, ON.

Unlike previous years, when Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, Mike Brown, Ashton Baumann and Matt Hawes were named to the world team, there will be no Ottawa and area swimmers racing for Canada at the senior worlds, which will be one year out from the 2024 Paris Olympics.

But the future looks good as four junior swimmers from three Ottawa clubs made a good impression and will likely be considered for Canada’s team to the world junior aquatic championships Nov. 4-9 in Netanya, Israel. The Canadian squad is scheduled to be announced Thursday.

Grace Lu of the Ottawa Y Olympians Swim Club won the women’s junior 100-metre breaststroke by slightly more than one-third of a second in one minute, 11.73 seconds. She set her personal-best time of 1:11.02 at the Winter Ontario championships in early March.

But Lu, a gold and silver medallist at the 2023 Canada Summer Games, did set a best-ever time for herself in the 200-metre breaststroke, when she placed fourth in 2:37.29.

~~~~~~~~~ Advertisement ~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~ Advertisement ~~~~~~~~~

Olivier Risk of the Carleton University-based ROCS club was a double silver-medal winner in the men’s junior distance freestyle races. He was second over 400 metres in 3:58.42 and the 1,500 metres in 15:48.18.

Risk, who was the Canada Summer Games gold medallist in the 3,000-metre open swim, also placed sixth overall in the men’s senior 1,500-metre freestyle.

Nepean-Kanata Barracudas Swim Club’s Julie Brousseau, who has verbally committed to attend the University of Florida, swam in five senior finals and one junior final, where she placed third in the women’s 100-metre freestyle in 56.38.

Julie Brousseau of the Nepean-Kanata Barracudas (right) swam mostly in senior-level events at the 2023 Canadian team trials in Scarborough, but earned several medals as a junior while racing alongside Canadian legend-in-the-making Summer McIntosh (centre). Photo: @h20master Twitter

In three of her senior finals, Brousseau raced against McIntosh, who set world records in the 400-metre freestyle (3:56.08) and 400-metre individual medley (4:25.87). Brousseau placed fifth in the 400-metre IM in 4:45.28 and sixth over 400 metres of freestyle in 4:14.10.

Brousseau’s best senior result was a fourth in the 200-metre IM with a top-20 world time of 2:13.6, while McIntosh was 6.77 seconds faster. Both Brousseau and McIntosh were born in 2006.

In her two other senior finals, Brousseau was fifth in the 200-metre freestyle in 1:59.05 and ninth in the 200-metre breaststroke in 2:30.79.

Barracudas’ Jordan Schaepper was fifth in the men’s junior 400-metre freestyle final in 4:04.91 and 10th in the 400-metre IM in 4:42.33.

Other notable Ottawa performances came in the senior division: Greater Ottawa Kingfish Swim Club’s Ashley McMillan (fourth, 50-metre backstroke, 29.00), Ottawa Swim Club’s Gabriel Tejada (sixth in both the 50- and 100-metre butterfly in respective times of 24.57 and 53.76) and Smiths Falls’ Bailey Andison of CAMO (fifth in the 200-metre IM, 2:13.84, and sixth in the 400-metre IM, 4:45.34).


Tori Zemmelink skipped her Navan Curling Club rink to a fourth-place finish in the women’s division at the Canadian junior curling championships in Rouyn-Noranda, PQ.

Zemmelink, third Paige Bown, second Kailee Delaney and lead Scotia Maltman posted a 6-2 round-robin record and finished second in their pool. Emma Artichuk was the team alternate and Matt Wilkinson was the coach.

In an exciting quarterfinal, Zemmelink scored one in the 10th end to tie the Alberta 2 team skipped by Claire Booth and stole one in the extra end for the 7-6 victory.

But Zemmelink’s semifinal was all one-sided as Myla Plett, the skip of the Alberta 1 team, had four multiple-point ends and stole more than half of her points in an 11-3 decision that was conceded after eight ends.

Manitoba 1 skip Zoey Terrick owned a 5-3 advantage after seven ends of the bronze-medal match. But Zemmelink counted three to take its first lead of the game at 6-5. Terrick replied with three in the ninth end for an 8-6 victory as the game stopped one end early.

On the men’s junior draw, RCMP Curling Club’s skip Jayden King, third Jack Ragan, second Owen Henry and lead Jacob Clarke placed sixth in their pool with a 3-5 record.

The King team ended the national championship on a good note, defeating Leandre Girard of Quebec 2 10-5 and Chase MacMillan of Prince Edward Island 1 7-2 in its final two matches.


Local rugby products Olivia De Couvreur and Madison Grant helped Canada to a big win over world no. 3 USA and matched its season-best finish on the Rugby Sevens World Series on the weekend in Hong Kong.

The Canadian women lost 5-0 to Great Britain, beat Hong Kong 22-5 and then took a 46-0 thumping by world no. 1 New Zealand in pool play. Canada drew the Kiwis again in the quarter-finals and this time fell 45-14.

In the fifth-place semi-final, the Canadians sent the Americans to their worst finish of the season thanks to a 12-5 victory. Canada then fell to France 22-12 to place sixth.

Ottawa’s Elias Hancock and the Canadian men won one of their six matches at the competition en route to a 14th-place finish out of 16 teams.

The no. 8-ranked Canadian women will not be able to secure one of the four available qualification positions for the Paris 2024 Olympics available through the World Series, regardless of their result in the May 12-14 season finale in France.

But with USA punching their ticket to Paris, the Canadian women’s Paris 2024 qualification prospects remain very high. Langford, B.C. will host the Aug. 19-20 Rugby Americas North regional qualifier, where the Canadian women will take on smaller nations that don’t compete on the world series for the final available Olympic berth.

The 14th-placed Canadian men will have to produce several season-best results in their tour’s final three stops to climb up to 11th and avoid relegation from the world series. No. 9 USA will be favoured to win their way to Paris at the men’s regional qualifier, where the second- and third-place men’s teams will also have one more opportunity to qualify at a last-chance global event.


A trio of local players took part in the 2023 Biosteel All Canadian Girls Basketball Game on Sunday at the University of Toronto – Louis-Riel’s Katrina Renon and Capital Courts’ Achol Akot and Catrina Garvey.

The event aims to bring together the best 24 Canadian high school basketball players for an all-star game, which was broadcast on TSN. Game stats were not posted as of press time.

All three local players have selected their post-secondary destinations for next season – Akot is headed to the University of Central Florida, Garvey will attend Toronto Metropolitan University and Renon will go to Queen’s.

Dani Sinclair of the Carleton University Ravens coached the Team White girls, while Ottawa’s Dave DeAveiro coached the Team White boys.


The Nepean Sports Wall of Fame will hold its next induction ceremony in October. But first, it’s time for you to make your nominations to the board of directors.

The wall of fame has 82 athletes, builders, teams and media. During the 2021 virtual ceremony, the wall of fame welcomed eight newcomers, including former NHL hockey goalies Fred Brathwaite and Darren Pang and figure skating coach Cynthia Reid.

Nominations can be submitted via the wall of fame’s website. The deadline is May 15.

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

HELP SHINE A LIGHT ON LOCAL SPORT! The Ottawa Sports Pages has proudly provided a voice for local sport for over 10 years, but we need your help to continue another 10 and beyond. Please donate to the Ottawa Sports Pages Fund today.

Leave a Reply