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WOSSAA 2024 swimming


 Ainsley Preszcator swims to four gold 


  Leads the Eagles at WOSSAA swimming returning to OFSAA in four events



  February 15, 2024


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By Rob J. Ross

LONDON, Ont. - Ainsley Preszcator is returning to OFSAA as a regional multiple gold medalist.

Preszcator won two individual events and was the lead leg for two East Elgin Eagles relay teams, at the WOSSAA swimming championships February 14, at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre.

The six-foot three Grade 12 student won the high school division 15 years and over girls 100-metre I.M. (one minute and 14.15 seconds - 1:14.15) and 100m back (1:12.86), and helped the Eagles win the high school division 15 years and over girls 200m medley (2:24.12) and 200m free (2:07.43) relay races.

"It feels nice because I had the times coming in this meet, but I wanted to improve. I knew I could go faster, so it was a lot today about me improving on those times," said Ainsley. "It feels good to know that I put myself in the best position possible going into OFSAA."

On the Eagles' relay teams, Ainsley is joined by twin Brooke, Cadence Neusteter, Megan Sleegers(medley) and Ellery Beilhartz(free).

A goal the medley relay team had coming into the meet, was to swim faster than London Banting.

"Our medley had us focused, because Banting beat us last time but they got disqualified, so we knew they would be tough competition," Ainsley said. "Each of us had to focus on our own 50 and try to put up a better time than we did last time (at TVRA). It was our best time at TVRA, but we thought, if all of us improved even a little bit, we could beat them. It was a big push for us."

The Eagles finished almost three seconds ahead of Banting and it all started with Brooke's lightning opening leg.

"I got out to a decent lead. I could see that because I'm on my back. I think it was half a length and I could see there was no one around me," Brooke said. "I was trying to get the biggest lead I could."

That helped Sleegers, followed by Ainsley, before Neusteter brought the Eagles home.

"It feels really good. It's a little sentimental, because this is probably going to be our last OFSAA," said Brooke, who also placed second in the 100 back (1:17.20, behind her sister and third in the 50 free (30.38 seconds), qualifying for OFSAA in both events.

Neusteter qualified for OFSAA in two individual events as well, placing fourth in the 100 free (1:11.95) and fifth in the 50 free (30.63 sec).

"Cadence did very well. She had to swim a lot front crawl," said Brooke. "She had three 50 frees and then a 100 free as well. She was able to succeed in all of them and she went almost her best time in every single race and was able to anchor both of our relays to gold."

The twins also were happy to welcome back Beilhartz to the pool.

"This is her first meet this year due to her concussion and she really stepped up a lot in both relays and it was nice to have her there," Ainsley said. "She did really, really, well, considering she hasn't been to many practices. It was good to see her get that swimming experience."

With Beilhartz, the Eagles 200 free relay team won by four and half seconds.

Competitors had to win their race or meet a qualifying time, to advance to the high school provincial championships, OFSAA, March 5-6, at the Pan Am Sports Complex in Toronto.

The Eagles send eight swimmers to OFSAA, including the relay team members.

Lauren Collard moves on in three events, high school U14 girls 50 breast (44.31 sec.), 100 I.M. (1:30.74) and 50 back (41.41 sec.).

Ava Campbell, high school U14 girls 50 back (40.25 sec.) and 50 free (34.00 sec.).

Matthew de Gelder, high school U14 boys 50 back (40,24 sec.) and 50 breast (41.95 sec.)


Complete WOSSAA results


McCaw returns to OFSAA

Rosie McCaw leads the Parkside Stampeders, qualifying in four events, high school 15 years and over girls 50 fly (34.09), 50 free (30.58 sec.) and 100 I.M (1:21.27), plus Parkside's open girls 200m medley relay team (2:26.10) with Alexis Gray, Paisley Vachon and Emily Landon.

McCaw finished second in the fly, third in the free and fourth in the I.M.

"I'm super excited for OFSAA and to swim in a new pool (for McCaw) will be pretty awesome," said McCaw. "I felt a bit under the weather and didn't feel I was swimming at my full potential but overall I'm very happy with the outcomes and making it to OFSAA again."

A year ago, McCaw won OFSAA gold in the junior (U14) women's 100-metre I.M. and finished fourth in the 50 back.

This year, the Grade 11 student is a senior.

"I've already encountered many senior swimmers with lots of skill and experience so I'm hoping to make the A final," McCaw said. "I want to make realistic goals for OFSAA without being disappointed. I will be working super hard in the next three weeks to improve."

Gray also moves on in two individual events, the high school 15 years and over girls 100 back (1:24.74) and 50 free (31.90 sec.).

Parkside's Cameron Morrison makes his OFSAA debut, in the high school U14 boys 50 breast (41.10 sec.) and 100 free (1:11.93).

St. Joe's Diego Alban-Gasca returns to OFSAA for the para men's 50 free and 50 back.

Rams' Sarah Van Velzer will have three events, high school 15 years and over girls 100 breast (1:32.43), 100 free (1:13.93) and 50 free (31.97 sec.).

Rams' Isabella Van Pelt-Castro will swim the high school 15 years and over girls 100 free (1:14.11).

Central Elgin Titans Raegan Jackson heads to her first OFSAA, qualifying in two events, high school 15 years and over girls 200 free (2:43.57) and 100 back (1:24.86).

"I'm very excited and looking forward to OFSAA," Jackson said. "This is my first year swimming for the school and being able to qualify is something I'm very proud of. I'm happy that I'll be able to represent CECI and swim against other qualifiers from across Ontario."

Also advancing, the Titans' high school 15 years and over boys 200 free relay team of Ty Theil, Caydin Le, Keaton Sleightholm and Carson Taylor (2:09.42).





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