PCI athlete repeats in three races at TVRA swim championships
Teammate McCaw golden twice, among six other local winners
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
LONDON, ON. - Mac Watson is continuing where he left off from last season.
The Grade 10 student at Parkside Collegiate Institute won the 50-metre freestyle (27.55 seconds), 100-metre free (1:04.14) and 50-metre butterfly (30.76), in the 14 years and under boys' high school division, repeating a feat he accomplished a year ago, at the Thames Valley Regional Athletics swimming championships, at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre.
"I was pleased with my performances. I swam hard and hoped for the best," Watson said. "None of them were personal bests, but I haven't been practising real hard lately. I know I have to put in that extra effort to better my times. I need to pick that up for WOSSAA."
Watson finished the 2017 swim season at OFSAA, bringing home a silver medal in the boys' 14 years and under 50 free and a bronze in the 100 free. Prior to the provincial high school championships, Watson touched the wall first in each of his three races, both at WOSSAA and TVRA.
It wasn't simply three easy swims for Watson at this year's TVRA meet. Due to a registration error, Watson was in the slow heat for the 100 free event, but that didn't prevent him from posting the fastest time.
"It can kind of slow you down. I didn't have anyone beside me to race against," said Watson. "I took it as a practice for WOSSAA and worked on my turns, focused on the little things, like my strokes and my push-off."
Watson is aiming for a return to OFSAA, driven to add a gold medal to his hardware won a year ago and he is not particular on what race at this point.
"Whatever race I seem to be doing my best at," said Watson. "I know I want another shot."
Swimmers are only allowed to compete in two individual events at OFSAA.
From TVRA, swimmers attaining the qualifying times for their respective races, regardless of position, advance to the WOSSAA championships, back here on February 15.
Briar McCaw will be joining Watson at WOSSAA, in three events too. The Grade nine student won both the girls' 14 years and under high school division 50-metre backstroke (36.66 seconds), and the 100-metre I.M. (1:21.29), a well as placing third, in the 50 fly (36.22).
Kailey Dennis, is the third PCI athlete to qualify, finishing seventh, in the girls' 15 years and over high school 100-metre breaststroke.
Kayla Keyes, of St. Joseph's high school, won the high school division girls' 15 years and over 100-metre free and placed second in both the 200-metre free (2:36.4) and 50-metre fly (33.69 sec.).
The 15-year old won the 100 free in 1:09.02, edging a pair of London Oakridge swimmers at the wall.
"My last race so I gave everything I had left. By the time was done, I was exhausted and it hurt to lift myself out of the pool," said Keyes
Keyes did appear more excited for teammate Hailey Demeray, who won the high school division girls' 14 years and under 50-metre breaststroke, by almost three seconds, finishing in 41.83 seconds.
"I was watching her race, she did the breaststroke and she came up to me screaming saying, 'I think I just got first place'," said a grinning Keyes. "She was freaking out. She was so happy. I was so happy for her. She didn't think she could do it, but she did."
Demeray also qualified sixth, in the 14U 100-metre I.M.
Keyes, Demeray, Julia McCord and Emma Kebbel, qualified fifth, in the girls' 15 years and over 200-metre medley relay.
Keyes is shooting for a third appearance at OFSAA.
Fellow St. Joseph's WOSSAA qualifiers are; Julia McCord, eighth, 14U 100 free; Megan McCord, eighth, girls' 14U 50 breaststroke, 10th, 100m I.M.; Madison Morin, fifth, girls' 14U 50 fly, 11th, 50 free; Jillian Barlett, 10th, open girls' 50 free.
PICHE-LECLAIR, BROER, LEADS EAGLES
The East Elgin Eagles send their entire team of 12 to WOSSAA, led by para-athlete Brennan Piche-LeClair, who won the 50-metre backstroke (52.1 seconds) and placed second in both the 50 (38.39 sec.) and 100-metre freestyle (1:33.91) races.
Haley Broer won the open girls' 100-meter backstroke, finished second, in the 200-metre I.M. and eighth (30.36 sec.), in the 50 free. The 13-year old moves on in all three events.
Seth Walker qualified third, in the open boys' 200 I.M. and fourth, 100 fly. Brianna Cunningham qualified seventh, in the open girls' 100-metre back and eighth in the 100 free.
Two Eagles' relay teams won bronze medals - the boys' 200-metre medley, with Hunter Perry, Brad Parr and Seth Walker and the girls' 400-metre free, with Haileigh Neusteter, Sarah Smith, Melena Siannas and Maggie Zimmer.
Lord Dorchester's Cloe Seliga won the open girls' 100-metre fly and qualified fourth, in the 50 free (30.10 sec.) and sixth, 100 I.M.
Aidan Currah also qualified for LDSS, placing ninth, in the open boys' 50 free.
No Central Elgin Titans qualified for WOSSAA. Quinn Burgon led a team of five members, placing sixth, in the open boys' 100-metre breaststroke and 10th, in the 50 free, while Brenna Hall placed seventh, in the open girls' 100-metre fly.
The open division is for swimmers who train and compete with aquatic programs outside of their high school. Swimmers in the high school division train exclusively with their high school team.
OFSAA, the high school provincial championships, is in Windsor, February 27-28th.