MacLean Demolishes 800 Free National Record in Final Night of Canadian Trials

In what has to have been the race of the meet, Brittany MacLean continued her week of domination on night 4 of the Canadian Swimming Trials, winning the 800m freestyle in a Canadian record time of 8:24.91.

MacLean, who was representing Etobicoke Swimming, bounced off of a massive week of swimming representing the University of Georgia at NCAA Championships to lower the second oldest national record on the women’s side. The former record was set by another Brittany, this one with the last name Reimer, back in 2005.

MacLean and Edmonton Keyano Swim Club’s Tabitha Baumann took the race out from the get-go and were both well under the record at the halfway mark. MacLean thundered through the backhalf, extending her lead on Baumann while also putting more distance between herself and the record set in ’05.

Her final time of 8:24.91 was a three second shave off of Reimer’s mark, and also places her among the top 5 in the world so far this year. Given her rate of improvement it will be very exciting to see what she can do this summer when she has a chance to go head to head with the current world record holder in the event, Katie Ledecky.

The 50m freestyle for women saw veteran Victoria Poon (PPO) touch just six one-hundredths above that top-16 standard of 25.23 in 25.29. Poon has already qualified for this summer’s meets with her 100m freestyle victory earlier in the meet. Sandrine Mainville was just a sliver back of Poon in 25.30, with Chantal Vanlandeghem claiming 3rd.

The men’s splash and dash saw Yuri Kisil of Cascade complete the 1-2 sprint freestyle combo, winning in a time of 22.53. It was a best time for Kisil, who had the most entertaining post-race interviews of the competition. Laid back and confidant, Kisil, or the “Intercontinental Ballistic Kisil” as he is known by teammates, looks to be one of the promising young sprint freestylers in what is otherwise a fairly depleted sprint freestyle core in Canada.

Kyle Troskot (LASC) overcame a pronounced stutter on the start — Luke Peddie of UBCD false started next to him, which gave Troskot that momentary of hesitation of “do I go or do I stop” — to storm back in 22.77 to gain silver. I cannot help but think that he would have been at least a few tenths faster if not for the false start next to him.

In the women’s 200 IM, Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson (UBCD) posted a best time swimming a 2:12.26, dropping 3/4’s of a second on her best which was done two years ago. The time puts her in the top 10 in the world this year. Marni Oldershaw (OAK) placed second in 2:13.72, with Sidney Pickrem in third in 2:13.78.

The men’s 200 IM saw bright up-and-comer Evan White of Oakville Aquatics destroy the field swimming a 1:59.84, beating the top 16 standard of 1:59.99, and also places him in the top 3 in the world for 2014 so far. Four seconds back were Luke Reilly in 2:03.79 and David Riley in 2:04.19.

Hometown swimmer Ryan Cochrane easily cleaned up the 1500m freestyle, winning in 15:01.72 in what was a controlled swim. He swam the race largely solo, which was a marked difference from World Championship Trials in 2013 (in the same pool, as well) where he was pushed by Island Swimming teammates Will Brothers and Eric Hedlin. Brothers picked up silver in 15:15.35, which was outside of the qualifying time of 15:13.98.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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