Emma Finlin Wins Five Titles At The Canadian National Championships

Emma Finlin Wins Five Titles At The Canadian National Championships

 Photo of Emma Finlin courtesy of Swimming Canada/Scott Grant.

This week, the 8-day 2022 Speedo Canadian Junior and Senior Swimming Championships culminated in the open water races at Montreal’s Olympic Rowing Basin.  

Swimming Canada reported, “Mia Thomas from the Pointe-Claire Swim Club (1500m freestyle 13-14 age group), Emma Finlin from the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club (3000m free 15-17), and Natasha Frost, also from the Pointe-Claire Swim Club (3000m free 18+), claimed the women’s open water national titles.  

On the men’s side, Zachary McLeod from the Winskill Dolphins Swim Club (1500m 14-15 age category), Jean-Félix Pelletier from Club Aquatique Montréal (3000m 16-18 age category) and Benjamin Cote from the Killarney Swim Club (3000m 19+ age category) won their respective national titles. 

Mia Thomas prevailed in 19:43.73 seconds for a win over Zoe Tomory from the Lakeshore Swim Club in 19:45.01.  “It was a good race. Very fun,” said Thomas, who also won a silver medal in the 1500m free during the pool portion of the championships. “I wanted to get out first and stay near the buoys. I was in second place but then on the last lap coming back I wanted to just flush it and I came in first.” 

Emma Finlin added to her four pool titles (400m, 800m, 1500, freestyle and 400m IM) with a 37:11.20 swim, with Julia Strojnowska from the Canadian Dolphin Swim Club taking second in 38:03.60.  “It was really fun. I really enjoyed that race. I just kind of got out and tried to hold my pace,” said Finlin, who received the Canadian Female High Point Aggregate award in the 15-17 age group at the conclusion of pool events on Sunday and who represented Canada in open water swimming at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest. “Worlds was a really cool experience. I definitely learned a lot from that.” 

Natasha Frost won a close race in 38:11.00 over his teammate Megan Willar in 38:13.90 who had won the 800m and 1500m freestyle race in the pool. Frost said, “It was a really good race. I definitely didn’t expect to come first. I was really excited to race with a lot of Pointe-Claire girls. I’m very happy. The 3 K is pretty short, so I just tried to keep a good pace and go very fast the whole way.” 

The closest race of the day came in the men’s 14-15 age category, with Zachary McLeod finishing in 18:14.19, just ahead of Dominik Kwiecien from the Grande Prairie Piranhas in 18:15.05, and Noah Deschambault from the Vancouver Pacific Swim Club in 18:15.51. “It was fun. Just getting used to the open water I guess,” McLeod said. “My strategy was don’t just come out in the middle of the pack, and be able to pull out in the end. It ended up working out.” 

The men’s 16-18 race was also close, Jean-Félix Pelletier clocking 35:07.00 to finish before Sebastian Gonzalez Barboza in 35:13.80. “It went well,” Pelletier said. “During the first lap, at the second buoy, I got pushed underwater. But I came back slowly but surely and I finished strong to win it.” 

At the senior level, Benjamin Cote added to his 800m and 1500, freestyle titles in the pool with a 34:21.50 victory over Guillaume Lord from Club Natation Mustang Boucherville who was second in 34:34.30.  “It was alright. I didn’t do any warm-up because we showed up a little late,” said Cote. “I used the first lap to kind of just warm up, just stuck with everyone and started feeling a little better. It was my first ever open water race. I practised a little in Florida during COVID when all the pools were shut down.”   

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Steven Munatones