TORONTO – Double Olympic medallist Taylor Ruck set a new Canadian age group record (15-17) in the girls 200-m backstroke on an exciting first night of finals at the RBC Canadian Junior Championships.
Ruck began the day by setting the new Canadian age group record (15-17) in the 200-m backstroke at Wednesday’s preliminary session. Her morning time of 2:08.75 was later eclipsed in the finals when she posted the new record-beating time of 2:07.62. The time was also 0.19 seconds away from the world junior record set by Russian Daria Ustinova in 2015.
“I felt really good about the race, I’m just really glad to have my backstroke back and I’m happy to be focused on it again,” said Ruck. When asked about the new mark she set, a humble Ruck laughed and simply responded that she was happy to have it.
The 200-m backstroke was Ruck’s only event of the competition.
“It’s pretty nice to be honest. Usually I have three or four events but this is nice because I got to focus on this one event,” stated Ruck. “It helped me get it done easier.”
On the men’s side, 14-year-old Joshua Liendo of the North York Aquatic Club had a memorable day in the pool. He began the day by breaking a Canadian age group record (13-14) of his own in the 100-m butterfly. Liendo then went on to top his preliminary pace with a time of 54.76 seconds in the finals.
Kamloops native Ryley McRae took home two medals on the day. He earned the gold medal in the boys 1500-m freestyle (14-16) in a personal best time of 15:35.87. He came a few hundredth of a second short of besting his previous best by one full minute. McRae fought off the fatigue from his long-distance event to win the bronze medal in the men’s 100-m butterfly later in the session.
The 4×100-m mixed freestyle relay saw the University of Calgary Swim Club edge the Markham Aquatic Club in by 0.04 seconds in the preliminary round, setting up an exciting duel in the final.
Those in attendance were treated to an exciting final, as UCSC held on to win gold with a time of 3:39.13 ahead of MAC’s 3:39.76.
The RBC Canadian Junior Championships continue through Monday and are being webcast at http://sportscanada.tv/swimmingcanada/.
For full results from the first day of action: https://results.swimming.ca/2017_Juniors/.
Story and Photo from Swimming Canada | Swimming.ca