04/02/2012 2:28 PM
Photo by Christinne Muschi
There was more joy for Julia Wilkinson and more despair for her Island Swimming/Victoria Academy clubmates MacKenzie Downing and Alexa Komarnycky on Friday in Montreal at the Canadian trials for the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
Wilkinson, who earlier in the week won the women's 100-metre backstroke, qualified for her second London event by passing Calgary's Erica Morningstar down the stretch to win the 200-metre individual medley in 2: 12.78. Morningstar also qualified for London with a clocking of 2: 12.99. Komarnycky finished third in 2: 13.88 to just miss out on London for the third time this week over three events.
"Julia is a good all-round swimmer and gives us options at London, but there was heartbreak for Alexa again," said Randy Bennett, the Victoria Academy head coach who will also be head coach for Canada at the London Olympics.
Bennett coaches Wilkinson, Komarnycky and Downing at Saanich Commonwealth Place.
Komarnycky gets her last chance today in the women's 800-metre freestyle.
The winners of the finals at these trials automatically qualify for the London Games. The second-place finishers do so also, but only if they meet the Olympic qualifying standard.
Downing was third to winner Audrey Lacroix of Pont-Rouge, Que., in the women's 200-metre butterfly Friday and it was the former UVic Vike star's second close miss of the week.
"It was too bad for Downing . . . she tried to finesse her way and gave it a good shot," said Bennett.
Former world champion Brent Hayden of Mission won the men's 100-metre freestyle in a world eighthbest 48.53.
"He's a racer and it was a great start for Brent because he typically gets better and better as the season wears on," said Bennett, who will guide Hayden as Canadian team Olympic coach at London.
"This was a good starting point and positions him well [for London]."
Blake Worsley of Victoria, who won the 200-metre freestyle earlier in the week to qualify for London, was sixth in the 100 metres in 50.23.
Five Bennett-coached athletes from Island Swimming Club/Victoria Academy have qualified for London - Worsley, Alec Page, Stephanie Horner and the pair of Wilkinson and Ryan Cochrane in two events each.
Another favourite from Island Swimming/Victoria Academy, Stefan Hirniak, was stunned earlier in the week to finish fourth in the men's 200-metre butterfly - the event in which he holds the Canadian record. His last chance for London is today in the 100-metre butterfly.
"Stefan has got to get it done. He's got to find a way [today] in the 100 fly," said Bennett.
Today's fifth day of the Olympic trials will be televised on Sportsnet at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. PDT. The trials conclude Sunday live on Sportsnet at 4 p.m. PDT.