The Calgary Cascade Speed Meet welcomed participants from all over the province of B.C. and Alberta and Rupertite Sarah McChesney led the way for Thompson Rivers University (TRU), scoring a bronze medal and earning a personal best while at it.
“[Having] best times this early in the season is something that doesn’t normally happen, but I’ll take it,” she said last week in an email from TRU.
The famed swimmer grabbed third-place in the women’s 200 freestyle event with a personal best time of 2:09.38 in the finals.
“Before the final, I knew I was going in fifth and I just kept telling myself ‘If you move up two spots, you get a medal’,” she explained.
“I work well under pressure and I really like to be nervous before I race.”
While she hung bronze around her soaked neck, McChesney also channeled the inner lucky Halloween swimmer inside her and wound up in number 13 in two categories. She finished 13th out of 25 competitors in the women’s 800 freestyle finals with a time of 9:48.78, and 13th out of 29 in the women’s 400 freestyle with 4:47.37.
“My first 100 I felt great. As I flipped for my last 50, I couldn’t tell exactly where I was so I just went. I put my head down going into the flags and I looked up and saw the ‘3’ by my name. I was very excited,” she said.
McChesney then finished in seventh in the 50 freestyle with a time of 28.13.
“The 50 and 100 final are a lot more fun to swim than the 200 because you can go as fast as you can the whole time. I wasn’t really happy with my times but I got the opportunity to swim it again so I couldn’t complain,” she said.
The Cascade Speed Meet hosted 500 swimmers from 23 teams throughout Western Canada including the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary.
“This was an outstanding meet for our team at this particular phase in our training cycle,” McChesney’s team coach Brad Dalke told TRU Athletics after the meet.
“We had 100 per cent of the swims at the meet within three per cent of our swimmers’ lifetime best times.”
McChesney and the Wolfpack will now look to this weekend where they’ll compete at the Canada West Universities Athletic Association championships in Lethbridge from Friday to Sunday.