Tears and Cheers for Manitoban Swimmers at Olympic Trials
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Toronto, ON – It was an emotional week of competition for three Manitoban athletes at the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials in Toronto. Chantal Van Landeghem, Kelsey Wog and Mackenzie Glover all went in with dreams of representing Canada at the Rio Olympics this summer.
Four years ago, Van Landeghem narrowly missed qualifying for the London Games. But this time around it was a different story for the 22-year-old Vincent Massey Sports School alumna. Van Landeghem placed second in the women’s 100m freestyle with a time of 53.91 and first in 50m freestyle with 24.63, just shy of her own Canadian record. In addition to those two events, she will also take a spot on Canada’s 4×100 metre relay team in Rio.
Since being named to Canada’s Olympic Team, Van Landeghem has been thrown into the spotlight. “The past day and a half has been a whirlwind of interviews, photo shoots, and hair and makeup,” the swimmer said. “I honestly still can’t really believe I’m going to be a Canadian Olympian. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. The meet was probably the most stressful experience of my life, but I was somehow able to keep my nerves in check and get the job done. I can’t wait to represent Canada this summer!”
Two current Vincent Massey Sports School students also had exceptional performances at the Trials: 17-year-old Kelsey Wog, who specializes in breaststroke, and 18-year-old backstroker Mackenzie Glover.
Glover achieved her goal of making it to finals, which she did for both 100m and 200m backstroke. She came in seventh in the 200m with a personal best of 2:12.00, and her sixth-place finish time of 1:01.20 in the 100m was just .02 of a second off the personal best she set at preliminaries.
“I’m really happy with how the meet went this week,” said Glover. “Overall, I was really happy with how I raced.” She also noted that one of the most exciting moments for her was watching her friend and schoolmate swim the 200m breaststroke final. “I was the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life while watching Kelsey race, and it was definitely very emotional when she missed the team by only .3 of a second.”
Wog, who raced in three finals, made the Olympic qualifying time for the women’s 200m breaststroke with a personal best of 2:25.42.
Although she broke the 15-17 Canadian age group record with that race, her third-place finish means she won’t be headed to Rio. While disappointed, Wog was quick to celebrate her peers. “The overall experience was amazing, and it was fun to watch the Canadian Olympic team being built. It was an emotional experience, seeing so many people come so close to making the team but just missing the standard by hundredths of a second. It was also amazing watching athletes succeed and reach their dreams.”
Wog placed eighth in the 200m individual medley and fourth in 100m breaststroke, with two new personal best times of 2:16.92 and 1:08.17, respectively.
What’s up next for the two Grade 12 students?
Following what promises to be a relaxed summer in terms of meets, Glover is headed to NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Some of my future coaches and teammates were at trials this week,” she pointed out, “and I’m excited to start working with such a great group of people. But I’ll definitely miss my teammates here in Winnipeg.” Wog has announced she will remain in Winnipeg to attend the University of Manitoba, and will continue to swim with coach Vlastik Cerny.
The Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba (CSCM) was created as one of the many legacies of the 1999 Pan American Games held in Winnipeg. Today, CSCM is the hub for high performance sport in Manitoba. A proud member of the Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, CSCM works to provide a world-class, multi-sport daily training environment for athletes and coaches through integrated services and programs in the fields of physiology, strength and conditioning, nutrition, psychology and support services.