Hurd, Hunks, Russell picked for Canada’s swim team

Three area swimmers have been named to Canada’s 22-member team that will compete at the World Aquatic Championships next year.

Andrew Hurd

Joining the men’s team for the competition in Melbourne, Australia next March 25 to April 1 are Andrew Hurd of Cambridge and Colin Russell of Burlington. On the women’s team is Brantford’s Tanya Hunks.

The Canadian team for the 2007 FINA championships was selected based on results from the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Victoria, B.C. as well as the FINA World Open Water Championships in Italy in August.

The 24-year-old Hurd, now living in Oakville and training with the Toronto Swim Club, competes in the 200, 400, 800, and 1,500 metre freestyle events. At the recent Pan Pacific Championship Trials in Montreal he placed first in the 200m, 400m, and 1,500m events. And earlier this year at the Commonwealth Games he won silver medals for Canada in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle events.

Tanya Hunks

The 26-year-old Hunks, now living attending B.C.’s Simon Fraser University, is regarded as one of Canada’s top long distance swimmers and is a veteran of international competition. While she competes in the 400m and 800m events, long distance (5km and 10km) are her strengths.

The Oshawa-born Russell is a freestyle specialist. At the Pan Pacific trials, the 22-year-old athlete was third as a member of Canada’s 4X100 team and he placed ninth in the 400 freestyle.

Rounding out the 12-member men’s team, which includes seven Olympians, are: Pan Pacs gold medallist Brent Hayden (Mission, B.C.); Commonwealth Games gold medallist Mike Brown (Perth ON); World Championships double silver relay medallist Rick Say (Salmon Arm, B.C.); Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medallist Brian Johns (Richmond); Canadian record holder in the 200m backstroke, Keith Beavers (Orangeville, ON); Commonwealth Games bronze relay medallist Matt Rose (Lindsay, ON); Jarrod Ballem (Charlottetown); Cochrane (Victoria); David Creel (Dalhousie, N.B.; and Philippe Dubreuil (Sherbrooke QC).

On the Women’s side, World Championship medallist Brittany Reimer (Victoria BC/IS); Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Audrey Lacroix (Pont Rouge QC); Erica Morningstar (Calgary): Victoria Poon (LaSalle, QC), Genevieve Saumur (Montreal); Pan Pacs silver relay medallist Julia Wilkinson (Stratford); Kelly Stefanyshyn (Winnipeg); MacKenzie Downing (Whitehorse-Yukon), and Caroline Murray (Matane /Saint-Luc, QC).

Coaching the teams are Tom Johnson (Vancouver), Jan Bidrman (Calgary), Randy Bennett (Victoria), Dean Boles (Kitchener) and Ron Jacks (Victoria).