Local trio hoping to make a splash for Canada

Three local competitors have been named to Canada’s junior team for the 2009 Jr. Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. The 26, 18-and-under member squad will be challenging the worlds best swimming nations in Guam, Jan. 8 and 9. Sinead Russell of Burlington, Zack Chetrat of Oakville, and Frank Despond of Milgrove will join 23 others swimmers for the competition.

“Many of these young swimmers have already proved to be very competitive on the international scene,” said Pierre Lafontaine, CEO and National Coach for Swimming Canada. “We are building a strong group of 2012 Olympic bound hopefuls, and we are very excited about the direction that Canadian swimming is heading into.”

Eleven of the 26-member roster competed for Canada at the Desjardins Tri-Nations Cup in Quebec city as part of the Olympic B Team last summer. This inaugural tri-meet featured a showdown against Great-Britain and France. The Canadian women’s team placed first in the overall standings while finishing second as a whole with four medals shy of Great Britain.

Canada’s roster for the 2009 Jr. Pan Pacific Swimming Championships is: WOMEN: Zsofia Balazs (Toronto); Genevieve Cantin (Quebec City); Kendra Chernoff (Saskatoon); Alexandra Gabor (Whitehorse); Barbara Jardin (Montreal); Heather MacLean (Etobicoke); Ashley McGregor (Pointe-Claire, QC); Amanda Reason (Windsor); Hannah Riordan (Cornwall, ON); Paige Schultz (Toronto); Michelle Williams (Toronto); and Nadine Williams (Sherwood Park, AB).

MEN: Hassaan Abdel-Khalik (Mississauga); Joshua Au (St.Albert, AB ); Jeremy Bagshaw (Victoria, BC); Craig Dagnall (Victoria); Bogdan Knezevic (Etobicoke); Curtis Lutsch (Langdon, AB); Dominique Massie-Martel (Ottawa); Nicholas
Sinclair (Victoria); Matthew Swanston (Newmarket); David Woodman (Calgary); and Karim Zayed (Pierrefonds, QC).

Coaching staff: Neil Harvey of Island Swimming (Victoria, BC); Ryan Mallette of the Point-Claire Swim Club; Marek Poplawski of the Whitehorse Glacier Bears; Alan Swanston of the Newmarket Swim Club; Kevin Thorburn Etobicoke Swim Club.

Countries participating include Australia, China, the United States, Japan, New Zealand, Bermuda, Mexico, Guam, El Salvador and Costa Rica.