Dickens favoured in Olympic swim trials

MONTREAL – Scott Dickens of Burlington, Jordan Hartney of White Rock, B.C., Stefan Hirniak of Victoria, Alexa Komarnycky of Etobicoke, Ont., and Katerine Savard of Quebec City are the top seeds for the opening races at the Olympic swimming trials this week.

The men’s 100 breaststroke might be too close to call with so many contenders. Dickens, the 2011 world trials champion, Mike Brown of Perth, Ont., and Richard Funk of Edmonton are seeded 1-2-3.

In the 200 freestyle, less than a half second separates the top-three seeded times posted by Hirniak, Blake Worsley of Victoria and Chad Bobrosky of Calgary respectively.

In the men’s 400IM, Hartney, Andrew Ford of Guelph and Alec Page of Victoria have the top-three times heading into the race.

The women’s 100 butterfly pits Savard and veteran Audrey Lacroix, the second-seed, who is also from Pont-Rouge. Mackenzie Downing of Whitehorse is seeded third.

Savard has been one of Canada’s brightest young stars in the sport since the Olympic flame was extinguished four years ago in Beijing. She currently holds the Canadian record in the 100 fly at 57.80 seconds set at a Canada Cup meet last year in Toronto.

In the women’s 400 freestyle four swimmers battled for the gold at last year’s world championship trials. They are the top-four seeds this year with Komarnycky, Barbara Jardin of Montreal, world trials victor Samantha Cheverton of Pointe-Claire, Que., and Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke.