Sarah Darcel of Claremont secondary competing in the Swimming Canada National Trials at Saanich Commonwealth Pool. (Kevin Light photo)

Claremont’s teen scores three bronze at swimming trials

Saanich swimmer Sarah Darcel named to World University Games team

Claremont secondary student Sarah Darcel made a big splash with three bronze medals at the Canadian World Trials in her home pool last week.

The trials attracted over 400 swimmers to Saanich Commonwealth Place, all looking to qualify for the Canadian team that will compete at this year’s FINA World Championships, July 14 to 30 in Budapest, Hungary.

Only the top two spots in each race qualify so Darcel was left off the national team, but it was still a huge showing for the 2017 grad. It came just one month after she won silver in the 200-metre individual medley of the Arena Pro Swim Series Circuit in Indianapolis.

Darcel joins her Island Swimming/High Performance Centre teammates Jeremy Bagshaw and Danielle Hanus in being named as one of 24 swimmers (10 men, 14 women) representing Canada at the FISU Universiade in Taipei, Aug. 20 to 27.

Saanich-based swimmers who did qualify for Team Canada to swim in Budapest are Hilary Caldwell, Jeremy Bagshaw, Sydney Pickrem, Mackenzie Padington and open water swimmers Eric Hedlin and Richard Weinberger. They’ll join four-time Olympic medalist Penny Oleksiak, who won gold in the 100m freestyle in Saanich, as well as 2016 Olympic medalists Kayla Sanchez, Chantal Vanlandeghem and Rebecca Smith.

Hedlin grabbed the gold medal for the men’s 1,500m freestyle with a time of 15:08.35.

Darcel (4:39.29)joined Pickrem (4:35.43) and Mary-Sophie Harvey (4:36.60) in meeting the qualifying time of 4:43.06 in the women’s 400m individual medley. Darcel was also third (2:13.51) in the 200m IM behind first-place Pickrem and second-place Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson.

“It’s good to have (Seltenreich-Hodgson and Darcel) in the field. Their strengths are some of my weaknesses. I can usually bounce off that and hopefully it gets me to a good race.” said Pickrem.

Locals Jade Hannah and Faith Knelson qualified to the FINA World Junior games this summer.