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Never mind the seed, Newfoundland's girls relay team shows its speed

Newfoundland and Labrador's 4x200m freestyle relay team of Kate Williams, Rachel Legge, Kate Sullivan and Emily Ricketts finished fifth in provincial record time Monday at the Canada Games.
Newfoundland and Labrador's 4x200m freestyle relay team of Kate Williams, Rachel Legge, Kate Sullivan and Emily Ricketts finished fifth in provincial record time Monday at the Canada Games.

Athletes from Newfoundland and Labrador won four races on Monday, the opening day of competition in swimming at the 2017 Canada Summer Games. It didn’t result in any podium finishes for the province, but there was one very notable performance.

The races were the girls 1,500-metre freestyle, boys 800m free and the two 4x200 relays.
By way of explanation, these were one-day events, with no qualifying heats, just what are termed as timed finals.
With eight lanes in Winnipeg’s Pan Am pool, but with the territories and 10 provinces, some of which had more than one entry in the individual events, multiple races needed to be run. For example, there were three races in both the 800m and 1,500m freestyles.
Once all the races were completed, all the times in each event were brought together reordered and medals went to the first, second and third fastest.
So while Victoria Stokes of Logy Bay was first in her 1,500m race, the 14-year-old St. John’s Legends swimmer’s time of 18 minutes and 48.52 seconds was just the 11th fastest of the 22 competitors in the event.
Same thing for Ronan Bull of the Legends in the boys 800m free, where his time of 9:23.84 won his race, but was 14th fastest of 22.
Newfoundland’s best result came from the girls 4x200 freestyle relay team, which swam in a four-lane race comprised of the lowest seeds as determined by a pre-competition formula using the swimmers’ individual 200-metre times.
Yukon, Northwest Territories and P.E.I., were the other entries in Newfoundland’s race. The eight other provinces saw in a separate race.
However, Newfoundland’s team of Kate Williams, Emily Ricketts, Rachel Legge and anchor-leg swimmer Kate Sullivan, not only won its race, but went far beyond its Games ranking of ninth, with a time of 8:53.53 that was good enough for fifth overall and just a little over a second away from fourth.
That clocking also resulted in a new provincial record in both the open age-group and the 15-17 division, even though none of the four swimmers is older than 15.
The boys 4x200 freestyle relay team of Sam Pennell, Bull, Max Kelly and Mitchell Henley won its lower-seeded race in a time of 8:36.41 and finished eighth out if 11 entries.
Other results Monday saw Matty Whelan of St. John’s 21st in the boys 800m free; Megan Holden of Mount Pearl 18th in the girls 1,500; and Thomas Pelley and Tyler Robinson of Paradise and Tyler Robinson of St. John’s ninth and 12th, respectively in the male 200m S1-5-14 para event.

bmcc@thetelegram.com




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