The first night of the Canadian Interuniversity Sports championships got under way at Université Laval in Quebec City Quebec on Friday Feb 26. The format of the meet is to have the heats swum in short course metres (25 metre pool) and the final in long course metres (50 metre pool).The CARIFTA region is represented at the meet and continues to raise the bar in terms of quality swimming.
Twenty two year old Christopher Courtis of Barbados had a fantastic morning swim in the 50 metre backstroke when he lowered the record of legendary Barbadian Olympian (1996, 2000, 2004) Nicky Neckles. The record of 25.45 was set by Neckles in December 2009 while Courtis had a season best of 25.79. He crushed both times to set a new senior national record of 24.79. The University of Calgary student was the top seed heading into the long course metre final.
The long course record in the 50 metre backstroke also belonged to Neckles with a time of 26.26 set in August 2005. Courtis would go on to erase that standard from the books when he won Bronze in a time of 26.21. This is a major improvement for Courtis from 2015 when he finished 4th in the B final .Last year his times were 26.00 scm (short course metres) and 27.29 lcm (long course metres).
Also doing the national record double was Jamaican Dominic Walter of McMaster University. Walter had been on a record breaking spree having set national short course metres records in the 400 and 1500 freestyle. Competing in the 200 metre freestyle the Wolmer’s Boys graduate had a personal best of 1:50.62 in the 200 scm freestyle. The national record prior to the meet belonged to Nico Campbell at 1:49.63 set at the World Short Course Championships in 2014 in Doha. At the end of the morning heats it would Dominic with yet another national record of 1:49.11. See analysis of splits of Walter and Campbell.
That performance propelled Walter to 11th overall and into the B final.
The national lcm record also belonged to Campbell .That record was also set in 2014 and stood at 1:53.95. In the B final which had ten competitors Dominic was 7th with a split time of 56.39. At this point Walter decide to make his move and turn up the heat on his competitors. He unleashed a last 100 metres with his distance background that the field could not handle. He split 56.94 which was the fastest last 100 metres by over a second. He stopped the clock at 1:53.33, a new national record by more than half a second. This is another major improvement for Walter who was 34th last year having posted 1:53.69 scm.
Teammate and country man Cameron chow was the best McMaster swimmer in the 50 metre backstroke. He clocked 26.32 scm for 24th overall.
In the 400 metre freestyle relay Walter split the fastest time of 51.66 lcm on the 2nd leg to help the Marauders to 8th in 3:30.90.