LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Taylor Ruck set three national age group records Thursday as the High Performance Centre – Ontario group wrapped up the Lausanne Swimming Cup.
The 17-year-old turned in top-three performances in all three of her finals, winning the 200-m freestyle in a meet record 1:52.74, tying Hungarian superstar Katinka Hosszu for first in the 100-m backstroke in 56.99, then taking third in the 50 free in 24.08. The latter two times lowered Canadian 15-17 marks – the 50 free for the second time in a day and just .08 seconds short of the world junior record. All that on the heels of a national senior record 2:01.66 in the 200 back Wednesday.
“Taylor Ruck won the 200 freestyle, 20 minutes later she tied the Olympic champion in the 100 backstroke who was fresh, then in the 50 she just missed the world junior record in her sixth swim of the day racing next to an Olympic champion (Ranomi Kromowidjojo of Netherlands, who set a meet record 23.66),” said HPC-Ontario Head Coach Ben Titley.
“That was really exciting, I was really happy with today and how it went,” said Ruck, who joined the centre earlier this year. “I guess I just have been working really hard in the pool and the training with Ben is really helping my swimming.”
Ruck’s HPC-Ontario teammates had a strong showing as well. Fellow 17-year-old Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., finished third in the 200 free (1:53.83) and 100 butterfly (58.01). Meanwhile, Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C., came third in the 50 breaststroke in a personal best 31.20.
“This tour was about learning lessons, correcting things from heats to finals and getting back up there time after time. People have been doing a really good job, knowing Commonwealth Games (April 5-10 in Gold Coast, Australia) is going to have multiple swims within sessions,” Titley said. “Rebecca did a fabulous job to finish third in the 200 freestyle. She beat Charlotte Bonnet of France, who just won the European Short Course Championships. Then 10 minutes after coming third in one of the best, most competitive 200 freestyles in the world this year, she backed it up and came third in the 100 fly.”