WINNIPEG, Man.-- Simply put, Texas A&M swimmer Julia Wilkinson is dominating the Canadian Summer National Championships.
The reigning Big 12 Swimmer of the Year ran her record at the meet to a perfect 7-0 with a win in the women’s 50-meter backstroke championship final on Saturday morning then swam circles around a talented field during the 200-meter individual medley preliminaries on Saturday night.
After setting a Canadian record of 28.53 in the 50-meter backstroke on Friday night, Wilkinson glided to the championship in 28.93 this morning despite having what she described as a less-than-perfect start.
Wilkinson returned to action tonight in the 200-meter IM and nearly took down her third Canadian record in as many evenings. She hit the wall in 2:13.64, almost three seconds ahead of second-place qualifier Erica Morningstar, who also happens to be the national record holder in the event after clocking a 2:13.43 earlier this year. Morningstar ranks second entering Sunday morning’s final with a time of 2:16.53.
It was also learned today that the Canadian coaching staff will be entering Wilkinson in an eighth event at the Beijing Olympics. With her recent big wins at the national level and steady lifetime-best improvements which surpass the Olympic ‘A’ standard in the event, Wilkinson will be added to the 100-meter freestyle field next month. Wilkinson won the Canadian national title in the race Friday morning and has a 2-1 record this year in the event against national record holder and Olympic Trials champion Erica Morningstar as well.
Wilkinson is thought to be representing her country in more races at the Olympics than any athlete in Canadian history and, as a comparison, will likely compete in the same number of events as U.S. superstar Michael Phelps (should Phelps swim all three relays).
In other Aggie action at the Canadian summer national meet today, former men’s swimmer Matt Rose (Lindsay, Ont.) made it an Aggie double in the 50-meter backstroke as he took home the national title in 26.39. Rose also ranked third in this evening’s 50 freestyle prelims.
Freshman Melanie Dodds (Maple Ridge, B.C.) will be joining Wilkinson in the finals of the 200-meter individual medley on Sunday after qualifying seventh in 2:19.90. Dodds has made the championship final of the 200 fly, 200 IM, and 400 IM this week.
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