Yukoners come up short in world trials

Illness and slower than usual times have helped keep three Yukon swimmers from making Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship Trials in Victoria, BC, over the weekend.

Illness and slower than usual times have helped keep three Yukon swimmers from making Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship Trials in Victoria, BC, over the weekend.

Former Whitehorse Glacier Bear Mackenzie Downing, who now swims for the Victoria Academy, came the closest of the three, which included Alexandra Gabor and another former Bear, Bronwyn Pasloski.

“I was really sick a couple weeks ago – actually ended up in the hospital,” said Downing, who was suffering from a tonsillar abscess. “So preparing for these trials was really hard because I missed a week of swimming. So coming back from that was really hard. I had a good go of it, I just didn’t have any speed.”

The 24-year-old missed the Canadian team by just two spots, finishing fourth in the 200-metre butterfly. She also came 25th in the 50-metre butterfly fly and made the B final of the 100-metre butterfly before scratching from the race.

“I was alright in the 200 (fly), but in the 100 (fly) I just didn’t have the speed, because of being sick,” said Downing. “(In the preliminaries) it wasn’t a good time and there wasn’t really a point of doing it again and getting the same result.”

Gabor, who was suffering from an undisclosed illness in Victoria, was well off her usual times, coming 15th in the 200-metre freestyle and 16th in the 100-metre.

To put her performance into perspective, Gabor made the Canadian team two years ago at the trials with a time that would have put her in first place in the 200-metre race on the weekend.

Pasloski, who now swims for Indiana University in the States, had her best finishes in the 200- and 50-metre breaststroke events, taking 14th and 16th respectively.

“Obviously I’m disappointed I didn’t make the team,” added Downing. “It’s hard when you work all year and something happens that is completely out of your control.

“I was proud of myself for going in there and doing the best job I could.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com