Smith leads Lightning at Canadian trials

NCAA champ Kierra Smith among local swimmers in Toronto this week for national meet

  • Tue Mar 31st, 2015 12:00pm
  • Sports

Led by NCAA gold medalist Kierra Smith, three members of West Kelowna’s Liquid Lightning Swim Club are at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre this week for the Canadian Swimming Trials.

Starting today, the trials will be used to select Canada’s national team for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, 2015 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Kazan, Russia, and the 2015 FINA World Junior Championships in Singapore.

Liquid Lightning’s Smith, 21, who swims with the Minnesota Golden Gophers while attending University of Minnesota, is ready for the challenge.

Two weeks ago, Smith became the NCAA champion in the 200-yard breaststroke with a 2:04.56, taking the gold medal, breaking the Minnesota school record and notching the third fastest all-time NCAA  200-yard breaststroke performance.

Ranked seventh in the world in the 200-metre breaststroke, Smith finished fourth in the event as part of Team Canada for the 2014 Pan Pacs, 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2014 FINA World Short Course Championships.

Smith will be joining Liquid Lightning Swim Club head coach Emil Dimitrov in Toronto as well as team mates Bree Cooper and Christina Russo.

Cooper, 17, just came off a silver medal performance in the 100-metre breast at Western Championships in February and brought four silver medals home from the B.C. Senior Provincials in March.

Russo, 19, is a 10-time provincial medallist and took the gold medal gold in the 50 metre butterfly and bronze medals in the 100m backstroke and the 100 fly at the B.C. Senior Provincials. Russo just missed the podium in the 50 fly at Western Championships with a fourth place finish.