Santo Condorelli said the Pan Am pool is the easiest one he’s been in so far.
He proved it as he won the men’s 100-metre freestyle at the 2015 Canadian Swimming Trials in a time of 48.83 on Thursday night.
Condorelli posted the third-fastest time of any Canadian in history and became the first man since Brent Hayden to swim under 49 seconds.
“It’s pretty exciting, but I know if I want to step it up to the big leagues I’ll have to go faster than that,” said the 20-year-old sprinter. “But it’s a step in the right direction.”
Condorelli’s time was fast enough to qualify for the Pan Am Games this summer, but he will need to shave more time off to meet the World Championships standard of 48.78.
“I’ve got to get a little stronger in the core first of all,” said the USC Trojan, asked about getting to that next level. “I’m coming right off of my NCAAs (ninth in 100m freestyle) so I’m really happy because I know in the summer I’ll be a lot faster.”
The favourite entering the event, Calgary native Yuri Kisil, was the runner up with a time of 49.60. The 19-year-old was surprised he didn’t match his qualifying time of 49.23 from Thursday morning.
“Yeah, a little (surprised). I thought I was going to be at least as fast tonight as this morning, if not faster,” said Kisil, last year’s champion in the same discipline. “I was kind of hoping to break 49 seconds but it didn’t happen.”
When asked if he could put his finger on a reason for the slower time, the Cascade Swim Club member had no explanation.
“The race was kind of a blur,” said a dejected Kisil. “I can’t think of one reason right now.”
The youngest competitor in the final, Javier Acevedo of Ajax, Ont., finished third with a time of 49.85, a new personal best by three-tenths of a second.
Follow Rob @rob_siglio