Time as they say is relative and for Noemie Thomas the difference of a year can be measured in 1/100th of a second.
In one of the most exciting races of the 2015 Canadian trials, Thomas edged Katerine Savard by that 100th of a second to win the 100m butterfly in 58.17.
After struggling through injury in the 2014 trials, the young woman has grown.
“It feels great because last year I really wasn’t quite where I wanted to be and it wasn’t just because of the injury but it was a number of factors that I think I have learned a lot from,” the University of California student said.
“I’ve just grown as a person and actually I’m a lot stronger than I was last year.”
It seems the difference of the year has been more to do with what happens out of the pool then what happens within it.
“I think I am a lot more balanced with a social life, athletics and academics,” the Ridgemont, B.C. native said. “I just learned a lot from how I can manage all that and be happy and healthy at the same time.”
Thomas speaks with as much pride at her personal growth as she does about her win.
“I have learned so much in the past eight months more than I have in the past five years in my life,” the 19 year old said. “It was more about myself and how to be a good person.”
Savard did what she could to hold off Thomas as she was ahead by 0.17 seconds at the turn.
The two are quite familiar with one another, and understand each other’s strengths.
“I’m used to swimming like this, her last 50 is always faster than mine,” said Savard, from Club Aquatique Montreal. “That’s how we swim.”
The last 25 metres were dramatic for the fans as well as the swimmers.
“Yeah that was really nice, I’m just sorry I couldn’t hold the race,” said the reigning Commonwealth Champion of the 100m butterfly. “I knew she was coming back faster and I knew I had to really push my last 50 so that’s really great.”
Follow Dario Passarelli – @PapaDart