Sydney Pickrem won her second gold medal at the 2015 Canadian Swim Trials on Saturday night in dramatic fashion.
Heading for the final length of the 200m individual medley, Pickrem exploded off the turn, moving past leader Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson.
The 18-year-old wound up posting the fourth fastest time ever by a Canadian swimmer, finishing the race in 2:11.9.
“The second half is definitely my strongest half,” said Pickrem. “I had to get out on the backstroke, and tried to get it away on the breaststroke, but Erika was (staying) tight, so I knew the free was where I had to keep going.”
Pickrem knows the importance of finishing her race strong, something she has worked on perfecting.
“A lot of my teammates are freestylers back home so they pushed me through it and I definitely improved in it.”
The Dunedin, Fla., native already qualified for the Pan Am Games and World Championships in the 400 metre individual medley and added the 200 metre to her repertoire.
“I want to take over the IMs,” said a determined Pickrem. “It’s what I’ve been trying to do and I’m pretty happy with my results.”
For three of the four lengths it looked like Seltenreich-Hodgson was going to pull away from the field, but failed to shake Pickrem off.
The Ottawa native posted a final result of 2:13.15, 17 hundredths of a second short of the time needed to qualify for the World Championship.
“I know I did everything in that race I could have,” said Seltenreich-Hodgson. “A millimetre longer nails, so many things I could have changed or done differently, but I’m really happy with my race.”
It was during the breaststroke when the University of British Columbia Thunderbird started to fall back, the 50 metre free ending any chance of finishing first.
“When you are not 100 per cent sure how they (competitors) strategize the race it can be difficult when you are about to go on your worst stroke and you realize you aren’t as far ahead as you should be,” said a disappointed Seltenreich-Hodgson.
Kylie Masse placed third with a time of 2:13.89. She also failed to stay ahead of Pickrem, fighting for first place going into the breaststroke.