Golden moment for Jenna
By GRANT GRANGER -- Winnipeg Sun
Jenna Gresdal just wanted to be on Canada's junior team that will go to Sydney for the Pan Pacific swim championships in January.
Well, Ms. Gresdal is going a few months early.
Gresdal, 15, swam the race of her young life last night. She blitzed the 50-metre freestyle in 25.93, just 5/100ths under the Olympic qualifying standard.
Gresdal matched national team veteran Marianne Limpert stroke for stroke, at the same time qualifying for the race in Sydney. In September.
"I didn't think I had a shot so I just wanted to make the junior (Pan Pacific) team," said Gresdal, a native of the Muskoka region who moved to Etobicoke to train.
Gresdal wasn't happy with her heat and semifinal times. In the final, when she lined up in the lane beside Limpert, Gresdal figured if she could keep close to the veteran she'd have a shot at Sydney in January.
She did one better.
"I was just so shocked when I hit the wall," said Gresdal. "It was hard (leaving home) but it's worth it now. They didn't want me to leave when I told them I wanted to train in Toronto but I guess they'll like it now."
Since Limpert is already in four events, she declined the spot so it was given to Montreal's Nadine Rolland, 21, who was .01 behind them, bringing the team total to 38.
Last night Manta Swim Club member Sara Alroubaie's Olympic hopes were put on hold for four years. Alroubaie finished 10th in the 100-metre butterfly semifinal. Her time was 1:03.31 -- more than two seconds off her best and 2.6 behind the qualifying standard.
"I was a little disappointed but I've got to take the good with the bad," said Alroubaie, 19, who plans to take three weeks off. "I get to go and hang out with my friends just like a normal person."
Winnipeg's Michelle Lischinsky broke a Canadian record in the 50m backstroke final at 29.63 seconds. The record of 29.75 had been set by Jennifer Carroll of Montreal in the semifinals only an hour earlier. But Carroll established a new mark of 29.45 in the final relegating Lichinsky to second.