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Charlottetown Bluephins swimmers break Island records at Eastern Canadians

On deck at the Speedo Eastern Canadian Swimming Championships, from left, are Swim P.E.I. high performance coach Pierre LaFontaine, swimmers Greg Morrison and Charlie Morse, Charlottetown Bluephins head coach Tom Ponting and swimmers Alexa McQuaid and Courtney McBride.
On deck at the Speedo Eastern Canadian Swimming Championships, from left, are Swim P.E.I. high performance coach Pierre LaFontaine, swimmers Greg Morrison and Charlie Morse, Charlottetown Bluephins head coach Tom Ponting and swimmers Alexa McQuaid and Courtney McBride. - Contributed

McQuaid to swim at Olympic trials in 2020

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Alexa McQuaid will swim next year at the Canadian Olympic trials in Toronto.
The 17-year-old Charlottetown native qualified for the trials while breaking provincial records at the Speedo Eastern Canadian championships recently at Laval University.
The 2017 Canada Games silver medallist was one of four members of the Charlottetown Bluephins Aquatic Club to compete in the field of more than 800 at the four-day meet in Quebec City, Que.
McQuaid competed in the girls’ 16 and older open category.
She broke the P.E.I. 50-metre freestyle record in 27.06 and her 100-metre breaststroke time of 1:13.90 set a new provincial age group record, as well as a senior women’s open record, and qualified her for the Olympic trials, which take place March 30-April 5, 2020.
“I hoped to improve my times, gain experience and qualify for A finals at Easterns,” McQuaid said. “Qualifying for trials was a huge bonus. Swimming against the top swimmers in Canada motivates me to race my best.”
Charlie Morse, 16, racing at his second Eastern Canadian championships, competed in the boys’ 16-year-old category.
He set new provincial records in the 50-metre freestyle (24.77), the 400-metre freestyle (4:13.15) and his 100-metre freestyle time of 53.85 set a new record for 15- to 17-year-old boys as well as the male senior open provincial record. The time also placed him sixth overall in the 100-metre free final at the Eastern Canadian championships and just shy of the Canadian Olympic trials qualifying time.
“It’s great to travel beyond the Maritimes and race the fastest people in the country,” Morse said. “I was really proud and excited to represent P.E.I. on the national stage.”
Greg Morrison, 19, competed in six races in the open male Paralympic category.
Morrison has been to several national level meets, the most recent being the 2018 US Paralympic National Championships in Arizona.
“My goals for this meet were just like any other meet: work hard, try my best and have fun,” he said.
Morrison set a new personal-best time of 4:23.80 in the 200-metre individual medley. The time qualified him for the Canadian Para nationals.
Courtney McBride, 15, swam four events, just missing personal-best times in the 50- and 100-metre backstroke events.
McBride, who raced in two national meets last year, used those experiences to help her compete at this year’s Eastern championships. The Charlottetown native has her sights set on qualifying for Canadian juniors this summer.
McQuaid and Morrison have qualified for the trials while Morse and a few other Bluephins could qualify later this year.
They will be the first Island swimmers to attend the competition since 2012 when Bluephins James Profit and Paige Crowell as well as UPEI’s Eric Beaton took part.
The championship swimming season continues with the Ken Dunn Nova Scotia championships in July followed by the Canadian junior championships in Calgary in August.

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