Mandy Bell Makes Her Mark With Big HPC Vancouver Performances on Day 1


By Ben Dornan on SwimSwam


Mandy Bell joined the Vancouver High Performance Centre in 2022 as the newest assistant coach after spending a few years of coaching in England. One year into her tenure on the west coast of Canada, her presence seems to be having an impact.

One of the High Performance Centre’s swimmers James Dergousoff opened up his 2023 Canadian Trials campaigns with a huge PB in the 200 breaststroke. Dergousoff entered the meet with a PB of 2:12.33 from 2019 and shaved off more than two seconds during prelims with a 2:10.01. That swim got Dergousoff under the 2:10.32 FINA A cut and made him the second-fastest Canadian man in history, behind national record-holder Mike Brown (2:08.84, 2008).

All-Time Canadian Rankings, Men’s 200 Breaststroke (LCM)

  1. Mike Brown – 2:08.84 (2008)
  2. James Dergousoff – 2:10.01 (2023)
  3. Ashton Baumann – 2:10.69 (2016)
  4. Scott Dickens – 2:10.95 (2012)
  5. Eli Wall – 2:11.47 (2018)

This was Dergousoff’s fastest swim since 2019 and is a major step forward for him and Canadian men’s breaststroke, which has been relatively weak in recent years. Brayden Taivassalo took two seconds off his 2:14.54 PB to hit a 2:12.86 for second place in prelims and Apollo Hess was third with a 2:16.04. Dergousoff’s High Performance Centre teammate Justice Migneault was 4th overall with a 2:16.14, which is also a new PB.

The impact of Bell could be seen throughout other events on day 1 of Canadian Trials as many of her and head coach Brad Dingey’s swimmers notched top times heading into finals.

Blake Tierney swam his way to the top position heading into the 100 backstroke final with a 54.74, just missing his best time of 54.45 from last year. Raben Dommann and Danielle Hanus both finished third in the 100 backstroke, hitting a 55.15 and 1:01.07, respectively in the men’s and women’s fields. Emma O’Croinin swam a 4:14.69 for 4th place in the 400 freestyle heats, just behind 2nd place finisher Ella Jansen (4:12.20) and Mabel Zavaros (4:14.69). Other HPC swimmers that will race include Eloise Allen, Liam Clawson-Honeyman, James LeBuke, and Keir Ogilvie.

SwimSwam: Mandy Bell Makes Her Mark With Big HPC Vancouver Performances on Day 1

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