MacNeil leads Canada to best day with gold at Junior Pan Pacs
Swimming Canada – SUVA, FIJI – Margaret MacNeil of London, Ont., won the gold medal in the women’s 100-m butterfly Saturday to highlight Canada’s most productive day so far at the Junior Pan Pacific swimming championships.
Canadians won four medals to bring their three-day tally to two gold, three silver and four bronze.
In the women’s 100-m fly, MacNeil set a meet record clocking a personal best 58.38 seconds to edge Chiharu Iitsuka of Japan in second at 59.51. Isabel Ivey of the U.S. was third at 59.81 and Sarah Watson of Winnipeg seventh at 1:00.71.
‘’The key to victory for me was definitely my turn,’’ said MacNeil, now with three medals at the competition. ‘’In the final I knew I could swim a personal best and that’s what I had my eye on. This is one of the top junior meets in the world and after a not having the results I wanted two years ago it’s great to comeback and do this well.’’
In the women’s 200-m backstroke, Isabel Stadden of the U.S. was the winner in 2:09.52 with Madison Broad of Chatham, Ont., taking the silver in 2:10.72. Katharine Berkoff of the U.S. was third in 2:11.87 and Rosie Zavaros of Oakville, Ont., fourth in 2:14.81.
‘’My race was very good,’’ said Broad, with her second medal this week. ‘’I felt very smooth in the water and I felt I could actually go fast. On the last length I could slightly see the girls arms beside me so I tried to push it bit more than I usually do and give it the max.’’
Cole Pratt of Calgary won bronze in the 200-m backstroke in 2:00.82. It was a 1-2 American finish with Carson Foster first in 1:59.10 and Peter Larson second in 1:59.24.
‘’This morning in the prelims I got a best time by half a second which gave me a lot of confidence,’’ said Pratt. ‘’I was going in fourth and the only difference was the second 50 so I focused on that in the final and brought it home as fast as I could.’’
Canada added a bronze in the women’s 4X100-m freestyle relay with Ainsley McMurray of Cote-St-Luc, Que., MacNeil, Watson and Hanna Henderson of Etobicoke, Ont., clocking 3:44.73. The U.S. was first in 3:40.10 and Australia second in 3:41.51.
‘’I’m really proud of everyone on the team,’’ said Henderson. ‘’We did really well and I’m happy with the result. The motivation of getting a medal for Canada was huge and that’s what brought so much out of all of us.’’
In the men’s 4X100-m freestyle relay Canada was fourth in 3:23.12 with Tyler Wall of Penticton, Joshua Liendo of North York, Ont., Noah Cumby of St. John’s N.L., and Pratt.
Other Canadian finalists in men’s competition were: Liendo fourth in the 100-m butterfly in 54.13 and Alexander Katelnikoff of Calgary eighth in the men’s 400-m freestyle in 4:00.57.
Competition ends Sunday.
Full results: http://www.swmeets.com/Realtime/Jr%20PanPacs/2018/