Brian Johns and Annamay Pierse race to morning final victories at Mel Zajac International

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VANCOUVER – Brian Johns of Richmond, and Annamay Pierse of Edmonton continued to tune up for this summer’s Olympics with victories in Friday morning’s finals at the Mel Zajac International swimming competition.

The meet, also the first stop on the Bell Grand Prix circuit, features the 27–member Canadian team that was nominated for this summer’s Olympics at the CN Swimming Trials last month.

The finals this weekend are also being held in the morning with prelims the previous evening. The idea is to provide a feeling of the planned swimming schedule for the Beijing Olympics.

In the men’s 200 freestyle, Johns led at every split and clocked 1:50.44 edging Adam Sioui of Calgary in second at 1:50.46 and Leith Brodie, one of several Australians at the meet, in third at 1:50.50.

“I had a pretty good first 150 metres then held on for dear life after that,” said Johns. “My focus was to be better on my first 100-metres and it cost me in terms of my time today. Still this will help me in the long run.”

Johns says the morning finals here are an important preparation phase for the Games.

“There’s a learning process in terms of being able to make sure you put the maximal effort in the morning,” said Johns. “So to do the schedule here is really worthwhile and is really going to help.”

Other winners in men’s competition included Olympic nominees Mike Brown of Calgary in the 100 breaststroke, Tobias Oriwol of Pointe-Claire, Que., in the 200 backstroke, Keith Beavers of Orangeville, Ont., in the 400 individual medley and Ryan Cochrane of Victoria in the 800 freestyle. Both Beavers and Cochrane set meet records.

In the women’s 100 breaststroke, Pierse held on for the win in 1:09.24. Jillian Tyler of Calgary nearly caught the Canadian record holder finishing second in 1:09.34. Taylor Peterson of Calgary was third.

“My race was a little rushed,” said Pierse. “I just have to get that finish better when I go out that fast.”

Other winners in women’s competition were Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont., in the 200 backstroke, Tanya Hunks of Vancouver in the 400 IM and Kendra Chernoff of Saskatoon in the 50 butterfly. Olympic nominees Wilkinson and Hunks produced meet records.

Competition continues through to Sunday.

Full results: www.pacificdolphins.com/results/

Friday’s leading results at the Mel Zajac Jr. and Bell Grand Prix swimming competition in Vancouver:

MEN
50 butterfly:
1. Mitch Patterson, Australia, 24.51
2. Garth Kates, Australia, 24.83
3. Joe Bartoch, London, Ont., 24.96

100 breaststroke:
1. Mike Brown, Calgary, 1:02.50
2. Mathieu Bois, Montreal, 1:02.75
3. Craig Calder, Australia, 1:03.66

200 backstroke:
1. Tobias Oriwol, Pointe-Claire, Que., 2:01.24
2. Charles Francis, Cowansville, Que., 2:03.18
3. Matt Hawes, Ottawa 2:03.85

200 freestyle:
1. Brian Johns, Richmond, B.C., 1:50.44
2. Adam Sioui, Calgary, 1:50.46
3. Leith Brodie, Australia, 1:50.50

400 indvidual medley:
1. Keith Beavers, Orangeville, Ont., 4:20.27
2. Brett Koerten, U.S., 4:33.42
3. Michael Cai, New Westminster, B.C., 4:37.96

800 freestyle:
1. Ryan Cochrane, Victoria, 7:56.31
2. Kier Maitland, Edmonton, 8:26.05
3. McClellan Lowry, 8:37.76

WOMEN
50 butterfly:
1. Kendra Chernoff, Saskatoon, 27.81
2. MacKenzie Downing, Whitehorse, 28.20
3. Audrey Lacroix, Montreal, 28.43

100 breaststroke:
1. Annamay Pierse, Edmonton, 1:09.24
2. Jillian Tyler, Calgary, 1:09.34
3. Taylor Peterson, Calgary, 1:11.33

200 freestyle:
1. Bronte Barratt, Australia, 1:57.84
2. Stephanie Horner, Beaconsfield, Que., 2:00.38
3. Erica Morningstar, Calgary, 2:00.76

200 backstroke:
1. Julia Wilkinson, Stratford, Ont., 2:12.70
2. Lindsay Seeman, Newmarket, Ont., 2:15.66
3. Tanya Hunks, Vancouver, 2:18.71

400 individual medley:
1. Tanya Hunks, Vancouver, 4:44.42
2. Alexa Komarnycky, Etobicoke, Ont., 4:51.40
3. Ellen Fullerton, Australia, 4:52.79

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