Martin Richard

AUSTIN, Texas – Olympic and world championship medallist Ryan Cochrane of Victoria won the gold medal in the men’s 400-metre freestyle on Friday top open the U.S., Grand Prix swimming competition.

Canada added a second victory to close the first day of racing in the men’s 4X100 freestyle relay.

Cochrane clocked 3:50.66, Michael Klueh of the U.S., was second in 3:51.23 and Charles Houchin of the U.S., third in 3:51.77.

”It’s a great way to start the year 2012,” said Cochrane, who’ll also race the 200 freestyle here this weekend. ”I was feeling a bit stressful now that we are actually into the Olympic year. Now I’m looking forward to posting sub 3:50 times which will give me more confidence as the year progresses.”

Jeremy Bagshaw of Victoria was fifth in 3:53.70 and Nicholas Sinclair of Victoria seventh in 3:54.33.

In the men’s 4X100 freestyle relay Canada won in 3:23.89 with Blake Worsley of Victoria, Joel Greenshields of Calgary, Luke Peddie of Edmonton and Stefan Hirniak of Victoria. North Caroline’s SwimMac relay teams followed in second and third in 3:24.81 and 3:26.09 respectively.

Team Ontario was fourth with Hassaan Abdel-Khalik of Etobicoke, Zach Chetrat of Oakville, Andrew Ford of Guelph and Tobias Oriwol of Toronto.

In the women’s 400 freestyle, Barbara Jardin of Montreal came within 0.29 seconds of a medal placing fourth in 4:10.95. Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke, Ont., was fifth in 4:11.28 and Alexa Komarnycky of Etobicoke sixth in 4:12.01.

Other Canadian finalists for the women were: Victoria Poon of Montreal and Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont., fifth and sixth in the 100 freestyle; Jillian Tyler of Calgary and Hanna Pierse of Edmonton, fifth and sixth in the 200 breaststroke; and MacKenzie Downing of Whitehorse eighth in the 100 butterfly.

Warren Barnes of Toronto was eighth in the men’s 200 breaststroke.

Competition continues through to Sunday.

Full results at: http://www.utexas.edu/longhornaquatics/results/index.htm

Live web streaming: http://www.ihigh.com/usaswimming/broadcast_201797.html?silverlight=1