Martin Richard

AUSTIN, Texas (January 14, 2012) – Canadians won both relays Saturday while Andrew Ford of Guelph, Ont., and Alexa Komarnycky of Etobicoke, training in Victoria, each added an individual bronze medal at the U.S., Grand Prix swimming competition.

In the men’s 4X200 freestyle relay, Blake Worsley, Stefan Hirniak, Jeremy Bashaw and Ryan Cochrane, all of Victoria, led Team Canada to victory in 7:27.82. Swim Ontario followed in second with Tobias Oriwol of Toronto, Zach Chetrat of Oakville, Ford and Matthew Kwatyra of London in 7:36. 96.

In the women’s 4X200 freestyle relay, Swim Ontario won gold with Lauren Earp of Toronto, Victoria Chan of Richmond Hill, Paige Schultz of Etobicoke and Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke in 8:08.79. They edged Team Canada second in 8:08.85 with Komarnycky, MacKenzie Downing of Whitehorse, Stephanie Horner of Victoria and Julia Wilkinson of Stratford.

In the men’s 400 individual medley, American star Michael Phelps was the winner in 4:16.95 with Conor Dwyer of the U.S., second in 4:21.16 and Ford, second to Phelps most of the race, third in 4:21.99.

”It was kind surreal racing Michael Phelps in a final then sharing the podium with him,” said Ford. ”It was a race that put some wind back into my sails. It was a solid time after some heavy training and there’s still a lot of room to find time before the Olympic trials.”

Alec Page of Victoria was seventh.

In the women’s 400 IM, Camille Adams of the U.S., took gold in 4:38.80, her compatriot Katie Hoff was second in 4:39.74 and Komarnycky third in 4:46.06.

”It was nice to come in third place but not the time I wanted,” said Komarnycky, 22, who’ll be vying for a spot on her second Olympic team this spring at trials. ”I was happy with my butterfly leg tonight. I stayed focused on my technique.”

Katie Caldwell of Surrey, B.C., was fourth and Hanna Pierse of Vancouver sixth.

Canada posted three more fourth place finishes in three women’s finals.

Victoria Poon of Montreal was fourth in the 50 freestyle just 0.07 seconds from the podium; MacLean and Barbara Jardin of Montreal were fourth and seventh respectively in the 200 freestyle; Julia Wilkinson, Jardin and Caldwell were fourth, sixth and eighth in the 200 backstroke.

MacLean and Wilkinson were both less than a half second from the podium.

In the other men’s finals, Oriwol was fifth in the 200 backstroke and Nicholas Sinclair of Victoria seventh in the 200 freestyle.

Competition ends Sunday.

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