Gagné, Lalonde win titles at 2013 Speedo Junior Elite Nationals

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Louis Daignault (ISN)

July 12, 2013, Thunder Bay, Ont (ISN) – Philippe Gagné of Montreal won the gold medal on men’s three-metre Friday at the 2013 Speedo Junior Elite Nationals diving competition.

The 15-year-old Gagné, the national senior champion on 10-metre last month, totaled 556.00 points for the title. Vincent Riendeau of Pointe-Claire, Que., provided a strong challenge taking the silver at 548.85 and Dylan Grisell of Etobicoke, Ont., was third at 496.80.

”I was able to comeback from a rough preliminaries,” said Gagné. ”My starts were off and I was too close to the board. In the final I was able to dive straight. I’ve had ups and downs on three-metre this year with some new dives added to my list. It was great to see the improvement today.”

The competition is also a team trial for the Pan Am Junior Championships this September in Tuscon, Arizona.

In a heated women’s one-metre final, Frédérique Lalonde of Montreal took the gold with 438.20 points. Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu of Montreal was second at 433.50 and Samantha Maiorino of Pointe-Claire, Que., third at 427.35.

”I’m a bit surprised to get the win,” said Lalonde. ”I knew it was possible but it was so close between the girls. I think getting strong scores on my front three and half made the difference. It’s a dive that’s been a big challenge for me.”

In the 14-15 age group, the winners were Felix Leathead of Montreal and Caeli McKay of Calgary on men’s and women’s platform.

Competition continues through to Sunday.