Two gold for Canada at Junior Pan Am diving championships

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September 28, 2013, TUCSON, Arizona – Molly Carlson of Thunder Bay, Ont., and Henry McKay of Ottawa each won a gold medal Saturday at the Junior Pan Am Diving Championships.

In the girls three-metre for the 14-15-year-old age group, Carlson led Canada to a 1-2 finish with 381.00 points. She was followed by Caeli McKay of Calgary with her second medal of the competition at 365.25.

”I was hopîng this would happen,” said Carlson, who earned her first 9.0 internationally on her reverse dive. ”It’s very exciting. I wasn’t expecting it would be like this with Caeli and I but it’s really cool. I stayed confident on all my dives and took it one step at a time.”

”It went really well considering I haven’t trained three metres as much as I would have liked to,” said McKay, the one-metre winner Friday. ”My pool was closed down this summer for two months because of the flooding but we were able to go to Edmonton and other places to train.”

In the boys three-metre 12-13 age group, Henry McKay finished first with 339.55. He edged Kevin Berlin of Mexico in second at 338.00. Joshua Inglis of London, Ont., was eighth.

”I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect,” said McKay. ”I just went out there and did my best. My front two and half was the best I’ve ever done in competition.”

Philippe Gagné of Montreal and Vincent Riendeau of Pointe-Claire, Que., took silver for Canada in the men’s three-metre synchro open. They’ve only been training together for two weeks.

”We tried it out at training camp and right from the start it went well,” said Riendeau. ”So we decided to try it in competition and we couldn’t be happier. The biggest challenge for us are our hurdles because they are so different from one another.”

Also placing second was Rylen Wiens of Saskatoon in the boys 11 and under platform with Jacob Zimmel of Edmonton fourth.

”I felt pretty good,” said Wiens. ”The most important dive was my back two and half. I got eights on it and it is a pretty hard dive.”

Other Canadian results; Frédérique Lalonde of Repentigny, Que., was fifth on women’s 16-18 platform; Faith Zacharis of Aylmer, Ont., fifth in the girls 12-13 one-metre; and Mélodie Leclerc of Montreal and Erin Field of Pointe-Claire were fourth and sixth on girls 11 and under one-metre.

In the medal standings, Mexico remains first at 13 gold, eight silver and five bronze. Canada follows at 4-7-3 and the U.S. is third at 2-4-8.

Competition ends Sunday

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.