Canada opens Junior Pan Pacs with three medals

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MAUI, Hawaii – Danielle Hanus of Newmarket, Ont., Jon McKay of Victoria and Markus Thormeyer of Delta, B.C., each won a medal on Wednesday night to open the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.

In the women’s 100-m backstroke, Amy Bilquist of the U.S. took the gold medal in one minute and 01.00 seconds. Hanus, seventh at the turn, roared to the finish in 1:01.51.

  Rio Shirai of Japan was third in 1:01.82.

‘’I was very happy with my performance,’’ said Hanus. ‘’I normally go out slow and have a strong second half of the race. I was really pleased with how I finished today.’’

Age group record for Thormeyer

In the men’s 100-m backstroke, Connor Green led the U.S. to a 1-2 finish in 55.08. Michael Andrew followed in 55.81 and Thormeyer was third in 56.07. That eclipsed the previous 15-17 Canadian age group record of 56.12 set by Omar Mahmoud Arafa of Etobicoke, Ont., in 2011. Anders Klein of Edmonton was fifth in 56.59.

‘’It was a solid race,’’ said Thormeyer. ‘’I went into the final wanting a medal and I was able to get off to a much better start than the preliminaries.’’

Canada’s second silver and third medal of the night was earned by McKay in the men’s 1500-m freestyle. Liam Egan of the U.S. was the winner in 15:15.53, McKay followed in 15:21.82 and Sean Grieshop of the U.S. was third in 15:29.87. Peter Brothers of Victoria was fourth in 15:30.29.

Alexandra Aitchison, a Canadian who resides in Clearwater, Florida, posted fourth place finishes in the women’s 200-m freestyle and 800-m freestyle. She missed a medal by less than half a second in the 200-m free and by just over a second in the 800-m free.

Sophia Saroukian of Edmonton was seventh in the 800-m free and Alexandra Buscher, a Canadian residing in Houston, was eighth in the 200-m free.

Other Canadian finalists in men’s competition were Brothers placing fifth in the 200-m freestyle and Osvald Nitski of Hamilton seventh in the 200-m butterfly.

Jacomie Strydom of Edmonton was sixth in the women’s 200-m butterfly.

Competition continues through to Sunday.

Full results: http://www.swmeets.com/Realtime/Jr%20PanPacs/2014/

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