Australia Dominates First Day of Junior Pan Pacific Championships

By Jason Marsteller

MAUI, Hawaii, January 11. DURING the initial day of long course meter competition at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships held in Maui, Hawaii from Jan. 11-15, Australian nearly swept the gold-medal stand with wins in six of the seven events, with Japan winning the other event.

Australia recorded four out of the five meet records on the day, while Japan also tallied a meet standard. The Aussies also set a pair of age group records as 17-year-old Daniel Arnamnart erased the 100 back standard and 15-year-old Samantha Hamill knocked off the 200 fly record.

In the overall medal standings, the Aussies finished with 11 medals, while the United States stood second with six. Japan, the only other medal-winning nation, closed with four laurels for third place.

Individually, Australian Nic Donald posted the only double of the day with wins in the 200 free and fly.

Women's 1500-meter freestyle
Australia started off the meet in style as 17-year old Alexandra Bagley grabbed her country the first gold of the meet with a 16:45.45 in the metric mile. 16-year-old American Alyssa Anderson pocketed silver in 16:46.08, while 17-year-old Tomoe Ono of Japan took third in 16:47.33.

Bagley never split above a 33.93 and held off a hard-charging Anderson, who clocked a 32.30 in the final 50 meters. Anderson just could not remain consistent enough to take down Bagley, even though the American held a slight lead over Bagley at the 700-meter mark. In the following 50 meters, Bagley established a lead over Anderson that she would never surrender.

Meanwhile, Ono actually led the race up through the 1150-meter mark until succumbing to Bagley at the 1200-meter mark. She too attempted a last-ditch effort with a final 50 split of 32.92, but was too far behind Bagley to make up the difference.

Women's 200-meter freestyle
The Aussies pushed their medal-leading total to three when 16-year-old Amelia Evatt-Davey and 15-year-old Ellese Zalewski won both gold and silver for the Australians in the 200 free. Evatt-Davey broke the meet record with a time of 2:00.08 for first. That effort surpassed the 2:01.11 set by her compatriot Haylee Reddaway on Jan. 6, 2005.

Meanwhile, Zalewski's time of 2:00.72 also eclipsed the meet standard en route to second place. Allison Schmitt of the United States rounded out the podium with a third-place 2:01.15.

Evatt-Davey pushed the pace with the only sub-59 front half of the race with a 58.92 and held off Zalewski as her teammate back-halfed her race with a 1:00.86 final 100.

Men's 200-meter freestyle
Australia kept the ball rolling in the men's 200 free as Nic Donald set the meet record with a time of 1:49.79 to win his country's third gold in as many tries. The performance is the first sub-1:50 in meet history, erasing the 1:50.31 posted by Japan's Sho Uchida on Jan. 6, 2005. Meanwhile, Robert Hurley took Australia's second silver and fifth medal with a 1:51.15. 17-year-old Cody Weik of the United States, who is headed to Indiana University as a freshman next year, took bronze in 1:51.33.

Donald overcame a quick start by Hurley as the silver-medal winner clocked the only sub-26 initial 50 split with a 25.74. Donald actually touched third at the 50-meter mark in 26.50. He then kicked it into high gear in the second 50 with a 27.41 to overtake Hurley and never look back.

Women's 100-meter backstroke
14-year-old phenom Emily Seebohm nearly picked off her Australian age group record of 1:01.09 with a meet-record time of 1:01.90. The effort cleared the 1:02.17 set by teammate Meagen Nay during prelims earlier today. Nay inched past her prelim time with a silver-winning clocking of 1:02.15. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Shiho Sakai of Japan recorded a 1:02.30 for bronze.

Seebohm opened up with a furious initial 100 of 30.16 and held on for the win with a 31.74 back half. Meanwhile, Nay's 31.65 last 100 was not enough to overcome a 30.50 off the block.

The 1-2 punch gave Australia seven total medals after the event with four of the golden variety.

Men's 100-meter backstroke
17-year-old Daniel Arnamnart of Australia dominated the 100 back with a time of 54.99. Not only did that time destroy his meet record of 55.77 set during prelims, it also wiped out the Australian age group record of 55.13 previously set by Andrew Lauterstein on March 14, 2005.

In other action, the U.S. picked up a pair of medals as 17-year-old Cory Chitwood, a University of Arizona recruit, earned silver in 56.49 while 16-year-old Matt Thompson took bronze in 56.54.

Women's 200-meter butterfly
15-year-old Natsuki Akiyama of Japan knocked a full second off the meet record she set during prelims with a gold-winning time of 2:09.48. During prelims, she had clocked a 2:10.87 as the top qualifying time. She had to go even faster than prelims as 15-year-old Australian Samantha Hamill cleared the Akiyama's earlier prelim time with a silver-winning 2:10.78. That performance also broke a 17-year-old Australian age group standard previously set at 2:11.15 by Hayley Lewis on Jan. 1, 1990. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Amy Smith of Australia took home bronze in 2:13.00.

Akiyama and Hamill both had pretty close splits in the first, second and fourth splits, but the teenager from Japan really made her move during the third 50 with a 33.28 split against Hamill's 34.16.

With those two medals, Australian increased its meet-high tally to 10.

Men's 200-meter butterfly
Australia's Nic Donald became the first two-time gold medalist of the meet with a 1:59.99 time in the 200 fly. The effort fell just .08 seconds short of the meet record 1:59.91 set by Japan's Shota Takamoto on Jan. 6, 2005.

Japan's Kazuki Dobayashi, 17, wound up with his country's fourth medal of the day by touching in 2:01.39 for silver. Meanwhile, Robert Looney of the United States picked up America's sixth medal with a bronze-winning time of 2:01.63.

Results: 2007 Jr Pan Pacific Swimming Championships – (01-11-2007 – 01-14-2007)

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Author: Archive Team

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