RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 17. WHILE some swimmers have adapted to swimming fast during morning finals, as evidenced by four Pan American Games records this morning, Canada's Annamay Pierse decided to light it up during evening prelims tonight.
She smoked the competition in the 100 breast en route to the top time of 1:07.78. That puts her into the top 10 in the world this year as well as broke Staciana Stitts Games record. It also broke the Canadian record of 1:08.14 set by by Rhiannon Leier of Winnipeg at the 2004 Olympic Trials in Montreal.
"I had a goal to break the record but I didn't think it would happen in the preliminaries," said Pierse. "And I still felt like I had a lot left in me. This is my first Canadian record and it feels so amazing. I've worked so hard for this. I can't really remember much about the race. I had my check list and I just made sure I stuck to that plan."
Women's 100 backstroke
North Americans ruled the roost in the women's 100 back as the top four spots out of prelims went to the United States and Canada.
Julia Smit topped all-comers with a time of 1:02.33 for the United States, while teammate Brielle White finished right behind in 1:02.46. Canada's Liz Wycliffe (1:02.69) and Caitlin Meredith (1:02.98) placed third and fourth as the only other sub-1:03 swimmers of the evening prelims.
Colombia's Carolina Colorado Henao earned fifth (1:03.38), while Venezuela's Erin Volcan (1:03.90) and Brazil's Fabiola Molina (1:04.13) took sixth and seventh.
Mexico's Maria Fernanda Gonzalez Ramirez closed out the top eight in 1:04.34.
Men's 400 freestyle
The United States went 1-3 in the men's middle distance freestyle. Tobias Work edged Brazil's Armando Negreiros for the top spot, 3:51.32 to 3:51.47, while Work's teammate Matt Patton placed third in 3:53.30, well ahead of fourth-place finisher Ivan de Jesus Lopez Ramos of Mexico (3:57.25).
Brazil's Felipe Araujo (3:57.34), Canada's Kier Maitland (3:57.64), Argentina's Juan Martin Pereyra (3:59.97) and Mexico's Daniel Delgadillo (4:00.36) completed the rest of the top eight.
Women's 100 breaststroke
Canada's Annamay Pierse chopped a full second off Olympian Staciana Stitts Games-record time of 1:09.01 set on Aug. 14, 2003 with a world-class effort of 1:07.78 to pace the field.
The performance moved Pierse into sixth on the world rankings list this year behind Leisel Jones (1:05.72), Tara Kirk (1:06.34), Ganna Khlistunova (1:07.27), Jessica Hardy (1:07.38) and Kirsty Balfour (1:07.67).
The United States picked up second and third as Elizabeth Tinnon (1:08.94) and Michelle McKeehan (1:10.35) placed ahead of Pierse's teammate Jillian Tyler (1:10.42).
Argentina's Javiera Salcedo took fifth in 1:11.79, while Brazil's Tatiane Sakemi placed sixth in 1:11.97 and Jamaica's Alia Atkinson finished seventh in 1:12.25.
Argetina's Agustina de Giovanni nabbed the final top eight spot in 1:12.30.
Women's 800 freestyle relay
The United States women set the tone during the 800 freestyle relay prelims with a Games-record time of 8:05.28. The quartet of Lauren Thies (2:04.11), Teresa Crippen (2:01.28), Emily Kukors (2:00.10) and Jessica Rodriguez (1:59.79) pipped the United States' previous standard of 8:05.47 set on Aug. 11, 2003.
The closest competition came from Canada and Brazil during prelims. Canada's team of Elizabeth Collins, Hilary Bell, Savannah King and Zsofia Balazs took second in 8:11.05, while Brazil's foursome of Paula Baracho, Manuelia Lyrio, Joanna Maranhao and Tatiana Barbosa placed third in 8:17.47.
Special thanks to Swimming Canada for contributing to this report.
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July 18, 2007. Her time is a pr/NR, breaking her old pr of 1:09.42 from March's Canadian Nationals, and also breaking Canadian record of 1:08.14 by former University of Miami swimmer Rhiannon Leier from '04 Olympic Trials. Bill
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