MELBOURNE, Australia, January 5. AFTER two days of strong outings at the Victorian Swimming Championships in Melbourne, the United States National Junior Team decided to elevate its performances on Thursday and walked away with 11 medals. That haul increased the United States’ total to 23 medals during three days of action.
Already the winner of gold in the 100 breaststroke, Dillon Connolly completed a double in the breast events by winning the 200 distance in 2:18.26. Connolly was complemented by teammate Troy Nissen, who notched the bronze medal with a mark of 2:23.78. Meanwhile, Chad LaTourette stroked to gold in the 800 freestyle with an effort of 8:11.41. Logan Storie picked up the bronze medal by going 8:21.64.
“It was good to get a best time,” Connolly said. “I haven’t improved in this event for a while. I paced the first half well and didn’t shorten my stroke at the end.”
For the female squad, Teresa Crippen snared her second gold medal of the competition as she bested the field in the 200 backstroke with a swim of 2:14.75. That performance followed an earlier victory in the 400 individual medley. Adding to her medal haul, Leah Gingrich was the silver medalist in the 400 freestyle, thanks to a time of 4:12.88. Gingrich finished behind Australia’s Haley Reddaway, who raced at the World Championships, and defeated Olympian Elka Graham. Gingrich also has earned medals in the 200 butterfly, 1,500 free and 800 free relay.
“I was surprised at how fast (Reddaway) went out,” Gingrich said. “It was really hard in the middle, and I couldn’t catch her, but it was fun to swim in such a great race.”
In the women’s 100 freestyle, Megan Romano secured the bronze medal with a performance of 56.76 and Samantha Woodward was the silver medalist in the 50 fly (27.62). Romano was also fourth in the 200 back, going 2:17.53. Brian Rose collected second place in the men’s 400 free (3:58.77) and Clark Burckle was fourth in the 200 I.M. (2:07.15).