Junior Pan Pacs: Daniel Diehl Opens Prelims With NAG Record in 100 Backstroke; Erin Gemmell Looks Sharp


Junior Pan Pacs: Daniel Diehl Opens Prelims With NAG Record in 100 Backstroke; Erin Gemmell Looks Sharp

The first prelim session at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii featured a strong start from the United States, highlighted by a National Age Group (NAG) record in the 15-16 classification from Daniel Diehl in the 100-meter backstroke. Additionally, Erin Gemmell established herself as the heavy favorite in the final of the 200 freestyle.

Diehl produced a time of 53.40 in the 100 backstroke to break his own record of 53.59, set earlier this year. The 16-year-old went out in 25.69 and came home in 27.71 to qualify as the top seed by more than a second. Diehl was followed into the final as the second seed by fellow American Josh Zuchowski, who registered a time of 54.70.

The United States also had the third- and fourth-fastest times, thanks to Keaton Jones (55.61) and Max Williamson (55.83), but neither could advance to the championship final. Junior Pan Pacs uses a rule that limits nations to just two athletes in each championship final.

Meet Results

Like Diehl, Gemmell easily posted the top time of prelims in her event, the 200 freestyle. Gemmell went through her four laps in 1:56.66, good for a meet record and a comfortable margin over Australia’s Jaymie Perkins (1:58.65). On the men’s side, Aussie Flynn Southam, a highly touted youth who has seen senior-level action on the international stage, was quickest in heats, going 1:48.35. Williamson, a 15-year-old, was next in 1:48.45, with American Rex Maurer touching in 1:48.97.

The United States’ Maggie Wanezek was fastest in the women’s 100 backstroke, behind a swim of 1:00.13. She is more than a second clear of Australian Jaclyn Barclay (1:01.36) and will have a sub-minute effort in mind for the finals.

In the 200 butterfly events, Aaron Shackell of the United States went 1:56.15 for the top seed, with 15-year-old teammate Thomas Heilman next at 1:57.58. For the women, Japan’s Airi Mitsui led the way in qualifying in 2:10.18, followed by Team USA’s Tess Howley at 2:10.19.

Carmel High Well Represented at Junior Pan Pacs

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