Mel Zajac Jr. International: Two Canadian Records Set

VANCOUVER, Canada, May 24. ANOTHER day of morning finals brought two Canadian records at the Mel Zajac Jr. International meet held in Vancouver. Julia Wilkinson and Erica Morningstar both eclipsed previous national records.

Wilkinson opened the session with a bang when she dropped the Canadian record in the women's 50 back. She clocked a time of 28.63 to clip the 28.65 set by Jennifer Carroll at the 2003 World Championships. That performance tied her with Leila Vaziri for 11th in the world this year. Hanna Kubas finished second in 29.59, while Maggie Meyer took third in 30.08.

Morningstar joined Wilkinson with a Canadian record of her own in the women's 200 IM. She punched the pad in 2:13.43 to nip the 2:13.44 set by Marianne Limpert back in 2000. Incidentally, she destroyed the meet record of 2:15.80 set by Ariana Kukors in 2006. Wilkinson placed second in the race with a 2:16.37, while Annamay Pierse took third in 2:17.73.

In a tight battle, Matt Hawes edged Matt Rose, 27.04 to 27.07, for the men's 50 back title. Dan Langlois touched back in third with a time of 27.45.

Bronte Barratt kept rolling with positive momentum at the meet as she crushed the meet record in the women's 400 free. Barratt, who earlier this month clocked a 4:04.57 in Santa Clara, nabbed the title in 4:05.86. She cleared the former meet record of 4:13.93 set by Suzu Chiba back in 1999.

Also under the old record, Kylie Palmer finished second in 4:08.93, while Tanya Hunks took third in 4:13.90.

Ryan Cochrane checked in with a meet record in the men's 400 free when he hit the wall in 3:50.13. That time beat the longstanding time of 3:51.71 set by Grant Hackett back in 1999. Meanwhile, Andrew Hurd finished second in 3:55.85, while Stefan Hirniak placed third in 3:56.01.

Audrey Lacroix followed in the women's 100 fly with a winning effort of 1:00.53, while Stephanie Horner earned second in 1:00.65. MacKenzie Downing, the Canadian-record holder with a 58.88, took third in 1:01.06.

In the men's 100 fly, Adam Sioui fell short of the meet record of 53.56 set by Mike Mintenko in 2000 with a winning time of 53.70. Garth Kates placed second in 54.34, while Mitchell Patterson took third in 54.52.

Leith Brodie nabbed a meet record in the men's 200 IM with a time of 2:01.81. He knocked off Canadian-record holder Brian Johns' 2:03.10 from last year. Keith Beavers (2:02.42) and Johns (2:03.10) rounded out the top three, both under the previous meet record.

While not as eye-popping as the 24.13 she dropped at the Santa Clara International earlier this month, Cate Campbell, now 16, smashed the women's 50 free meet record with a time of 24.58. Alison Sheppard had owned the old record with a 25.50 from 2003. Victoria Poon, the Canadian-record holder, finished second in 26.02 – off her lifetime best of 25.47. Jackie Vavrek wound up third in 26.19.

Another meet record fell, this time in the men's 50 free when Brent Hayden stopped the clock in 22.53 to beat his meet standard of 22.79 set last year. Richard Hortness placed second in 23.11, while Matt Rose took third in 23.17.

In the women's 200 breast, Pierse touched in 2:29.42 to eclipse the meet record of 2:30.26 set by Lauren Van Oosten in 2004. Jillian Tyler placed second in 2:31.17, while Hanna Pierse earned third in 2:33.91.

On the men's side, Mike Brown, the Canadian-record holder with a 2:11.01 to his credit, beat Craig Calder by the slimmest of margins, 2:14.31 to 2:14.32, as both surpassed the 2:16.09 meet record of Morgan Knabe set in 2004. Beavers finished third in 2:20.76.

In 800 freestyle relay competition, the Australian team of Barratt (2:02.17), Amelia Evatt-Davey (2:06.81), Ellen Fullerton (2:03.85) and Palmer (1:59.99) set the meet record with a time of 8:12.82 for the women. They cleared the 8:13.05 set by the Pacific Dolphins in 2000. For the men, Pointe-Claire's Tim Ruse, Steven Bielby, Jonathan Gagne and Oriwol clinched the title in 7:42.80.