Day 2 at PanPacs

Panoramic view of Woollett Aquatic Centre in Irvine

We'll see how this goes tonight, posting from the iPad. I was going to do one of those CoverItLive things, but it doesn't work on the iPad, and with it being roughly 33C out in the sun, the thought of trying to write with a scalding-hot Macbook on my lap just wasn't all that appealing.

Prelims for Day 2 at PanPacs was much better for the Canadian team, as the group really seemed to get some inspiration from Cochrane's over-powering win last night in the men's 1500 Free. Last night saw nine swimmers in finals, but only two of those had performances that placed them in the top 8 in prelims, whereas Thursday saw a number of performances that resulted in top8 performances, including a number by BC swimmers:

Brent Hayden (UBCD) - third in 100 Free
Brian Johns (UBCD) - sixth in 400 IM
Julia Wilkinson (IS) - seventh in 50 Back

Just to quickly review the qualification rules here at PanPacs: While there is no limit to the number of swimmers a country can enter in a given event, a maximum of TWO swimmers per country are allowed to qualify through to the "A" final, and no more than THREE swimmers per country can be in the "A" and "B" finals combined. So if you're the fourth-fastest swimmer in an event, and also happen to be the fourth-fastest swimmer from your country, guess what - you're watching finals from the bleachers.

This has made the Americans really stand up and perform in prelims, as witnessed most notably in the men's 400 IM this morning, where Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary both delivered sub-4:10 performances, relegating the third-fastest swimmer in prelims - one Michael Frederick Phelps - to the "B" final (assuming no scratches).

One of the other notable Canadian results from Thursday prelims was Victoria Poon (CAMO, I think) who just about won her heat from Lane 1, and ended up fifth overall. After the "two per country" removals, she'll be seeded fourth in the final. Hayden will be seeded third; Annamay Pierse squeaked into the women's 100 Breast final (lane 8); Alexa Komarnycky did likewise in the women's 400 IM (lane 1); Phelps is apparently a scratch in the men's 400 IM, with Johns drawing Lane 5.

6:08pm. Women 100 free final. V. Poon of Montreal in lane 6. Coughlin out quick and turns first at the 50m mark; Poon in fourth. Coughlin blows everyone away in the final 50m, and wins handily in 5367. Seebohm and Vollmer tie for second in 53.96. Poon was fifth in 54.45.
6:14pm. One of the interesting things at these meets is seeing the Japanese swimmers marching out to their races. Even before they're introduced (whether heats or finals), they politely bow to the crowd - both sides of the pool. Totally cool!
6:16pm. Garrentt Weber-Gale wins the "B" final in a nice 48.73. Without the two-per country limit, I think the Americans would've had four swimmers in the final.
6:20pm. Men's 100 Free final> Hayden in Lane 3. Talk about a stacked final. The other finalists: Ferns and Moor e of RSA; Sullivan and Richardson (AUS); Adrian and ezak (USA); and sprint demon Cesar Cielo (BRA).
I predict SPEED!
Hayden off to a really good start. Cielo out like a rocket, though, in lane 8. At the turn, Cielo first in a scary 22.74; Hayden third in 23.03.
Cielo pulling ahead over the third 25m, but then holy crap - Adrian and Hayden close like a freight train in final 15m.
Adrian FIRST in 48.15. Hayden second in 48.19!! Cielo third in 48.48.
Awesome swim by Hayden. Announcer just said that Adrian's time was fastest in the world this year. That means Hayden is most likely top 3 in the world with his swim.

6:25pm. Let's remember here that I'm watching races, cheering, taking pictures, and typing on a little keyboard, so you're probably be more surprised if the times I"m quoting here are 100% accurate.
Placings I should be able to nail on the head, as they're leaving placings on the board for a while, but for official times, be sure to check out www.omegatiming.com.
6:30pm. "B" final of women's 100 breast. Chelsey Salli (LOSC) takes third in 1:08.15.
6:33pm. Women's 100 Breast "A" final. Canadians in outside lanes. Tyler in Lane 1; Pierse in Lane 8. Amanda Beard, Leisel Jones, Rebecca Soni in lanes 2, 3, 4, respectively.
Soni out stupid-fast in 30.96, with Jones just a tenth back in 31.06. Pierse 32.3 at the turn.
Soni pulls ahead over the final 50m, touching first in 1:04.93. Jones second in 1:05.66 - both well over a second ahead of the rest of the field with Katsoulis third in 1:07.04. Pierse was sixth in 1:07.90 with a strong finish. Tyler was eighth.

6:43pm. Men's "B" final 100 Breast. Scott Dickens in lane 6. Third at the 50. Third at the finish in 1:00.79. Race won by Alexandrov (USA) in 1:00.58.
6:47pm. "A" Final men's 100 breast. Kitajima was freaky-fast this morning. Had a body length on the field with 25m to go, and then just went on to cruise to the finish, and still had the fastest swim of the morning by a second or so.
At the 50, Kitajima is first by a little less than a tenth (27.99 - wow!). Over the final 50m, though, he pulls away from the field and leaves a close battle for second place behind him.
Kitajima: 59.35 (a little slower than his 59.04 this morning). Everyone else: 1:00.18 to 1:00.90. Sprenger (AUS) second with that 1:00.18 and Gangloff (USA) third in 1:00.24.