Cochrane Wins Second Gold and Third PanPacs Medal

Island Swimming's Ryan Cochrane earned his second gold medal and third medal on Saturday at the Pan Pacific swimming championships with a victory in the men’s 800 freestyle to highlight a four-medal night for Canada. Cochrane's time of 7:48.71 was nearly three seconds ahead of runner-up Chad LaTourette of the U.S.

“It’s always amazing to win gold at a major meet like this,” said Cochrane who also won the 1,500 freestyle on Wednesday and the took the silver in the 400 freestyle on Friday. “I think I had a little more in me than that but this has been the hardest year of training I’ve ever had and the times will work themselves out.”

Brent Hayden (UBCD) made his second trip to the podium with the bronze in the men’s 50 freestyle in 21.89. He also took silver in the 100 freestyle. Nathan Adrian was the winner in 21.55. “With about 15 metres left I glanced up to see how far the wall was and I decided I wasn’t going to breathe at all in the race,” said Hayden. “I kept my head down, my arms spinning and got my hand on that wall.”

World record holder Annamay Pierse (UBCD) was also third in the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:23.65 less than a half second from silver medallist Leisel Jones of the Australia. Rebecca Soni of the U.S., took the gold in 2:20.69. Martha McCabe of Vancouver was eighth. “It’s been hard year I felt like nothing was working but tonight it came together,” said Pierse. “With everything I’ve gone through this means as much as gold for me.”

Victoria Poon of Montreal came within 0.01 seconds of her Canadian record in the 50 freestyle clocking 24.76 for the bronze medal. Jessica Hardy led the U.S., to a 1-2 finish clocking a meet record 24.63. “The medal is amazing and the time is a plus,” said Poon. “It shows there is improvement.”

In the women’s 200 IM, Julia Wilkinson (IS) broke her Canadian record clocking 2:11.32 beating the 2:12.03 from 2008. She placed fourth and 0.11 seconds short of a medal. Erica Morningstar of Calgary was sixth. “It’s a really tough road to come back and to smash my Canadian record after not touching it for two years makes me very happy,” said Wilkinson who was slowed after the 2008 Olympics after she underwent shoulder surgery.

Scott Dickens was fifth in the men’s 200 breaststroke.

In the medley relays, Canada was fourth in the women’s race with Wilkinson, Pierse, Poon and Katerine Savard of Montreal and fifth in the men’s final with Dickens, Hayden, Jake Tapp of Langley, B.C., and Joe Bartoch of London, Ont. With Sunday’s open water races remaining, Canada has two gold, two silver and six bronze at the meet.

Full results available at: http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=1835&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&mid=9520&ItemId=4997

High resolution B-Roll and interview clip of Ryan Cochrane’s Gold medal performance available via www.sendtonews.com