MAUI, Hawaii – Markus Thormeyer of Delta, B.C., won the bronze medal in the men’s 200-m backstroke then helped Canada to third place in the 4X100-m freestyle relay on Friday night at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.
Alexandra Aitchison, a Canadian now residing in Florida, added a bronze in the women’s 400-m freestyle. After three days of competition Canada has collected eight medals (three silver and five bronze).
In the men’s 200-m backstroke, Connor Green led the U.S. to a 1-2 finish in 1:59.60 with Corey Okubo second in 2:01.17. Thormeyer followed in a personal best 2:01.55 almost two seconds faster than his time in the preliminaries. Anders Klein of Edmonton was fourth in 2:02.45.
‘’It was a really exciting race,’’ said Thormeyer, 17. ‘’I was really focused on keeping away from the lane ropes which had bothered me in my last race and pushing hard in the second half of the race. I came here to win medals but four so far this is beyond expectations.’’
In the men’s 4X100-m freestyle relay, the Americans took the gold in 3:18.68, Australia was second in 3:20.75 and Canada third in 3:22.98. The Canadian swimmers were Thormeyer, Mitchel Ferraro of Uxbridge, Ont., Matthew Ackman of Pointe-Claire, Que., and Cameron Kidd of Brantford, Ont.
‘’We definitely knew we were in the medal hunt going into it,’’ said Ferraro. ‘’Markus had just swam the backstroke and he provided a tremendous effort and I just tried to build on that and give Matt some space for the next relay.’’
In the women’s 400-m freestyle, Courtney Harnish of the U.S. was the winner in 4:09.36 followed by Tamsin Cook of Australia in 4:10.91 and Aitchison in a personal best 4:11.16. Over two Junior Pan Pacs, Aitchison had finished fourth seven straight times including four times this week. Sophia Saroukian of Edmonton was seventh.
‘’Seeing that placement and time on the scoreboard was really exciting,’’ said Aitchison, whose father is originally from Alberta. ‘’I hadn’t improved my time in the 400 for over two years. I really worked a lot on the turns and kept my speed up.’’
Aitchison nearly anchored Canada’s women’s 4X100-m freestyle relay to the podium as they finished fourth in 3:45.79, just 0.26 seconds from third place Japan. Australia upset the Americans for gold. Also swimming for Canada were Mary-Sophie Harvey of Trois-Rivieres, Que., Heather Lam of Vancouver and Lili Margitai of Edmonton.
Other Canadian men finalists were Peter Brothers of Victoria and Tristan Cote of Etobicoke, Ont., fourth and eighth in the 400-m freestyle and Nicolaas Dekker of Richmond, B.C., fifth in the 100-m butterfly.
For the women, Jacomie Strydom of Edmonton and Margitai were sixth and eighth in the 100-m butterfly and Danielle Hanus of Newmarket, Ont., and Mackenzie Glover of Winnipeg sixth and seventh in the 200-m backstroke.
Competition ends Sunday.