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Markus Thormeyer wins 100-m backstroke at U.S. Open, MacNeil equals NCAA record

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Markus Thormeyer of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Vancouver took top spot on Friday in the men’s 100-m backstroke at the U.S. Open swimming competition.

The 22-year-old Thormeyer clocked 53.94 seconds for the victory which was about a half second off his Canadian record set this past spring. Christopher Reid of South Africa was second in 54.27 and Jacob Pebley of the U.S. third in 54.39.

Thormeyer, a 2016 Olympic and 2017 and 2019 world championship team member, gained a strong lead on the field with a 26.15 in the first 50. Although he came home a couple of tenths slower it was enough to preserve top spot.

Cole Pratt of Calgary was eighth in the race in 55.00.

Competition ends on Saturday.

Maggie MacNeil equals NCAA record

Also on Friday night, during the third day of the Minnesota Invitational, world champion Maggie MacNeil of London, Ont., swimming for the University of Michigan, equaled the NCAA record in the 100-yard butterfly clocking 49.26.

By posting her second sub-50 performance of the season, MacNeil equaled the NCAA standard set by Southern California’s Louise Hansson (Sweden) at last year’s NCAA Championships.

MacNeil touched at the midway point in 23.27 and easily bested the competition as California’s Izzy Ivey was second in 51.46.  Earlier in the season, MacNeil notched a mark of 49.57 during an intrasquad competition. A showdown with Hansson, who has a season best of 50.05, is looming for late March at the NCAA Championships.

It was this past July at the FINA World Swimming Championships in South Korea that MacNeil upset four-time defending champion Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden for gold.