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Rain delay no match for finalists on second night of Junior Pan Pacs

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HONOLULU, Hawaii  – Team Canada faced an additional challenge as heavy rain poured down on the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. Despite the weather-related delays that kicked off the evening session, swimmers demonstrated Canada’s strength in both the individual medley and relay events.

Ella Jansen of Burlington, Ont. finished fourth in the 400-m individual medley in 4:43.83. She also joined Elan Daley of Toronto, Mia West of Winnipeg and Christey Liang of Edmonton on the 4×200-m freestyle relay that placed fourth in 8:03.98 later in the evening.

Despite missing the podium, Jansen is proud of her mental perseverance leading into and during her races.

“There were a lot of mental blocks from the morning,” Jansen said. “I wasn’t happy with my race and I was feeling really low. I’m really proud of myself for coming back tonight and being able to step up again and really race the people in my heat. I’m proud of my team for being there and cheering me on through the race. It meant a lot.”

Lorne Wigginton of Calgary placed fifth in the men’s 400-m individual medley in 4:19.73, dropping just over 2 seconds from his previous personal best time of 4:21.83. Ei Kamikawabata of Japan won gold in 4:15.23 followed by Maximus Williamson of the U.S. in 4:17.58. Riki Abe of Japan took bronze in 4:17.96.

Wigginton’s performance in the 200-m freestyle helped to boost his confidence heading into his top event.

“My 200 free was a personal best, which is what I am trying to do here,” Wigginton said. “It showed that I was ready to swim as fast as I could right now. It means a lot. 400 IM is one of my best events and dipping under that 4:20 mark for the first time was a pretty big deal and just a step closer to reaching my senior national team goals.”

Daley finished fifth in the women’s 100-m freestyle in 55.39. Liang followed in seventh in 55.99. Erin Gemmell of the U.S. won the event in a Junior Pan Pacific record time of 54.13.

Flynn Southam of Australia also broke the Junior Pan Pacific record in the men’s 100-m freestyle in 48.23. Teammate Thomas Heilman captured silver in 49.34 followed by Jamie Mooney of Australia in 50.19.

Filip Senc-Samardzic of Toronto tied for sixth in a personal best time of 51.04.

“It was a solid race,” Senc-Samardzic said. “I would have preferred to be under 51 but I was out too slow. I had a great back half though, back in 26.03. Tonight was a great stepping stone for going forward in the meet. It’s a great confidence booster for the 100 fly tomorrow.”

Women’s team head coach Robert Novak reflected on the team’s performances despite the challenges presented on Day 2.

“The team did great tonight,” Novak said. “They pushed each other, worked through the process and were engaged. They stepped up. It was challenging tonight with the rain. There were delays but they adapted to that, gathered some good swims and finished well.”

Danika Ethier of Ottawa, Ont. finished sixth in the women’s 100-m breaststroke in 1:10.89 followed by Ashley McMillan of Penticton, B.C. in 1:11.60. Piper Enge of the U.S. out touched Kotomi Kato of Japan for gold in 1:08.58.

Other finalists include Kathryn Hazle sixth in the 400-m individual medley in 4:48.60, Benjamin Loewen of Toronto seventh in the 400-m individual medley in 4:22.85, Brayden Taivassalo of Markham, Ont. in the 100-m breaststroke in 1:03.01 and Adam Wu of Surrey, B.C., Paul Dardis of Calgary, Victor Dagenais of Montreal and Wigginton fourth in the men’s 4×200-m freestyle relay in 7:26.22.

Full results: