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Liendo, Mac Neil showcase skill as records fall at 58th annual Mel Zajac International

News –

VANCOUVER – Josh Liendo of Markham, Ont. and Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont. broke three meet records over the weekend while competing at the 58th annual Mel Zajac International Swim Meet at the UBC Aquatic Centre.

Liendo set two records, including the men’s 100-m freestyle in 49.02 and the 100-m butterfly in 51.59.

Following Liendo in the freestyle was Stephen Calkins of Calgary in 51.22 and Laon Kim of Vancouver in 51.80. Wyatt Carlton and Calgary’s Nicholas Duncan podiumed in the butterfly in 54.90 and 55.00.

Liendo’s dominance of the sprint events continued with his gold-medal performance in the 50-m freestyle, finishing in 22.33. Coming down to the touch, Eric Ginzburg of Toronto finished in 23.14 to beat out Kim’s 23.18 for silver.

Despite not being able to attend Friday’s session due to flight delays, Mac Neil won the women’s 100-m butterfly in 57.70, once again demonstrating her strengths in her signature event to break the meet record.

“This is my last meet before Worlds, so it’s definitely important,” Mac Neil said. “I’ve been swimming my main events all through the season, whether that was Mare Nostrum or today, but today was more about playing with my strategy.”

“It wasn’t so much about tweaking things but more about experimenting,” she added.

Miriam Guevara out touched Victoria Raymond of Etobicoke, Ont. by 0.15 seconds for second as they finished in 59.70 and 59.85.

Mac Neil completed her weekend of racing with an additional set of golds in both the 50-m backstroke and 50-m freestyle events in 25.30 and 23.23.

Tessa Cieplucha of Georgetown, Ont. added to her gold in Friday’s 400-m individual medley with two more wins in the 200-m individual medley and the 200-m breaststroke. Cieplucha stopped the clock in 2:14.73 and 2:29.91.

Julie Brousseau of Nepean, Ont. and Alexanne Lepage of Vernon, B.C. placed second and third in the 200-m individual medley in 2:16.60 and 2:16.90.

Brousseau also tied with Jenna Walters of Guelph, Ont. for silver in the women’s 100-m freestyle in 56.61. Mia West of Winnipeg won the event in 56.41.

Collyn Gagne of Milton, Ont. won the men’s event in 2:02.50, followed by Larry Yu of Victoria, B.C. in 2:05.91 and Aiden Norman of Calgary in 2:07.79.

In the 100-m backstroke, Danielle Hanus of Newmarket, Ont., Katelyn Schroeder of Langley, B.C. and Delia Lloyd of Etobicoke, Ont. were all within a second of each other, touching in 1:02.08, 1:02.30 and 1:02.60 to complete the podium.

Vancouver’s Blake Tierney beat out fellow Vancouverites Raben Dommann and Hugh McNeill for first on the men’s side in 55.33. Dommann and McNeill finished in 55.89 and 57.09.

Originally founded in 1963 as Canada Cup by swim coach Howard Firby, the Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet works to bring elite national and international talent to Vancouver to race local athletes. Now named after Canadian Olympic swimmer Mel Zajac Jr., the meet is the largest of its kind in Western Canada.

For more information about the Mel Zajac Jr. International Swim Meet, including live results, visit: