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Friday, August 29, 2014

Juniors And Seniors Mix In Maui

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The 2014 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 10 km ocean swim on the south coast of Maui in Hawaii got a whole lot more competitive and much more exciting when Mother Nature acted up on the Gold Coast of Australia, leading to the cancellation of the 10 km race at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.

When the water quality levels in the ocean dropped as the rain fell, the organizers and teams decided to shift the Pan Pacific Swimming Championship 10 km race to Hawaii where the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships are held in Kihei, Maui in a week's time.

So from the Gold Coast of Australia to the sun-kissed shores of Hawaii went the group of elite open water swimmers including 2012 Olympic silver medalist Haley Anderson and bronze medalist Richard Weinberger of Canada. 2010 world champion Alex Meyer says, "Changing everyone's flights was complicated and some people opted to go home for a day or two, so we all got here ar different times. Becca [Mann] and I got here [to Maui] on Tuesday morning. Eva [Fabian], Andrew [Gemmell] and Christine [Jennings] got here Tuesday afternoon and everyone else got Wednesday.

The past two days we've swam long course in the morning and ocean in the afternoon. The water is clear and a nice temp, and the wind has picked up quite a bit the last couple afternoons so it's been pretty rough swimming

USA Swimming open water swimming coach Dave Kelsheimer had to make do, like his fellow coaches. "The biggest challenge after the race was cancelled [in Australia] was getting everyone back from Australia to Hawaii. With sold-out flights, re-routes, and school issues, the team has spent the first part of the week just getting from Australia into Hawaii. The USA Swimming staff was helpful, hard-working, and creative in getting everyone here around and through the challenges. We are excited to be in Maui and are ready to race."

So while the staff were working on the logistics due to the shift, the coaches still had to keep their athletes prepared mentally and physically. "Everyone at this level is very focused on maintaining their fitness and sticking to what works for them. We have had some sessions together in the pool and in the ocean beginning on Monday before we left through to yesterday afternoon in the ocean here in Maui. While travelling on Tuesday and Wednesday, everyone has been fitting in workouts wherever possible. These athletes have been true pros in their approach."

Now the field is a mix of elite junior and senior swimmers from Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, USA, and Malaysia.

The women's field includes:

1. Victoria Mock, Canada
2. Justine Rheaume, Canada
3. Grace Hull, Australia
4. Sacha Downing, Australia
5. Grace Sommerville, New Zealand
6. Mayte Cano Figueroa, Mexico
7. Anna Konishi, Japan
8. Chihiro Yamada, Japan
9. Yura Taniguchi, Japan
10. Yukimi Moriyama, Japan
11. Miho Nakayama, Japan
12. Lindsey Clary, USA
13. Regan Kology, USA
14. Isabella Rongione, USA

1. Leonie Pamerleau, Canada
2. Charlotte Webby, New Zealand
3. Yumi Kida, Japan
4. Miki Asayama, Japan
5. Kareena Lee, Australia
6. Chelsea Gubecka, Australia
7. Jessica Walker, Australia
8. Haley Anderson, USA
9. Eva Fabian, of USA
10. Christine Jennings, USA
11. Becca Mann, USA
12. Heidi Gan, Malaysia
The men's field includes:

1. Liam Desjarlais, Canada
2. Jon McKay, Canada
3. Brett Fielding, Australia
4. Lachlan Colquhoun, Australia
5. Liam Albery, New Zealand
6. Martin Vazquez Hernandez, Mexico
7. Shingo Nakaya, Japan
8. Liam Egan, USA
9. Logan Houck, USA
10. Brendan Casey, USA
11. Chris Yeager, USA

1. Eric Hedlin, of Canada
2. Will Brothers, Canada
3. Phillipe Guertin, Canada
4. Richard Weinberger, Canada
5. Kane Radford, New Zealand
6. Yasunari Hirai, Japan
7. Yosuke Miyamoto, Japan
8. Rhys Mainstone, Australia
9. Jarrod Poort, Australia
10. Simon Huitenga, Australia
11. Andrew Gemmell, USA
12. Alex Meyer, USA
13. Sean Ryan, USA
14. Jordan Wilimovsky, USA

The 10 km open water competition takes place in Kihei off the Maui shores in Hawaii on August 31st at 2 pm New York time or 8 am local Hawaiian time on Sunday [a day after the Maui Channel Swim]. The men start first with the women 10 minutes behind on the 6-loop 1.66 km ocean course.

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