Michigan-Bound Emily Kopas Medals On Final Day Of Junior Pan Pacs
By Sharon Robb
August 31, 2014—University of Michigan-bound Emily Kopas is headed to college with a suitcase full of memories after an outstanding summer.
After winning her first junior national title in California, Kopas won her first major international medal on the final night of the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships Saturday night at Kihei Aquatic Center in Maui, Hawaii.
Kopas, 18, of Swim Fort Lauderdale won a bronze medal in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:28.47. She was the top U.S. finisher.
As expected, Japan’s 14-year-old sensation Runa Imai won the gold medal in 2:26.04 and teammate Manami Chida took silver in 2:28.47.
Kopas was the fourth fastest swimmer in morning prelims in 2:31.79.
U.S. teammate and Cornell-bound Alex Evdokimov of Coral Springs Swim Club, eighth-fastest qualifier in a best time 2:17.70, dropping from 2:21.77, finished eighth in the championship final in 2:18.45.
Canadian Alexandra Aitchison of Clearwater Aquatics was the 12th fastest qualifier in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.74. She scratched from the final to swim the 1500-meter freestyle which she finished seventh in 16:46.28.
Azura Florida Aquatics’ Mateo Gonzalez, representing Mexico, finished tenth in the 200-meter individual medley in a best time 2:07.09, bettering his previous best of 2:07.33.
Mexican teammate Andy Song An of Bolles, qualified 16th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:13.79 but was disqualified in the “B” final.
Gonzalez and Song An also were members of the seventh place 4×100-meter medley relay team that finished seven in 3:53.82. Song An led off the relay and Gonzalez swam third leg.
Team USA dominated the final night of pool competition late Saturday. U.S. swimmers won eight out of ten gold medals with Japan winning the other two gold medals.
Team USA finished with 478.50 points followed by Japan, 289; Australia, 258; Canada, 235.50; China, 80; New Zealand, 62; Mexico, 44; Fiji Islands, 18; and South Korea, 8.
American Andrew Seliskar was named Male Swimmer of the Meet for his junior world record-breaking 200-meter butterfly performance (1:55.92). Seliskar won four gold medals and one silver.
U.S. teammate Sierra Schmidt was awarded Female Swimmer of the Meet for her 800-meter freestyle swim (8:34.71). She also won the 1500-meter title in 16:26.81.
Team USA dominated the medal count, winning 47 of 62 available medals including 27 gold, 12 silver and 8 bronze. Bolles coach Sergio Lopez coached the girls’ team.
Japan was second with 21 medals (5 gold, 8 silver, 8 bronze).
In Saturday night’s other finals:
Michigan-bound Paul Powers broke the U.S. national age group record in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.20. The previous record of 22.22 was held by Bolles alum Caeleb Dressel since last summer.
American Ella Eastin won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:13.12. Teammate Kim Williams took bronze in 2:14.18.
Seliskar won another gold medal in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:00.81. Teammate Curtis Ogren took silver in 2:02.21.
American Amy Bilquist won the 50-meter freestyle in 25.04.
Japan’s Ryuya Mura won the men’s 200-meter breaststroke in 2:13.55.
Americans Townley Haas (8:00.99) and Liam Egan (8:04.06) finished one-two in the 800-meter freestyle.
The U.S. swept the men’s and women’s 400-meter medley relay.
In Sunday’s open water competition, American Brendan Casey won the gold medal in 1:58.00. Canadian Jon McKay took silver in 1:58.01 and Aussie Lachlan Colquhorn took bronze in 1:58.35.
Japan’s Yukimi Moriyama won the women’s race in 2 hours. Aussie Grace Hull was second in 2:03.13 and American Regan Kology was third in 2:03.25.
Pan Pacs Open Water
American Andrew Gemmell won the rescheduled men’s open water 10K title at the Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii.
Gemmell covered the 6-loop, 1.66 kilometer triangle course in 1 hour, 51 minutes and 11 seconds. Aussie Jarrod Poort took silver in 1:52.12 and New Zealand’s Kane Radford took bronze in 1:52.13.
Haley Anderson made it a U.S. sweep winning the women’s gold medal in 1:59.51, just edging U.S. teammate Eva Fabian in 1:59.52. Aussie Chelsea Gubecka took the bronze in 1:59.54.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com