By Sharon Robb
HONOLULU, Hawaii, August 25, 2022—Josh Zuchowski is living his dream of representing the U.S. on the international stage.
It got even better Wednesday when the Stanford-bound swimmer from West Palm Beach-based Flood Aquatics Swim Team (FAST) won one of his country’s first medals at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships at Mark Takai Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center.
Zuchowski, 18, a King’s Academy alum, finished second in the 100-meter backstroke in a best time 54.51, dropping 0.67. He first lowered his previous best of 55.18 in morning prelims in 54.70, where he earned the second seed, and lowered it in the final. U.S. teammate Daniel Diehl, the top seed, won in a meet record and national age group record 53.27, also a best time dropping 0.32. Zuchowski also swam lead-off on the 4×100-meter medley “B” relay that finished in 3:50.42.
Zuchowski has the 200 backstroke and 200 IM left to swim.
U.S. teammate Julia Podkoscielny, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming also turned in a best time in her opening event, the 100-meter backstroke. She went 1:02.01, bettering her previous best of 1:02.31. She was the fifth American finisher in the field and could not swim in the “A” final. Each nation is limited to two athletes in the scored “A” final and two in the “B” final. On Thursday she swims her specialty event, the 400 IM. She will also swim the 200 backstroke and 200 IM.
U.S. teammate Kaii Winkler, 16, of Eagle Aquatics was tenth in the 200-meter freestyle prelims in a best time 1:50.07, bettering his previous best of 1:50.79. He finished 12th in finals in 1:50.81.
The talented trio, representing the U.S. internationally for the first time, are among emerging stars from four Pan Pac charter nations (U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia) during the competitive four-day meet. In addition to the four charter nations, other select non-European Swimming League (LEN) will also compete including New Zealand, China, Fiji, Singapore, South Korea and Ecuador.
Competition is through Saturday with prelims at 3 p.m. EST and finals at 11 p.m. EST. All sessions will be streamed at http://www.usaswimming.org/watch.
Thursday events are: 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 400 IM and 4×200 free relay.
GIRLS TEAM TOTALS: 1. US 56, 2. Australia 40, 3. Japan 30, 4. Canada 21, 5. New Zealand 1.
BOYS TEAM TOTALS: 1. US 57, 2. Australia 34, 3. Japan 30, 4. Canada 25, 5. New Zealand, Singapore 1.
200-meter freestyle: 1. Erin Gemmell, US 1:56.15, 2. Jamie Perkins, AUS 1:57.34, 3. Kayla Wilson, US 1:58.42.
100-meter backstroke: 1. Maggie Wanezek, US 59.96, 2. Iona Anderson, AUS 1:00.39, 3. Kennedy Noble, US 1:01.03.
200-meter butterfly: 1. Airi Mitsui, JPN 2:07.82, 2. Yasuki Fujimoto, JPN 2:09.63, 3. Alex Shackell, US 2:09.71.
Mixed 4×100-meter medley relay: 1. US 3:46.83, 2. Australia 3:50.51, 3. Japan 3:50.81.
200-meter freestyle: 1. Flynn Southam, AUS 1:47.11, 2. Maximus Williamson, US 1:48.21, 3. Adam Wu, CAN 1:48.26.
100-meter backstroke: 1. Daniel Diehl, US 53.27, 2. Josh Zuchowski, US 54.51, 3. Hidekazu Takehara, JPN 55.51.
200-meter butterfly: 1. Aaron Shackell, US 1:55.81, 2. Thomas Heilman, US 1:56.52, 3. Ei Kamikawabata, JPN 1:58.32.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com