The Australian girl’s relay team of Shayna Jack, Lucy McJannett, Sophie Taylor and Chelsea Gillett followed in the footsteps of the gold medal winning senior team to take first place and set a new Junior Pan Pacs meet record in the 4x100m freestyle relay on night three of finals at the Kihei Aquatic Centre in Maui.
Just as the senior team had done on the Gold Coast for the Hancock Prospecting Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, the junior quartet combined to take it to team USA and fight for first place.
Turning a touch behind in second place and with just 50 metres to swim, Gillett showed off her impressive underwater skills and back end speed to get up over the top of the USA (3:40.14) and grab the gold in a time of 3:39.73.
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After winning the silver medal in the individual 100m freestyle behind Jack, Gillett stepped it up in the relay to record the fastest split time of 54.33.
The girl’s time was quick enough to eclipse the previous World Junior record (WJR) but the FINA rules state that the girl’s must be 17 or younger as of December 31st of the current year, and with one swimmer turning 18 in October, the WJR will go to the USA. The bronze medal in the event went to Japan in 3:45.53.
In the corresponding boy’s event the team of Vincent Dai, Brayden McCarthy, Benno Negri and Blake Jones united to win silver for Australia in a time of 3:20.75.
With the USA clearly out in front it was a race for the minor medals and a fantastic final changeover from Jones (49.69) was enough to sneak into second place and relegate Japan to third.
The USA won gold in 3:18.68 with Japan stopping the clock in 3:22.98 to round out the top three.