Gold by the dozen in Hawaii

The Australian Swim Team has won four gold medals on the final night of pool competition at the 2010 Junior Pan Pacs in Hawaii, to take their overall total for the meet to 12, four more than in 2009, with Yolane Kukla, Rebecca Kemp, Bonnie Macdonald and Kenneth To all winning gold.

With the USA leading the way with 16 gold medals over the four days in the pool, the young Aussies fought back hard through a determined 1500m freestyle from Macdonald, a personal best 200m breast from Kemp and two outstanding 50m freestyle’s from Kukla and To.

The 14-year-old Australian champion started Australia’s gold rush with a personal best of 24.74 before Kenneth To came out and raced down fellow Aussie and new age record holder Te Haumi Maxwell to hit the wall in 22.49.

Gold Coaster Bonnie Macdonald swam a superbly paced 1500m freestyle to win from Jessica Ashwood while Kemp finished second in the 200m breast, but picked up gold as Tessa Wallace was disqualified for a false start.

The 2010 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Maui will conclude tomorrow at Wailea Beach with the 10km Open Water Swim.

Australian Medal Winners – 2010 Junior Pan Pacs – Night 4
Yolane Kukla – Gold in the 50m freestyle in 24.74
“That’s a pretty big PB and I didn’t really think I was going that fast. It’s been good training this week as well, because it has been putting me under pressure to race hard in tough conditions. I’ve got another block of work to do now before the Commonwealth Games, but I’m happy with how things are going.”
Kenneth To – Gold in the 50m freestyle in 22.49
“I’m really stoked with that time, because 22.4 is something that I’ve really been aiming for and to just keep chipping off some of that time over the 50m.  Te Haumi posted a terrific time this morning, beating his PB by over half a second, and when I saw that time this morning I thought, I’ve got to pull out something special tonight.”
Rebecca Kemp – Gold in the 200m breaststroke in 2:26.47
“It’s a slight PB so I’m really happy with that. I felt really good in the water and was confident with my 200m pace and knew that I had to swim my own race tonight.  I did a PB over at Oceania Games and then I came back and got sick for a week and had to re-group, with just two weeks of hard training behind me and I’m just wrapped to swim that time again and another PB.”
Bonnie Macdonald – Gold in the 1500m freestyle in 16:29.79
“I really wanted to just pace myself during it and not worry about the other competitors, but I guess they are there to spur me on a bit. I’m pretty competitive and it’s great to have such fast competition and I didn’t expect to do such a massive PB like that.”
Jessica Ashwood – Silver in the 1500m freestyle in 16:30.40
Ned McKendry – Silver in the 800m freestyle in 8:02.28
Te Haumi Maxwell – Silver in the 50m freestyle in 22.66
Mitch Larkin – Silver in the 200m IM in 2:01.53
Whitney Ireland, Tessa Wallace, Yolane Kukla, Emma McKeon – Silver in the 4x100m medley relay in 4:05.16
Ben Edmonds, Nicholas Schafer, Jayden Hadler, Kenneth To – Gold in the 4x100m medley relay in 3:40.28
Jayden Hadler – Bronze in the 200m IM in 2:03.40

Medal Tally – Day 4
USA – 16 Gold, 16 Silver, 14 Bronze
Australia - 12 Gold, 12 Silver, 11 Bronze
Japan – 4 Gold, 3 Silver, 5 Bronze
New Zealand – 2 Gold, 0 Silver, 0 Bronze
Canada – 0 Gold, 3 Silver, 4 Bronze

In the first event of the night at Maui's Kihei Aquatic Centre, USA's Jasmine Tosky won her fifth medal of the meet, and second gold, capturing the women's 200m IM title in 2:13.55. Tosky dominated the race, leading from the start and had the fastest breaststroke and freestyle splits of the race, beating home Rika Omoto (2:15.78) of Japan and Emily Cameron (2:16.23) from the USA. Australia's 400m IM silver and bronze medallist’s, Keryn McMaster (2:17.02) and Amy Levings (2:18.34), finished fourth and fifth respectively. Notably, Norwood's Jenni O'Neil finished fourth in the B Final of this event, in a time of 2:18.93, three seconds faster than her heat swim.

Brisbane teen Mitch Larkin broke his third Australian Age record of these championships, finishing second in the men's 200m IM. Larkin was unable to match USA's David Nolan over the first 100m, but flew home over the last length in 27.85 to sneak under teammate Kenneth To's existing record and post a new standard of 2:01.53. Nolan won the race in a new meet record time of 2:00.61, while Australia's triple gold medallist from these championships Jayden Hadler swam to bronze in 2:03.40. Australia took out the B Final, with Justin James using a strong freestyle leg to record a new PB of 2.05.27.

Yolane Kukla smashed her personal best time to win the women's 50m freestyle in convincing fashion. Kukla was explosive from start to finish, swimming faster than she did at last week's Pan Pacs, to break teammate Emma McKeon's meet record in a time of 24.74. The time breaks Olympic bronze medallist Cate Campbell's Australian Age record, and moves Kukla into number eight on the world rankings for 2010, and also ranks her as fifth fastest Australian of all time. Before Kukla's race, McKeon smoked the competition in the B Final to break the meet record in a time of 25.32 which would have given her second position in the championship race. The minor medals went to Madeline Schaefer (25.42) of the USA and Chantelle Vanlandeghem (25.49) of Canada. Noosa's Brittany Elmslie cracked the 26-second barrier to finish fifth in 25.94.

Australia's Youth Olympic gold medallist Kenneth To won gold in the men's 50m freestyle to take out the sprint double at these championships. To almost matched teammate Te Haumi Maxwell's meet record from the prelims, to win gold in a time of 22.49. Maxwell finished with the silver medal in 22.66, slightly slower than the 22.48 from this morning. Both of the boys' time challenges the fastest men in Australia, with big-names Eamon Sullivan, Ashley Callus and Cameron Prosser unable to break 22 seconds so far in 2010.  The bronze medal in the race went to USA's Brent Murray in 22.78, while Mackay's Justin James swam an identical time to this morning to finish second in the B Final in 23.51, ahead of Brisbane's Declan Potts who finished fourth in 24.08.

Mackay's four-time Oceania gold medallist Rebecca Kemp, won Australia's third gold on night four in the women's 200m breaststroke. Kemp pulled away from the competition on the third 50m, to break the meet record and win in a personal best time of 2.26.47. Pelican Waters' Tessa Wallace actually got her hands on the wall first out of lane 2, but was disqualified for a false start. Silver in the race went to Andrea Kropp of the USA in 2.27.64, and Canada's Tera Van Beilin swam to bronze out of lane 1 in 2.29.12.

100m breaststroke champion from this meet, River City's Nicholas Schafer again made his way onto the podium, swimming a 2:13.92 for the bronze medal. Schafer made his move on the third 50m to lead to the 150m mark, before Japan's Akihiro Yamaguchi (2:13.43) and USA's Matthew Elliott (2:13.53) swam over the top of him, with all three athletes swimming under the previous meet record. Brisbane's Buster Sykes led at the 50m turn, before finishing seventh in a time of 2.16.63.

Gold Coaster Bonnie Macdonald went one better in tonight's 1500m freestyle, winning gold in a personal best time of 16:29.79. Macdonald, a silver medallist in the 800m freestyle on day one, swam a conservative front half, with American Amber McDermott already having a five second lead by the 400m mark. MacDonald grabbed the lead at the 1250m, before being challenged down the stretch by teammate Jessica Ashwood. Ashwood took off with 100m to go and actually led going into the last lap by just 0.17, before MacDonald brought in a monster six-beat kick to fly home the last length in 29.75 and secure the gold medal. Ashwood recorded a massive 23 second PB in 16:30.40, while McDermott ended up third in 16:36.04. Both Aussie girls would have finished in the top 8 at last week's Pan Pacs championships, and it ranks them just inside the top 25 in the world for this year.

Brisbane's Ned McKendry finally got his hand on the wall first in a final at this week's championships, but still didn't get the gold, with USA's Evan Pinion posting a time of 7.58.93 in this morning’s timed final of the 800m freestyle to steal the gold medal. McKendry sat off 400m gold medallist Nicholas Caldwell of the USA for 700m, before absolutely flying home the last 50m in 26.85, which has been a trademark all week. McKendry finished with a total time of 8:02.28, just ahead of Caldwell's 8.02.50, with Brisbane boy George O'Brien posting an 8.16.96 for tenth, as a warm up for tomorrow mornings 10km open water race.

The Australian women's 4x100m Medley relay team of Whitney Ireland, Tessa Wallace, Yolane Kukla and Emma McKeon swam a brave race to finish just behind the dominant USA women. Ireland split 1:02.73 faster than her individual swim earlier in the week, before handing over to Wallace who put the Aussies in the lead with a split of 1:08.37. Kelly Naze of the USA then put in a huge split of 58.15 to swim away from Kukla, before McKeon touched the wall to claim silver in a total time of 4:05.16. USA won in 4:03.73 and Canada finished with bronze in 4:07.59.

The Aussie men's team could only match the women's effort, with a silver medal in the 4x100m Medley relay. Ben Edmonds, Nicholas Schafer, Jayden Hadler and Kenneth To combined for a time of 3:40.38, swimming under the meet record but behind the USA team (3:38.44). Japan finished third in 3:41.75.  

For full results of the 2010 Junior Pan Pacific Championships go to