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Sunday, August 28, 2022

U.S. Wraps Junior Pan Pacific Championships with 46 Medals, Team of the Meet Honors

U.S. Wraps Junior Pan Pacific Championships with 46 Medals, Team of the Meet Honors

After the fourth and final day of competition at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Honolulu, the U.S. captured "Team of the Meet" honors after its 46-medal showing. 

A complete breakdown of the medal table can be found below:

Team  Gold  Silver  Bronze  Total 
 United States  19   14   13   46 
 Japan  8  11   10  29
 Australia  8  11  6  25
 Canada  0  1  2  3
 Singapore  0  0  2  2

The first U.S. gold of the day was awarded to Maximus Williamson (Southlake, Texas/North Texas Nadadores) for his 1:59.01 showing in the men's 200-meter individual medley. Williamson posted the only sub-2:00 swim in the field, besting Chase Kalisz' previous meet record and marking a new personal best for the young swimmer. The time is the first time he has ever gone under 2:00.

“It’s a little shocking, honestly," Williamson said of breaking Kalisz' meet record and going 1:59. "It will probably hit me a few hours from now, but I’m a bit stunned right now.

“It felt like I was going fast. I’ve been working on my breaststroke a lot recently, and my breaststroke felt really good there – I think that was the big difference in the race.”

Also winning individual gold was Sarasota Sharks' Michaela Mattes, who took the 1500m freestyle title in 16:24.02.

“It feels amazing," she said. "Especially after everything I have gone through in the past year or two, to be here is just incredible and to win gold is incredibly satisfying. At this time last year, I didn’t think I was going to get to swim again, I was in the hospital for something serious, so it’s just great to actually be here today.” 

The U.S. continued its hot streak in relay events, winning both medley relays tonight in commanding fashion. The women's team was up first, seeing Maggie Wanazek (Brookfield, Wisconsin/Elmbrook Swim Club) start with a 1:00.66 backstroke leg, followed by a 1:09.30 breaststroke from Piper Enge (Mercer Island, Washington/Bellevue Club Swim Team), a 58.45 butterfly from Alex Shackell (Carmel, Indiana/Carmel Swim Club) and a 53.73 anchor freestyle from Erin Gemmell (Potomac, Maryland/Nation's Capital Swim Club). 

“This is my first relay experience for Team USA, and it was just so exciting to be able to get up on the blocks and compete for us," Enge said. "It is a really great relay team to be a part of and I’m glad that this was my first [relay] team.”

“I think it was a little bit of both [nerves and excitement]," Wanazek said of her emotions before the swim. "I think I was definitely nervous, but obviously was excited to represent USA on a relay. Like Piper, this was my first relay at Junior Pan Pacs for Team USA. It was just really fun to be on a relay with these girls.”

The men's team won gold in the event 3:36.65, just 0.31 ahead of Australia. Daniel Diehl (Cumberland, Maryland/YMCA of Cumberland) led off with a 54.24 backstroke, followed by a 1:01.52 breaststroke from Zhier Fan (Plano, Texas/Metroplex Aquatics), a 51.71 butterfly from Thomas Heilman (Crozet, Virginia/Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA) and a 49.18 freestyle from Kaii Winkler (Miami, Florida/Eagle Aquatics). 

“Before I dove in, I told myself to give it everything I had," Fan said. "I was kind of tired from the 200 [breaststroke], but I put that aside and gave it everything I could to try and get my hand on the wall as fast as possible for the next guy.”

Also garnering attention today was the 50m freestyle, which saw an American tie for silver in the men's event as both Diggory Dillingham (Bend, Oregon/Bend Swim Club) and Winkler posted a 22.50. This is the second time this meet where two Americans have tied for silver after Josh Parent and Alec Enyeart posted matching times in, ironically, the 1500m freestyle. The women's 50m freestyle saw Anna Moesch (Green Brook, New Jersey/Greater Somerset County YMCA) grab silver in 25.32, followed by Gemmell for bronze in 25.46.

“I’m so happy," Moesch said. "Erin and I both went into that race really wanting to get on the podium together. It’s really exciting to be there with her especially after she has had such an amazing meet. I’m really happy with her and I’m glad we got to be up there together.”

Both Enge and Enyeart added individual bronzes to the U.S. tally on the night as well, with Enge's third-place finish coming via a 2:27.93 200m breaststroke swim and Enyeart's coming via an 8:08.24 800m freestyle swim. 

For more on the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships, visit

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