Santiago: Calfacacos puts golden polish on productive Junior Pan Ams
Dean Calfacacos of Pointe-Claire, Que, won gold on Sunday in the boys 11 and under one-metre to highlight a six-medal day for Canada to conclude the Pan Am Junior Championships in diving.
Canada collected 25 medals over the four days of competition: six gold, nine silver and 10 bronze. Mexico led the charge with 26 medals including 11 gold while the U.S. earned 21 medals including eight gold.
In the boys 11 and under one-metre, Calfacacos earned a second medal this week placing first with 215.25 points. David Gabriel Vazquez Cio of Mexico was second at 214.95 and Arnaud Corbeil of Terrebonne, Que., third at 194.50.
‘’I’m happy,’’ said Calfacacos, also third on three-metre this week. ‘’To win an international competition is really big. My back one and half was probably my most difficult dive today.’’
‘’It’s great to get the medal,’’ Corbeil added. ‘’The entire competition was close. I made some nice dives and that helped me get on the podium. I wasn’t intimidated by the other competitors who had bigger dives than me.’’
Canada won two medals in the girls 12-13 three-metres. Avery Worobel of the U.S. was first with 299.00, Jordane Legault of St-Eustache, Que., second at 295.80 and Megan Lupa of Beamsville, Ont., third at 293.05. It was a second podium finish for both Canadians.
‘’All of my dives were pretty good except for my twister,’’ said Legault, the platform champion this week. ‘’It was a great way to end my career in this category and I look forward to learning some new dives for next season.’’
Lupa was also third on three-metre.
‘’It’s been an amazing competition,’’ said Lupa. ‘’I had never been to a Pan Ams and I didn’t know how strong the other countries would be. It’s great to see some of the divers I’ll be facing for the next few years.’’
Lila Stewart of Regina added a silver in the girls 11 and under platform with 214.80. She was beaten by Juliet Radich of the U.S. who topped the field with 242.65. Isa Koop of Edmonton was fifth.
‘’It was really fun to travel with Team Canada for the first time and meeting people from other countries,’’ said Stewart. ‘’It shows how good you can be and it’s important not to give up.’’
Canada added a bronze on women’s three-metre synchro with Mélodie Leclerc of Montreal and Marie-Laurence Forest of Quebec City earning 260.73. USA and Mexico were 1-2.
On boys 14-15 three-metre, Matt Cullen of Rosemère, Que., was fifth and Benjamin Tessier of Blainville, Que., eighth.
‘’We had a lot of really outstanding performances,’’ said Andrée Pouliot-Deschamps, Diving Canada’s junior high performance director. ‘’Our athletes were very precise in their dives and they never gave up. To have 25 medals is amazing and it shows the hard work the athletes and coaches are doing is paying off.’’
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