SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Jennifer Abel of Montreal won the gold on women’s three-metre as Canadian divers continued to parade to the medal podium on Saturday at the Pan American diving championships.
Meaghan Benfeito, Eloise Bélanger and Frédérique Lalonde, all of Montreal, Sabrina Beaupré of Longueuil, Que., and the Victoria synchro pair of Riley McCormick and Shane Miskiel all added bronze medals. After three days of competition the Canadians have 14 medals (two gold –four silver and eight bronze).
In women’s 16-18 age group three-metre, Abel nailed her final dive to move into first place and win the gold with 478.45 points. She also won silver on Thursday on one-metre. Victoria Ishimatsu of the U.S., was second at 476.70 and Benfeito third at 453.35.
‘’I have never experienced such emotions as today,’’ said Abel, 16, third in the event at the world juniors last year. ‘’I wasn’t looking for the win but I knew I had a chance. My optional dives definitely came through for me today.’’
There are nine rounds in the competition with five compulsory dives and four optionals. Abel was fifth after the compulsories.
It was also Benfeito’s second medal of the competition. She won gold Friday on tower.
‘’I didn’t miss any dives but my entries could have been better,’’ said Benfeito, a two-time world senior team member competing at her final junior level event.
In girls 14-15 one-metre, Kaylea Arnett led the U.S., to a 1-2 finish with 347.35. Loren Figueroa was second at 341.55 and Beaupré third at 339.00. Hailey Casper of Calgary was fourth at 318.05.
In girls 12-13 platform, it was another American 1-2 finish with Lillian Hinrichs first at 275.00 and Annika Lenz second at 258.75. Belanger was third at 240.30. Cassidy-Nora Gagnon-Lenihan of Beaconsfield, Que., was edged out for the bronze finishing fourth at 238.45.
In girls 11 and under three-metre, the U.S., was 1-2 again with Sarah Bacon first at 266.15 and Wallace Layland second at 257.15. Lalonde snared the bronze at 246.10. Michelle Piper Kulak of Edmonton was fifth.