IU swimmers built on their success from the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships by bringing home 10 total medals — four gold, four silver and two bronze — at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships from Aug. 9 to 14 in Tokyo, Japan.
Senior Lilly King and former IU swimmer Zane Grothe led the way for the Hoosiers, each winning three medals. Grothe won one gold, one silver and one bronze, while King won one gold and two silver.
Grothe took gold in the 800-meter freestyle, and set a new Pan Pacific Championships record in the process, touching the wall in 7:43.74. Grothe won silver in the 1500-meter freestyle and bronze in the 400-meter freestyle. The silver medal Grothe won in the 1500 was his first ever international medal.
King’s gold came in the 100-meter breaststroke, an event in which she owns the world record. In Tokyo, King won with a time of 1:05.44, the second-fastest time in the world this year. King won silver in the 200-meter breaststroke and another silver in the 4x100-meter medley relay.
IU’s final two gold medals were won by senior Zach Apple, a recent transfer to IU from Auburn, and former IU swimmer Blake Pieroni. Both swam in the 4x200-meter relay for the United States. The U.S. won the race with a time of 7:04.36. Apple swam his leg in 1:46.20 and Pieroni swam his in 1:47.63.
Apple and Pieroni each looked like they had won another gold medal as members of the 4x100-meter relay team, as the U.S. also finished in first place. However, the Americans were disqualified for swimming out of order.
IU’s final two medals were won by former IU swimmer Margo Geer and senior Vinny Lanza.
Lanza won bronze in the 100-meter butterfly swimming for Brazil. He finished with a time of 51.44. Geer was part of the U.S.'s silver-medal winning 4x100-meter freestyle relay team. The U.S. finished with a time of 3:33.45, and Geer swam her leg in 53.59 seconds.
Michael Brinegar, an incoming IU freshman, swam the ninth-fastest time in the 800-meter freestyle, and is the only Hoosier left with an event to compete in: the 10-kilometer open water swim.
With only the men’s and women’s 10k left to be swam, the U.S. clinched a win in terms of overall medals. The Americans have won 28 medals, with 11 gold, nine silver and eight bronze. The next closest total is Australia with 19 total medals.
The next major event featuring IU swimmers is the Junior Pan Pacific Championships, taking place in Fiji from Aug. 23 to 27. Three incoming IU freshmen will compete — Mikey Calvillo, Van Mathias and Christin Rockway — as well as IU commit and rising high school senior Emily Weiss.
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