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Cameron earns top three finishes at Jr. Nationals Warwick junior wins gold in 200 I.M.
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Emily Cameron’s training in long course distances was minimal leading up to the National Club Swimming Association Junior Nationals in Orlando, Fla. from March 18-24.
She had mainly been practicing short course (25-yard pool length) up until that time, and her hard work paid off at the State Triple-A Championships the week before, where she won her fourth and fifth career PIAA gold medals.
Still, Cameron bounced back from States and put together strong performances in the long-course (50-meter pool length) finals in Orlando, taking gold in the 200 I.M. in 2:16.1, silver in the 100 breastroke in 1:10.90 and bronze in the 400 I.M in 4:49.
Competing as a member of the Lancaster Aquatic Club, she also placed top eight in five other events, including the 50 and 100 free.
Asked about Cameron’s ability to remain at at a peak level so quickly after the State Meet, LAC coach Casey Coble said, "Mentally and physically, it’s pretty remarkable. I did try to (plan) her season so that she would be able to do that in that I didn’t give her a full out rest for States like I normally would. I tried to keep a little bit in the tank for the next week. It’s still very, very difficult to carry it that long … It’s not easy and it’s even harder to do it mentally."
On her final day of competition, Cameron equaled her best time in the 200 I.M. while touching the wall first in 2:16.1.
"I know she can go faster than that," Coble said, "but she has had very limited long course practicing, so for her to be right on her best time like that, I was pretty happy with that."
After going 1:00.54 to win the PIAA 100 breastroke, she built on that performance with a solid 1:10.90 in the long-course 100 breast on her way to the silver medal.
"We were very pleased with that," Coble said. "I think now she realizes she has her breastroke back. She swam 1:11.3 for two or three years now, and for her to finally get under that 1:11 mark and go 1:10 was a huge monkey off her back."
At this point, Cameron has qualified in four events — the 200 and 400 I.M. and 100 and 200 breastroke — for the Olympic Trials, to be held June 25 to July 2 in Omaha, Neb. She had been hoping to punch her ticket in the 50 and 100 free at Junior Nationals, but came up just short.
"We’re going to be going to the Charlotte Grand Prix about a month from now," Coble said, "and we’ll take another shot at it there."
Having seen Cameron drop a lot of time in her short-course prelims in Orlando, Coble is encouraged about her potential once she gets more long-course training.
"For her to go best times in the morning (in short course) is phenomenal," Coble said. "She’s usually a finals swimmer. Once she gets some long course training in, I think we could see the bottom drop out of the some of those long course times as well." More CAMERON, page B-6