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Stamhuis and Lacroix Earn Swimming Gold at US Open

From Swimming Canada

MINNEAPOLIS - Audrey Lacroix of Montreal earned her second gold medal in two days while John Stamhuis of Victoria posted his first career international victory Saturday to conclude the U.S. Open swimming championships.

Silver medals were also won by Mike Mintenko of Vancouver in the 100 freestyle and Rick Say of Calgary in the 1,500 freestyle. Canadian swimmers ended the three-day meet with eight gold, five silver and four bronze.

In the women's 200-metre butterfly, Lacroix grabbed the lead in the final 50 metres to win in two minutes and 12.81 seconds. Lauren Stinnett of the U.S., was second in 2:14.25 and Jessica Deglau of Vancouver, the Canadian record holder, was third in 2:15.31.

"I had a much better race tonight," said Lacroix, 19, not satisfied with her performance in her 100 butterfly win on Friday. "I took it out much slower than usual but I fought back with a very strong final length. That was my plan."

Stamhuis led a Canadian medal sweep in the mens 200 breaststroke. The 24-year-old clocked 2:18.12 to edge Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and Canadian record holder Mike Brown of Perth, Ont., second in 2:18.78 while Chad Thomsen of Edmonton, the 100 breaststroke winner on Thursday, was third in 2:21.29.

"It was fun to have a good race against the other Canadians," said Stamhuis, who has made a remarkable comeback from a serious injury five years ago when he fell off a cliff. "The first three lengths were right on track but I fell off a bit on the last 50."

Say posted a personal best time in finishing second in the 1,500 freestyle in 15:41.03 as did Mintenko in the 100 freestyle clocking 50.41.

Other Canadian finalists were Jesse Jacks of Victoria fourth in the mens 200 butterfly, Taryn Lencoe of Vancouver and Brittany Reimer of Surrey, B.C., fourth and sixth in the women's 800 freestyle and Christin Petelski of Victoria sixth in the women's 200 breaststroke.

Keith Beavers of Waterloo, Ont., also won two gold medals at the meet highlighted by his victory in the 200 backstroke Thursday in which he beat world record holder and Olympic champion Lenny Krayzelburg of the U.S.

"Our performances here are right in tune with our game plan for the 2004 Olympics," said Canadian national team head coach Dave Johnson of Calgary. "There were numerous positive performances that were very excited about. And to see youngsters like Reimer and Lencoe reach finals already is a great start for them."