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2012 Junior Pan Pacs: Jack Conger twice golden on day 3

By Bryan Flaherty

Jack Conger took a familiar step atop the medal stand on Saturday night at the 2012 Jr. Pan Pacific championship meet to receive his second and third gold medals of the meet in Honolulu.

In his third individual final of the week, Conger led from start to finish to set a meet meet record in the 200-meter backstroke in 1 minute 57.20 seconds — his second meet record of the week — shaving .58 seconds off the previous mark. It was a personal best by nearly a full second for the 17-year-old Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club star, who was fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in late June and took silver in the event at the 2012 U.S. Open at the beginning of August.

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Minutes after receiving the gold medal from team mentor and backstroke legend Aaron Peirsol, Conger was back on the blocks for his second event of the night — the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay — and his second meet record. The relay team of Matt Ellis, Conger, Kyle Darmody, and Pete Brumm finished in 3:18.67, shattering the previous record by 1.05 seconds.

Saturday’s medal haul bring his total to four medals in the week — adding to a gold in the 100 backstroke and bronze in the 100 freestyle — showcasing an elite level of versatility usually unheard of in age group swimmers, and, with the 50 freestyle and 4×100 medley relay events left to go on Sunday, Conger could walk away with a total of six medals.

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