DiRado earns a silver, Manuel wins bronze at Pan Pacific


Nothing was going to dampen the spirits of Stanford grad Maya DiRado or fellow American Elizabeth Beisel after they finished one-two in the women's 400-meter individual medley at the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia on Friday.

Beisel won the event in a meet record 4:31.99, while DiRado took the silver medal, swimming 4:35.37 in the rain and cold that affected every race.

DiRado and Japanese swimmer Sakiko Shimizu were out front and about even at the end of the butterfly leg, before DiRado began to pull away in the first length of the backstroke. Beisel followed suit and took the lead at the 200-meter mark.

From that point, she never looked back, cruising her way to a win with a Pan Pacific record time of 4:31.99. DiRado touched more than three seconds later for silver, while Australia's Keryn McMaster was third in 4:38.84.

"I feel really good about this swim," Beisel told USA swimming. "I've been 4:31 for like six years now, and I swim it differently each time. Definitely, it's cool to get the win. That's really what we're here for: to get medals for USA, so I can't complain."

Incoming Stanford freshman Simone Manuel earned her first international medal, finishing third in the women's 100-meter free in a race that included record holder Cate Campbell of Australia, who won the race in 52.72. Manuel went 53.71, just out-touching Missy Franklin's 53.87.

Katie Ledecky, the high school senior who has committed to Stanford, raced 1:54.56 as the anchor of the 800 free relay to make up over a second and help Team USA win the gold medal.

Ledecky also swam in the preliminaries of the 100 free, posting a 55.25 for 13th overall. Stanford grad Felicia Lee went 55.63 to finish 19th.

Lee swam the sixth fastest qualifying time in the prelims of the 100 fly, swimming a 58.59 on Saturday morning (local time).

Ledecky set a Pan Pacific record with her qualifying mark of 4:03.09 in the 400 free.

Cardinal grad Geoffrey Cheah, representing Hong Kong, finished 15th overall in the men's 100-meter free.

Cheah also swam in the 100 fly, going 53.97 for a top 16 finish.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Swimming

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