Team USA Dominant on Fourth Night of Pan Am Swimming Finals
GUADALAJARA – Team USA set two meet records and won four of the five gold medals contested Tuesday in the swimming finals of the 16th Pan American Games. The U.S. won six medals overall, including two silver.
The Americans’ four day medal count now stands at 26 – 12 gold, 10 silver and four bronze.
Winning gold and setting meet records for the U.S. were Sean Mahoney (Rio Vista, Calif.) in the men’s 200m breaststroke and Catherine Breeed (Pleasanton, Calif.), Elizabeth Pelton (Ruxton, Md.), Chelsea Nauta (Tampa, Fla.) and Amanda Kendall (Fairfax, Va.) in the women’s 800m free relay.
Mahoney and teammate Clark Burckle (Louisville, Ky.) went 1-2 in the men’s 200m breast, both swimming faster than the former meet record of 2:13.37. Mahoney touched in 2:11.62, followed by Burckle in 2:12.60.
“I’m pretty excited,” Mahoney said. “This is at altitude, so I didn’t expect to swim that fast, and Clark did great. It was awesome. We’re good friends, so it’s just fun to be up there (on the medal stand) together.
“Brazil’s been having a great meet on their side, so it’s nice to have some great swims on our side, too.”
The women’s 800m freestyle relay finished more than eight seconds ahead of the rest of the field in 8:01.18, besting the meet record of 8:02.03 by more than a second.
Each of the women on the relay have already medaled at these Pan American Games. Pelton won gold in the 400m free relay on Saturday and a silver in the 100m backstroke on Sunday. Breed and Nauta finished 1-2 in the 200m free on Sunday, while Kendall has a gold medal from the women’s 400m free relay.
“We were very pleased with the way we swam this morning,” Nauta said. “We knew we were really close to the record after this morning’s swim, so that was definitely a goal going into tonight. We were very pleased to set a record and get the gold medal.”
Also winning her second medal of the week was Julia Smit (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), who took the women’s 200m IM in 2:13.73. Smit, who won the 400m IM on the first night of competition, was the reigning Pan American champion in this event and set the meet record in 2007.
“I wanted to repeat my title,” Smit said. “That was one of my goals coming in, so I was happy with how I swam tonight. Pan Ams is one of my favorite meets I’ve ever been to, and I’m really excited about a gold medal.”
Arthur Frayler (Ambler, Pa.) and Ryan Feeley (Rye, N.Y.) turned in another 1-2 finish for the Americans in the men’s 1500m freestyle, turning in times of 15:19.59 and 15:22.19, respectively. Both Frayler and Feeley separated themselves from the pack at about the halfway point and raced each other to the finish.
“I have to say it makes me pretty proud,” Frayler said. “The U.S. team, especially the men, have has really been fighting for those medals, especially against Brazil, and we kept that in mind today.”
Other finalists for the Americans Tuesday included Matt Patton (Matthews, N.C), 4th, men’s 200m freestyle (1:48.64); Scot Robison (Charlotte, N.C.), 5th, men’s 200m freestyle (1:48.71); and Whitney Myers (Oxford,Ohio), 4th, women’s 200m IM (2:15.23).
The swimming finals of the 16th Pan American Games continues Wednesday with prelims and finals of the women’s 100m free, the men’s 200m IM, the women’s 200m butterfly and the men’s 800m free relay. The finals of the women’s 800m free will also be contested Wednesday night.
For more information, go to www.usaswimming.org.
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As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 300,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.