Team USA Wins Nine Medals on Opening Night of Pan Am Games

GUADALAJARA – Team USA won nine medals and set three meet records Saturday at the 16th Pan American Games.

Madison Kennedy (Avon, Conn.), Elizabeth Pelton (Ruxton, Md.), Amanda Kendall (Fairfax, Va.), and Erika Erndl (Naples, Fla.) won gold and set the meet record twice in the women’s 400m freestyle relay, once in prelims (3:40.85) and again in finals (3:40.66).

“I went the same time both morning and night, so I have to thank my lovely teammates for breaking that record with me,” Kennedy said. “We all train with separate teams, but we all come together under the same flag. Every time we go to games like this, it’s really cool to know that we all train apart, but we all come together to race.”

Claire Donahue (Lenoir City, Tenn.) set the meet record in the prelims of the women’s 100m butterfly (58.59), the returned to win gold in the finals (58.73).

“It feels so cool,” Donahue said. “I didn’t think I would be able to do this. It’s my first international meet, and my first time even being out of the country. It’s just so exciting and so overwhelming, I don’t think it’s hit me yet what I’ve been able to do at this meet so far.”

Overall, the Americans won four gold, two silver and three bronze medals on the first night of competition.

Also winning gold for Team USA were Julia Smit (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) in the women’s 400m IM (4:46.15) and Charlie Houchin (Raleigh, N.C.) in the men’s 400m freestyle (3:50.95). Winning silver for the U.S. were Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.) in the men’s 400m IM (4:18.22) and Matt Patton (Matthews, N.C.) in the men’s 400m free (3:51.25). Bronze medalists were Elaine Breeden (Lexington, Ky.) in the women’s 100m butterfly (59.81), Robert Margalis (Flushing, N.Y) in the men’s 400m IM and Alyssa Vavra (Coaldale, Pa.) in the women’s 400m IM (4:48.05).

The meet continues Sunday with prelims and finals of the women’s 100m backstroke, the men’s 100m freestyle, the women’s 200m freestyle, the men’s 100m breaststroke, and the men’s 400m freestyle relay. For more information about the meet, go to

About USA Swimming
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

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