2019 Pan American Games: Day 1 Prelims Live Recap


  • Villa Deportiva Nacional – Videna, Lima, Peru
  • Tuesday, August 6th – Saturday, August 10th (pool swimming)
  • Prelims 11 AM / Finals 8:30 PM (local time/US Central Time)
  • Official Website
  • Entry List
  • Live Results

The 2019 Pan American Games begin this morning from Lima, Peru.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates of all the action from Lima. The Brazilian men look to keep three streaks alive: five-straight Pan Ams golds in the 4×100 free relay, two straight gold/silver sweeps in the men’s 100 breast and three straight golds in the men’s 200 fly.

Leonardo de Deus has won two of those three in the butterfly. Felipe Lima and Joao Gomes Junior lead the way in the breaststroke.

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello is after the South American record in the 400 free this morning, coming in with the top seed. She’s looking for Argentina’s first Pan Ams medal in this event since 1951. In the men’s race, it’s young Andrew Abruzzo of the United States atop the entry lists.

In the women’s 100 breast, the Americans have won six straight Pan Ams golds with five different swimmers. Annie Lazor looks to become the sixth, along with teammate Molly Hannis as the top two seeds.

In the women’s 200 fly, Sarah Gibson is the top seed, hoping to give the U.S. three of the last four golds in this race. Second-seeded Virginia Bardach of Argentina looks to become the first gold medalist in this event outside of the U.S. or Canada in Pan Ams history. She’s the #2 seed.

The morning will conclude with 4×100 free relays, which won’t be that exciting from a qualifying perspective (with only 10 entries per relay), but should be intriguing from a personnel perspective: each nation’s roster is capped at 18 men and 18 women, and that limits how many relay-only swimmers teams are bringing. Some (the U.S. in particular) are going to have lots of versatile options to fill out their relays, and prelims might be a chance to let them swim-off for the spots.

Women’s 400 Free – Prelims

  • World record: 3:56.46, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016
  • Pan Ams record: 4:08.42, Emily Overholt (CAN), 2015
  • Defending champ: 4:08.42, Emily Overholt (CAN)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Delfina Pignatiello (ARG) – 4:12.23
  2. Alyson Ackman (CAN) – 4:12.42
  3. Danica Ludlow (CAN) – 4:12.66
  4. Aline da Silva Rodrigues (BRA) – 4:14.15
  5. Mariah Denigan (USA) – 4:14.49
  6. Allyson Macias Alba (MEX) – 4:15.28
  7. Rebecca Mann (USA) – 4:15.69
  8. Viviane Eichelberger (BRA) – 4:16.79

It was a relatively sleepy prelims in the women’s 400. Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello is the favorite, and she cruised to the top qualifying spot, but only narrowly. The 19-year-old distance sensation went 4:12.23 this morning, well off her best of 4:06.61 set on the Mare Nostrum tour back in June. She’ll have a real shot to take on the Pan Ams record, her own Argentine record and even the South American record of 4:06.02 tonight.

Canada swept the next two spots. Alyson Ackman was 4:12.42 to finish second to Pignatiello in her heat – Ackman has been 4:11.08 already this year. Meanwhile Danica Ludlow won the first heat, going 4:12.66. She, too, hit a lifetime-best earlier this year, going 4:10.86 at Canadian Trials.

Brazil’s Aline da Silva sits fourth in 4:14.15. She’s looking for Brazil’s first Pan Ams medal in this event since 2003.

16-year-old Mariah Denigan was the top American, going 4:14.49. That’s still about two seconds off her lifetime-best of 4:12.59 from last summer’s Junior Pan Pacs. She ranks #41 in USA Swimming age group history with that time, and she’ll have a chance to better it tonight.

Her teammate Becca Mann was 4:15.69. Mann’s been as good as 4:07.0 in her career, but that was more than three years ago. Her best time over the last two years has been a 4:12.26 from U.S. Nationals last summer.

In between the two Americans is Mexico’s Allyson Macias Alba, who went a lifetime-best 4:15.28.

Men’s 400 Free – Prelims

  • World record: 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (GER), 2009
  • Pan Ams record: 3:48.29, Ryan Cochrane (CAN), 2015
  • Defending champ: 3:48.29, Ryan Cochrane (CAN)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Andrew Abruzzo (USA) – 3:49.46
  2. Chris Wieser (USA) – 3:50.23
  3. Fernando Scheffer (BRA) – 3:50.80
  4. Marcelo Acosta (ESA) – 3:52.17
  5. Luiz Melo (BRA) – 3:53.87
  6. Santiago Corredor (COL) – 3:54.03
  7. Ricardo Vargas (MEX) – 3:54.12
  8. Rafael Davila (VEN) – 3:55.58

The American men swept both heats, though neither was at their best yet this morning. 19-year-old Andrew Abruzzo is the top qualifier after winning the second heat in 3:49.46. Abruzzo went 3:48.58 last summer to qualify for this meet, though his swim this morning was a season-best by quite a bit: he’d been 3:52 earlier this season.

Abruzzo is only about a second off the Pan Ams record. He’s also only about three tenths from cracking the top 6 Americans this year, which would put him in line for National Team status heading into the Olympic year.

American Chris Wieser won the second heat, going 3:50.23. That’s a season-best for Wieser, though he really hasn’t gone after this event at all yet in 2019. Wieser had been 3:54 back in June. His lifetime-best of 3:48.6 from last summer would put him in the hunt for a U.S. National Team spot (top 6 among Americans over 2019 through August 25), and he’ll look to go after that tonight.

Brazil took two of the next three spots. Fernando Scheffer was 3:50.80, second behind Abruzzo in his heat. Scheffer is the national record-holder at 3:47.99, and he should probably be considered the favorite tonight. Scheffer didn’t swim this race at Worlds, but his teammate Luiz Melo did, taking 15th out of heats. Melo was 3:53.87 this morning to qualify for the final.

In between is Salvadorian record-holder Marcelo Acosta, who was 3:52.17. Acosta holds the national mark at 3:48.82, but hasn’t hit that time since the Rio Olympics three summers ago.

Women’s 100 Breast – Prelims

  • World record: 1:04.13, Lilly King (USA), 2017
  • Pan Ams record: 1:05.64, Katie Meili (USA), 2015
  • Defending champ: 1:05.64, Katie Meili (USA)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Annie Lazor (USA) – 1:06.79
  2. Julia Sebastian (ARG) – 1:06.98
  3. Molly Hannis (USA) – 1:07.59
  4. Melissa Rodriguez (MEX) – 1:08.30
  5. Jhennifer Conceicao (BRA) – 1:08.37
  6. Faith Knelson (CAN) – 1:08.47
  7. Mercedes Toledo (VEN) – 1:09.74
  8. Esther Gonzalez (MEX) – 1:10.22

American Annie Lazor blew out the second heat to run away with the top spot in the women’s 100 breast. Lazor, who has been on fire this season on the Pro Swim Series, went 1:06.79. She’s previously been 1:06.03 this year, and ranks 3rd worldwide. She’ll look to become just the third sub-1:06 in the world this season in tonight’s final.

Argentina’s Julia Sebastian won a hard-fought battle in the next heat with American Molly HannisSebastian cracked her own Argentine record with her 1:06.98, and became the first South American woman ever under 1:07 in the event. Sebastian took over the South American record from Brazil’s Jhennifer Conceicao, who previously set the record at 1:07.64 back in June.

Hannis is third in 1:07.59, a few tenths off her season-best. Hannis was 1:05.7 last summer, though, and is a real threat to win the whole thing tonight. Americans have won gold in this race at the last five Pan Ams.

Mexico’s Melissa Rodriguez is fourth in 1:08.30, within a second of her own national record. Conceicao was 1:08.37, and within a second of her national mark, too.

Canada’s Faith Knelson went 1:08.47, not far off a season-best and only four tenths slower than Canada’s lone entrant at the World Championships. Behind her, Venezuela’s Mercedes Toledo set a new national record of 1:09.74, taking seven tenths off her old record.

Men’s 100 Breast – Prelims

  • World record: 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2019
  • Pan Ams record: 59.21, Felipe Silva (BRA), 2015
  • Defending champ: 59.21, Felipe Silva (BRA)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Joao Gomes Junior (BRA) – 59.57
  2. Felipe Lima (BRA) – 59.91
  3. Cody Miller (USA) – 1:00.28
  4. Kevin Cordes (USA) – 1:00.58
  5. Jorge Murillo (COL) – 1:01.03
  6. Miguel de Lara Ojeda (MEX) – 1:01.04
  7. Mauro Castillo (MEX) – 1:01.77
  8. Martin Alvez (URU) – 1:01.89

Brazil put itself in line for a third straight gold/silver sweep in the men’s 100 breast. Joao Gomes is the top qualifier at 59.57, and Felipe Lima second in 59.91. They were the only two to break a minute this morning. Lima was the silver medalist in both the 2011 and 2015 Pan Ams, but didn’t break a minute in either of those finals. Gomes was the nation’s top entrant at Worlds, going 59.25 in heats but getting squeezed out in semifinals.

The two veteran Americans took third and fourth. Cody Miller was 1:00.28 – that’s well off a season-best for Miller, who went 59.2 mid-season. Kevin Cordes (1:00.58) was also off his 1:00.0 season-best from December.

Colombian record-holder Jorge Murillo is fifth, but well of his own 59.9 national mark. Mexican record-holder Miguel de Lara is about four tenths off his national record, and qualified sixth.

Women’s 200 Fly – Prelims

  • World record: 2:01.81, Liu Zige (CHN), 2009
  • Pan Ams record: 2:07.64, Kathleen Hersey (USA), 2007
  • Defending champ: 2:07.68, Audrey Lacroix (CAN)

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Virginia Bardach (ARG) – 2:11.37
  2. Sarah Gibson (USA) – 2:11.78
  3. Diana Luna Sanchez (MEX) / Mary-Sophie Harvey (CAN) – 2:12.67
  4. Maria Mata Cocco (MEX) – 2:12.88
  5. Danielle Hanus (CAN) – 2:13.26
  6. Meghan Small (USA) – 2:14.04
  7. Isabella Paez (VEN) – 2:14.10

It’s been a great morning for Argentina – they follow up a second qualifying spot in the 100 breast with the top one in the 200 fly. Virginia Bardach was 2:11.37 to win her heat, finishing about a half-second shy of her national record.

American Sarah Gibson sits second after winning her heat. Gibson shaved a tenth off her season-best with a 2:11.78, though she’s still well behind her 2:09.5 from last summer and her career-best of 2:08.7 from 2017.

We had a rare tie for the third spot. Mexico’s Diana Luna and Canada’s Mary-Sophie Harvey each went 2:12.67 this morning, and will flank Bardach and Gibson tonight.

Both nations qualified two finalists, with Danielle Hanus joining the show for Canada and Maria Mata Cocco for Mexico. The second American also got in: Meghan Small was 2:14.04, a long ways off her 2:11.39 from last year, but also just her first long course 200 fly of this entire season.

Men’s 200 Fly – Prelims

Top 8 qualifiers:

  1. Jonathan Gomez (COL) – 1:57.24
  2. Sam Pomajevich (USA) – 1:58.19
  3. Luiz Melo (BRA) – 1:58.76
  4. Tom Shields (USA) – 1:58.82
  5. Leonardo de Deus (BRA) – 2:00.00
  6. Hector Cruz (MEX) – 2:00.31
  7. Nicolas Deferrari (ARG) – 2:00.37
  8. Jose Martinez (MEX) – 2:00.73

Colombian record-holder Jonathan Gomez closed hard in his heat, winning in 1:57.24. He sits about six tenths off his own national record heading into tonight, and holds the top time of the prelims field.

In the next heat, 20-year-old Sam Pomajevich topped overall top seed Leonardo de Deus by a wide margin. Pomajevich was 1:58.19 – still two seconds off his lifetime-best from last summer, but good enough for the second qualifying spot here. De Deus, the two-time defending gold medalist, was 2:00.00 on the nose, qualifying fifth.

Swimming the second half of a brutal 400 free/200 fly double, Brazil’s Luiz Melo was solid, going 1:58.76 to lock into tonight’s final. Melo was 1:55.8 just last summer, and could be a medal threat tonight, unless the finals double proves too challenging.

American Tom Shields was 1:58.82, going out strong but falling off badly over his final 50. (His splits were 25.5/29.1/30.5/33.6, per results). He should have more in the tank tonight, though, after putting up a 1:56.1 at U.S. Nationals just last week.

Women’s 4×100 Free Relay – Prelims

  • World record: 3:30.05, Australia (Jack/Campbell/McKeon/Campbell), 2018
  • Pan Ams record: 3:36.80, Canada (Mainville/Williams/Savard/Van Landeghem), 2015
  • Defending champ: 3:36.80, Canada (Mainville/Williams/Savard/Van Landeghem

It appears the relays will only be swum at finals tonight.

Men’s 4×100 Free Relay – Prelims

  • World record: 3:08.24, USA (Phelps/Weber-Gale/Jones/Lezak), 2008
  • Pan Ams record: 3:13.66, Brazil (Santana/de Lucca/Fratus/Chierighini), 2015
  • Defending champ: 3:13.66, Brazil (Santana/de Lucca/Fratus/Chierighini)

It appears the relays will only be swum at finals tonight.

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4 years ago

What has happened to the USA lineup? Where’d Haley Anderson go? She was slated to swim the 400-800-1500 at Pan Ams, and that was as of only a month ago or so. Becca Mann is now entered in all 3 of those events in her place, and (sadly) she’s not even close to Haley’s times. She honestly wasn’t even in contention for Pan Ams in these events last summer at Nationals. Why didn’t we bring an alternate for the pool events?

Reply to  swimswamswum
4 years ago

Haley is in Tokyo for the official practice 10k for the Tokyo Games, along with Ashley Twichell

Reply to  swimswamswum
4 years ago

And, I understand that Haley has now qualified for the Olympics from her OW swim at Worlds. However, that’s the type of consideration that needs to take place in our team selection criteria. Pulling out of Pan Ams this late in the game is wrong, and the USA roster could have looked much different if this was avoided like it was for all other events. There is criteria that says that you cannot swim (olympic) events at both Worlds and Pan Ams. I’m pretty sure this would have made Erica Sullivan eligible for Pan Ams, and her 1500 alone was 22 seconds faster than Becca’s at Nationals last summer.

Reply to  Jared Anderson
4 years ago

Yes, but she pulled out of WUGs because she deferred another year of college, thus becoming ineligible for the meet (you must be enrolled in a college degree program during the year before or after the meet). So, that would make her eligible for the Pan Am Games, yes? And, even if you pass up Erica, there are several other ladies that could have been selected. I’d like to see our very best athletes competing for Team USA!!

Reply to  swimswamswum
4 years ago

USA Swimming begs to differ

Reply to  swimswamswum
4 years ago

Calm yourself.

4 years ago

Shields got absolutely wrecked by the biggest piano I’ve ever seen

4 years ago

The Argentine women really are flying this year.

4 years ago

Pretty pedestrian am swimming

Lane 8
4 years ago

Annie Lazor is doing great! She was 1:07.15 (31.84/35.31) in prelims of Bloomington when she set her PB.

Reply to  Lane 8
4 years ago

She looked like she went for it this morning, hopefully I am wrong

Ol’ Gator
4 years ago

I’m watching the ESPNU broadcast right now which is 1 hour delayed, just saw that Sean Lehane has the world record in the 100 breast and went 56.88 this year!

Ol’ Longhorn
4 years ago

Team USA needs to take some hits off Licon’s inhaler before finals.

Lane 8
4 years ago

Cody Miller was 59.74 in the prelims of Bloomington PSS (28.17/31.57)

Reply to  Lane 8
4 years ago

he better put the rockets in for finals …oh wait ….which ones ?lol

Reply to  Lane 8
4 years ago

In Bloomington he had many dolphin kicks

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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