2023 Pan American Games: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


The first finals session of the 2023 Pan American Games kicks off Saturday with the 400 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, and 4×100 free relay on the schedule in Santiago, Chile.

A pair of Brazilians (Maria Costa and Gabrielle Roncatto) paced the women’s 400 free prelims this morning, but the American duo of Paige Madden (4:14.42) and Rachel Stege (4:14.60) were within a second of them. Brazil’s Guilherme Costa, the favorite in all three distance free events, was the top qualifier in the men’s 400 free prelims this morning by nearly three seconds (3:52.23) ahead of U.S. Olympic medalist Jay Litherland (3:55.00).

Both 100 breast races are expected to be close matchups. Canada’s Rachel Nicol (1:08.10) edged Argentina’s Macarena Ceballos (1:08.12) and Canada’s Sophie Angus (1:08.19) by less than a tenth of a second in the women’s 100 breast prelims while Jake Foster (1:00.95) edged Brazil’s Joao Gomes (1:00.89) on the men’s side.

Texas teammates Kelly Pash (2:10.68) and Dakota Luther (2:10.78) are set for a showdown in the women’s 200 fly after taking the top two seeds just a tenth of a second apart in prelims this morning. The men’s 200 fly also features a pair of Americans as the top seeds with Mason Laur (1:57.58) and Jack Dahlgren (1:58.51) the only swimmers under 1:59 in the morning heats.


  • World Record: 3:55.38 – Ariarne Titmus, Australia (2023)
  • Pan American Games Record: 4:08.42 – Emily Overholt, Canada (2015)

Top 3:

  1. Paige Madden (USA) – 4:06.45 *Pan Ams Record
  2. Maria Costa (BRA) – 4:06.68
  3. Gabrielle Roncatto (BRA) – 4:06.88

The top four finishers all went under the Emily Overholt‘s old Pan Ams record of 4:08.42 from 2015, but it was 24-year-old Paige Madden who emerged victorious by just a couple tenths of a second. Her winning time of 4:06.45 just barely edged out Brazil’s Maria Costa (4:06.68), Brazil’s Gabrielle Roncatto (4:06.88), and fellow American Rachel Stege (4:06.94) for the crown.

Madden owns a lifetime best of 4:03.98 from the Tokyo 2021 Olympic heats, where she ultimately placed 7th in the final (4:06.81). Costa set a new best time en route to silver, lowering her 4:06.85 from the Brazil Trophy in late May.


  • World Record: 3:40.07 – Paul Biedermann, Germany (2009)
  • Pan American Games Record: 3:48.29 – Ryan Cochrane, Canada (2015)

Top 3:

  1. Guilherme Costa (BRA) – 3:46.79 *Pan Ams Record
  2. Alberto Mestre (VEN) – 3:47.62
  3. James Plage (USA) – 3:50.74

Guilherme Costa began his quest for a distance freestyle sweep at Pan Ams with a meet record in the 400 free (3:46.79), lowering the previous mark set by Canada’s Ryan Cochrane in 2015. The 25-year-old Brazilian placed 4th at Worlds in 3:43.58 after placing 3rd last year in a personal-best 3:43.31.

Venezuela’s Alfonso Mestre, the brother of Olympian Alberto Mestre, impressed with a silver medal performance in 3:47.62, about a second off his personal-best 3:46.61 from Worlds this year, where he placed 11th in prelims.

NC State senior James Plage rounded out the podium with a 3rd-place finish in 3:50.74, within a second of his personal-best 3:49.87 from June.


  • World Record: 1:04.13 – Lilly King, United States (2017)
  • Pan American Games Record: 1:05.64 – Katie Meili, United States (2015)

Top 3:

  1. Rachel Nicol (CAN) – 1:07.28
  2. Sophie Angus (CAN) – 1:07.55
  3. Macarena Ceballos (ARG) – 1:07.68

30-year-old Canadian Rachel Nicol clocked her fastest 100 breast time since the 2017 World Championships with a winning time of 1:07.28. Fellow Canadian Sophie Angus was only a few tenths behind and couple tenths off her lifetime best with a 1:07.55 for silver.

Macarena Ceballos took bronze, giving Argentina its first podium finish of the evening, with a 1:07.68 that was within a second of her personal-best 1:06.69 from Worlds this year.


  • World Record: 56.88 – Adam Peaty, Great Britain (2019)
  • Pan American Games Record: 59.21 – Felipe Franca Da Silva, Brazil (2015)

Top 3:

  1. Jake Foster (USA) – 59.99
  2. Noah Nichols (USA) – 1:00.43
  3. Miguel De Lara (MEX) – 1:00.90

Jake Foster just barely broke the minute barrier in the final to win the men’s 100 breast over fellow American Noah Nichols. Foster wasn’t far off his best time of 59.64 from the TYR Pro Championships in July. Nichols, meanwhile, was more than a second slower than his personal-best 59.40 from U.S. Nationals, where he placed 3rd.

Mexico’s Miguel De Lara rounded out the podium with a 1:00.90 for bronze, within a second of his personal-best 1:00.14 from April.


  • World Record: 2:01.81 – Liu Zige, China (2009)
  • Pan American Games Record: 2:07.64 – Kathleen Hersey, United States (2007)

Top 3:

  1. Dakota Luther (USA) – 2:09.97
  2. Maria Mata Cocco (MEX) – 2:10.25
  3. Kelly Pash (USA) – 2:10.30

Dakota Luther dipped under 2:10 with a winning time of 2:09.97 to outduel Mexico’s Maria Mata Cocco (2:10.25) and Texas teammate Kelly Pash (2:10.30) in the 200 fly final. Luther, 23, has a lifetime best of 2:06.79 from the TYR Pro Championships in July.

Cocco was within a second of her personal-best 2:09.31 from June to barely sneak past Pash, the top qualifier this morning, by .05 seconds for silver. Pash’s personal best is a 2:08.00 from July.


  • World Record: 1:50.34 – Kristof Milak, Hungary (2022)
  • Pan American Games Record: 1:55.01 – Leonardo De Deus, Brazil (2015)

Top 3:

  1. Mason Laur (USA) – 1:56.44
  2. Leonardo de Deus (BRA) – 1:57.25
  3. Jack Dahlgren (USA) – 1:57.53

Mason Laur gave the United States their fourth victory of the session and third in a row with a 1:56.44 in the 200 fly. The Florida junior was within a second of his personal-best 1:55.67 from June.

32-year-old Brazilian Leonardo de Deus (1:527.25) beat Missouri graduate Jack Dahlgren (1:57.53) in the battle for 2nd place. Dahlgren’s lifetime best is a 1:55.72 from June while de Deus has been as fast as 1:54.83 back in 2021.


  • World Record: 3:27.96 – Australia (2023)
  • Pan American Games Record: 3:36.80 – Canada (2015)

Top 3:

  1. Canada – 3:37.75
  2. USA – 3:38.42
  3. Brazil – 3:39.94

Maggie MacNeil blazed a 53.14 split on third leg of Canada’s 4×100 freestyle relay (3:37.75) to lead her squad past the U.S. quartet of Gabi Albiero (55.02), Catie de Loof (54.19), Kayla Wilson (54.85), and Amy Fulmer (54.36), which combined for a 3:38.42.

Brazil took bronze (3:39.94) nearly five seconds ahead of 4th-place Mexico (3:44.90).


  • World Record: 3:08.24 – United States (2008)
  • Pan American Games Record: 3:13.66 – Canada (2015)

Top 3:

  1. Brazil – 3:13.51 *Pan Ams record
  2. USA – 3:14.22
  3. Canada – 3:15.83

Gui Caribe led of Brazil’s 4×100 freestyle relay with a 48.41 split to lead his team (including Marcelo Chierighini, Victor Alcara, and Felipe Ribeiro de Souza) past the U.S. for the nation’s second gold medal of the night in 3:13.51. In the process, the Brazilians also snuck under the previous Pan Ams record of 3:13.66 by Canada in 2015.

Arizona State sophomore Jonny Kulow led off the American relay in 48.45, followed by Adam Chaney in 48.17, Jack Aikins in 48.60, and Brooks Curry in 49.00. Canada snagged bronze in 3:15.83, more than three seconds ahead of 4th-place Mexico.

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Paul Boulding
4 months ago

Usually your reporting is excellent. Your description of the 4×100 free relay for women REALLY BAD!!! You give Maggie’s split. Did she swim the relay by herself!!! You didn’t even note the other THREE MEMBERS of the team yet report all of the ladies for the american team. Very poor bias. Yet in the men’s relay you did get it correctly by crediting both teams. Please apologize and update these results to maintain your normally good reputation.

A proud Canadian swimmer.


4 months ago

USA relays losing is so embarassing

Reply to  Noah
4 months ago

49.slow kills gold medals

4 months ago

Would love to have the recap completed with the relays…

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
4 months ago

Thanks! Even though you listed all the silver-medal splits for the women but not the gold-medal splits 🧐

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
4 months ago

Devin Heroux has the Gold medal splits on his X account.

Reply to  Tanner-Garapik-Oleksiak-McIntosh
4 months ago

Thanks! I figured out the splits on my own from the (atrocious interface) of live results on the PanAm website, I was just more peeved about the lack of analysis on here for that relay result.

Reply to  Tanner-Garapik-Oleksiak-McIntosh
4 months ago

Love your username, by the way.

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
4 months ago

Thanks, appreciate that. I wanted to connect the past with the present in acknowledging these four great Canadian female swimmers.

4 months ago

Really good night for the Gators. Laur wins the 2fly, Mestre gets silver in the 4free, and Adam Chaney gets silver in the 400 free relay with the fastest split on the team (48.17).

Burger admirer
4 months ago

Chicken burgahhhhhhh

4 months ago

Maggie Macneil flying in relay..yikes!

4 months ago

The results page just keeps on loading, is it me or the page has problems now?

Reply to  Tomek
4 months ago

same for me

4 months ago

Maybe Brooks should have stayed at LSU

Reply to  Breezeway
4 months ago

He hasn’t been at Cal long enough to say this is because of his training there, but oooffff to that relay split.

Reply to  oxyswim
4 months ago

Rumor has it injury.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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