Gemmell Splits 1:54.86 as U.S. Breaks Jr Pan Pacs Record in Girls 4×200 Free Relay



  • Jr World: 7:51.47 – Canada (Sanchez, Oleksiak, Smith, Ruck) (2017)
  • Jr Pan Pac: 7:57.93 – USA (Tuggle, Ivey, Walsh, Nordmann) (2018)


  1. United States (Kayla Wilson, Jillian Cox, Cavan GormsenErin Gemmell) – 7:54.70
  2. Australia (Jamie Perkins, Amelia Weber, Olivia Winsch, Milla Jansen) – 7:55.85
  3. Japan (Hinata Umeki, Misa Okuzono, Karin Ninomiya, Ruka Takezawa) – 8:01.38

In one of the most thrilling races we’ve seen so far at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacs in Honolulu, both the USA and Australia blew away the Jr Pan Pacs Record in the girls 4×200 free relay. The previous record stood at 7:57.93, held by the American squad from 2018. The U.S. team of Kayla Wilson, Jillian Cox, Cavan Gormsen, and Erin Gemmell got into the finish in 7:54.70, with Australia in tow at 7:55.85.

It seemed through 700m of the race that Australia was going to be unstoppable. Jamie Perkins got them out to a fantastic start, splitting 1:57.64 on the lead-off, while American Kayla Wilson led off in 2:00.01. Australia would grow their lead by another half a second through legs 3 and 4, giving anchor Milla Jansen a 3.18-second lead when she dove in. That lead would prove to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience for U.S. anchor Erin Gemmell, who threw down a shockingly fast 1:54.86 to pass Jansen, and actually built a lead of 1.15 seconds before the finish.

Gemmell’s split was exceptionally fast, blowing away the 1:56.15 she swam to win the individual girls 200 free and establish a new Championship Record last night. It’s by far the fastest 200 free of Gemmell’s young career. Her flat-start best time comes in at 1:56.14, a time which she swam a month ago at U.S. Nationals. For context, Gemmell’s split would have been the 5th fastest split in the final of the women’s 4×200 free relay at the World Championships earlier this summer. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last summer, Gemmell’s split tonight would have been the 4th fastest split in the final.

Here is a split comparison between the U.S. and Australia’s relays tonight, as well as the previous Jr Pan Pacs Record relay from 2018:

Splits USA  – 2022 Jr Pan Pacs (FINALS) Australia – 2022 Jr Pan Pacs (FINALS) USA – 2018 Jr Pan Pacs (FINALS)
1st Leg Kayla Wilson (2:00.01) Jamie Perkins (1:57.64) Claire Tuggle (1:59.32)
2nd Leg Jillian Cox (1:59.32) Amelia Weber (1:59.11) Izzy Ivey (1:59.73)
3rd Leg Cavan Gormsen (2:00.51) Olivia Wunsch (1:59.91) Gretchen Walsh (1:59.72)
4th Leg Erin Gemmell (1:54.86) Milla Jansen (1:59.19) Lucie Nordmann (1:59.16)
FINAL TIME 7:54.70 7:55.85 7:57.93

Gemmell’s anchor truly was the difference maker for the U.S. tonight. Notably, Australia was faster on each of the first 3 legs of the race tonight. All 4 of Australia’s splits were under 2:00 as well. Similarly, the previous record relay had all 4 legs under 2:00, however, none of the swimmers on that team were under 1:59.

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Judith Simpson
1 year ago

Summer McIntosh at 15 this year set the world junior record June 22, 2022 1 54 79. She is close . We need to acknowledge Coaching and the new way it has brought swimming to a new level.

1 year ago

Is there video??

1 year ago

1:54.86 splits by Erin Gemmell in W800 relay isn’t that surprising after her several1:56 very low results in individual races at W200FR. For some reason she has very slow reaction times. At last National championships it was around 0.8sec in all her races. So if she has lucky rolling start in relay she can be faster by a second or slightly more.

1 year ago

She has arrived.

1 year ago

Women’s 800 free relay is starting to shape up to be a clash of the titans between the US & Australia (with Canada & China obviously in the mix as well).

With Gemmell & Weinstein both at sub-1:57 from a flat start, and Gemmell & Sims both at sub-1:55 from a flying start, along with Ledecky at sub-1:54 flying start this past year (and of course an on-form Leah Smith who was 1:56+ flying start) the US women seriously could contend for sub-7:40 come 2023 & 2024.

Which, of course, Australia can do as well, with Neale, Melverton, and O’Callaghan all at 1:55 from a flying start at this past Worlds and of course Titmus who wasn’t even there but… Read more »

Reply to  NCSwimFan
1 year ago

Titmus went a 1.52 flying start at Comm games. MOC also had a 1.54.01 flat start at Comm games, they are no 1 & 2 in the world in the 200 free this year. Plus Neale, Melverton, Wilson & a possible Mckeon, plus Jansen who Gremmell gave a head start & overtook is only 15 years old.

Reply to  Robbos
1 year ago

You just add in relay time with individual race and no 1 and 2 in relay this year is Titmus and Ledecky

Reply to  Lisa
1 year ago

When you compare relay splits to flat starts you add 0.5. Ledecky’s 1:53.67 is equivalent to 1:54.17 which is slower than MOC.

And no, no one uses a relay split to determine the fastest performers in an event.

Reply to  Lisa
1 year ago

That individual race not the same as relay. No 1 & 2 is Titmus & MOC.

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  NCSwimFan
1 year ago

In case you forgot, MOC swam 1:54 flat start in Commonwealth.

Titmus went 1:52 anchoring 4×200 to break WR.

Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
1 year ago

That individual race not the same as relay