Three Pan Ams Records Go Down on Day 4 in Guadalajara

The 4th night of the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico were the best yet. There were three Meet Records broken, and a ton of great swimming all-around. Let’s not dawdle on this one, and get straight into the recaps.

Men’s 200 freestyle

Brett Fraser is having one heck of a year. First, he won the 200 free at the NCAA Championships in March. Now he can add to that a gold medal from the Pan American Games in the same event, thanks to his win in 1:47.18, which is a career-best time and a new Pan American Games Record. That crushed the old mark by Brazil’s Gustavo Borges in 1995 at 1:48.49.

In this race, he upset his brother Shaune, who is the National Record holder and the more accomplished of the pair internationally. Shaune touched 2nd in 1:48.29, which is also under the old mark. Brett took off with a huge opening 50 (24.60) and rode that all the way to a dominant victory.

There are probably a lot of people who would think you were kidding if you told them that swimmers from the Cayman Islands took the top two spots in a race at a meet as big as the Pan Am Games, but it’s definitely true.

In 3rd was Paraguay’s Ben Hockin in some sweet redemption. Hockin has probably struggled for the past few years with identifying himself as a “Paraguayan athlete,” as his name is in the British Record books and he was born in Colombia. When he first tried to compete for Paraguay, he was even suspended for failing to notify both FINA and British Swimming. But he now has a big stamp on his passport in the form of a major-swimming medal while representing his new-found nation.

The United States’ Matt Patton, who was the fastest swimmer in the prelims, touched 4th in 1:48.64, just ahead of countrymate Scot Robison in 1:48.71.

Full event results.

Women’s 200 IM

As anticipated, the United States’ Julia Smit took a dominant victory in the women’s 200 IM, which makes her the first double-individual gold medalist of the meet (along with the 400 IM) and also the back-to-back champion in this race. Her winning time of 2:13.73 was about 7-tenths slower than her mark from 2007.

Smit won this race with a dominant backstroke and a solid breaststroke (which is really a strength of hers, though swimming next to Alia Atkinson might have hidden that fact). Atkinson took 2nd in 2:14.75, which is a huge career-best time and broke her own National Record by almost three seconds.

Brazil’s Joanna Maranhao took her 2nd individaul medal with a bronze in 2:15.08. She roared down the final length with a great freestyle leg to knock American Whitney Myers (2:15.23) off of the podium.

Full event results.

Men’s 1500 Free

The men’s 1500 free final was relatively slow (and the only one that didn’t produce some sparks of brilliance on the day), but the American men finally got back in the gold-medal column thanks to a win from Arthur Frayler in 15:19.59. That’s only the American mens’ second gold medal of the meet in 9 events up until this point.

The runner-up was the other American Ryan Feeley, who swims collegiately for Michigan. He led this race at the 1200 meter mark, but Frayler chipped away and then slowly began to pull away through the finish.

In 3rd was Argentina’s Juan Martin Pereyra in 15:26.20.

Full event results.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke

In the very next event, Sean Mahoney kept the American momentum going with a huge win in 2:11.62. Like Fraser’s swim earlier, and as we speculated it might, this time destroyed the old Meet Record set by Kyle Salyards in 2003 at 2:13.37. This swim was Mahoney’s second-best swim ever in textile (after March’s Indianapolis Grand Prix). As he bounces back from a doping suspension in 2010, he looks like he could be making a case for a 200 breaststroke spot at the 2012 Olympics, where he will be challenged by Eric Shanteau and Brendan Hansen. With how well Mahoney has swum, I wouldn’t count him out if he can hit his big swim at the right meet.

The runner-up in the race, Clark Burckle of Tucson Ford, also went under the old record with a 2:12.60, which is just a few tenths behind his World University Games time as the best of his career. The bronze medalist was Brazil’s Thiago Pereira in 2:13.58

Full event results.

Women’s 800 free relay

The American women won this race by 8 seconds, and had their sights set on bigger things than that. The quartet of Catherine Breed, Liz Pelton, Chelsea Nauta, and Amanda Kendall combined for a 8:01.18 to clear the old Pan Am Games Record of 8:02.03 set in 2007. The first three swimmers all swam 2:00’s, with Kendall anchoring in a blazing 1:59.6. This is a great sign for Kendall, and LSU swimmer, both in the collegiate field and for her chances at sneaking onto a relay at the 2012 Olympics.

The Brazilian women touched 2nd in 8:09.89, and the Mexicans took 3rd in 8:12.19

Full event results.

Medal Table

The Americans took 4 out of the 5 gold medals on the day to put some distance between themselves and Brazil in the medals standings. The Cayman Islands took the other gold, thanks to Brett Fraser, to become the only nation besides the USA and Brazil to win a gold at this meet so far.
Medal Table
Place CON Oro Plata Bronce Total
1 Estados Unidos de América 12 10 4 26
2 Brasil 6 5 4 15
3 Islas Caimán 1 1 1 3
4 Venezuela 0 1 3 4
5 Cuba 0 1 0 1
  Jamaica 0 1 0 1
7 Canadá 0 0 2 2
  México 0 0 2 2
9 Argentina 0 0 1 1
  Chile 0 0 1 1
  Paraguay 0 0 1 1

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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