USA’s Lightning Reaction Times Contribute to Pan Am Record in 4×100 Medley


  • 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


  • World Record: 3:27.28, United States, 2009
  • Pan Am Record: 3:32.68, Brazil, 2015
  • 2015 Champion: Brazil, 3:32.68


  1. United States, 3:30.25
  2. Brazil, 3:30.98
  3. Argentina, 3:38.41

The United States and Brazil both took a bite out of the Pan American record in the 4×100 medley relay on Saturday night in Lima but it was the Americans who won the gold medal and etched their names in the record books. Daniel Carr, Nic Fink, Tom Shields, and Nathan Adrian combined for 3:30.25 to eclipse the Pan Am record by 2.43 seconds and beat Brazil by .73.

One of the factors that contributed to USA’s success was the rapidity of their starts. The cumulative reaction time of the four Americans was .86, more than half a second faster than that of the Brazilians, 1.43 seconds. There was also some fast swimming involved. Carr’s leadoff was his second-fastest 100 back, with only his gold-medal performance in the individual event (53.50) faster than his relay. Fink was nearly a second faster than his best flat-start 100 breast (59.40). Shields was better than he’d been on the medley relay at 2015 World Championships (50.59) and Adrian was faster than he’d swum on relays at 2015 Worlds (47.41), 2018 Pan Pacs (47.71), and 2019 Worlds (47.60). (Note: he was 46.74 anchoring the medley relay in Rio in 2016 and 47.00 at the end of the medley relay at Worlds in 2017.)

United States Reaction Time Split Brazil Reaction Time Split
Daniel Carr 0.55 53.95 Guilherme Guido 0.60 53.70
Nicolas Fink 0.16 1:52.52 (58.57) João Gomes Junior 0.20 1:52.56 (58.86)
Thomas Shields 0.05 2:42.92 (50.40) Vinicius Lanza 0.36 2:43.69 (51.13)
Nathan Adrian 0.10 3:30.25 (47.33) Marcelo Chierighini 0.27 3:30.98 (47.29)

It was an exciting race from start to finish. Guilherme Guido opened for Brazil with 53.70, giving a .25 lead to Joao Gomes Junior as he began the breaststroke. Carr, meanwhile, clocked a 53.95 to keep it close. Fink outsplit Gomes Junior and handed off to Shields with a lead of .04. Shields crushed his leg, outsplitting Vini Lanza by .73. Adrian brought it home in 47.33, holding Marcelo Chierighini at bay over the final 100 meters.

Brazil was also well under the old record in 3:30.98. Bronze medalists Argentina set a new National Record in 3:38.41.


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1 year ago

Adrian finally got a Pam Am gold medal!!!!

Joel Lin
Reply to  spectatorn
1 year ago

Adrian is still the gold standard for consistency anchoring a relay.

Also, Tommaaay, Tommy Tom Tommay.

1 year ago

I wish someone would keep a record of the cumulative reaction times for teams in all the relays, because 0.86 for FOUR PEOPLE definitely sounds like a world record

Reply to  Justhereforfun
1 year ago

Definitely cutting it close across the board and approaching the limit.

Reply to  Justhereforfun
1 year ago

If we do, we should skip the lead-off. It’s more meaningful to say that the US relay was 0.31 vs Brazil’s was 0.83.

Reply to  Barry
1 year ago

Yes this

Coach Mike 1952
1 year ago

Great race guys, all of you on both teams! No piano this time for Shields either. 50.4 – holy moley.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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