GUADALAJARA, Mexico, October 15. THE Stars and Stripes dominated the first day of long course meter action at the Pan American Games in Mexico.
Team USA finished the day with nine medals (four golds, two silvers and three bronze) as well as a pair of Pan American Games records by its relay and Claire Donahue in the 100 fly. Brazil stood second after day one with four medals (one gold, three silvers), while Canada and Venezuela tied for third with one bronze each.
Women's 100 fly
USA's Claire Donahue did enough to capture her first international event title with a 58.73 in the finale. Earlier, she downed the meet record with a 58.59 in prelims. That swim cracked the top 25 in the world rankings this year. Brazil's Daynara de Paula took second in 59.30, while USA's Elaine Breeden gave the U.S. a 1-3 outcome on the podium with a bronze-winning 59.81.
Canada's Erin Miller (1:00.49), Mexico's Rita Medrano (1:00.75), Colombia's Carolina Colorado (1:01.11), Jamaica's Alia Atkinson (1:01.17) and Venezuela's Erika Torellas (1:01.56) also swam in the finale. Atkinson's time is a Jamaican record.
Men's 400 IM
Brazil's Thiago Pereira, who lit up the Pan American Games in 2007, returned with a victorious time in the distance medley with a 4:16.68. USA went 2-3 to grab the other two podium spots as Conor Dwyer finished second in 4:18.22, and teammate Robert Margalis wound up with a bronze in 4:24.88.
Ecuador's Esteban Enderica (4:26.43), Mexico's Ezequiel Trujillo (4:30.02), Canada's Liam Dias (4:34.11), Brazil's Diogo Yabe (4:35.66) and Argentina's Esteban Paz (4:37.67) rounded out the championship heat.
Women's 400 IM
The U.S. kept on rolling in the total medal race with a 1-3 finish in the women's distance medley. Julia Smit edged Brazil's Joana Maranhao, 4:46.15 to 4:46.33, for the gold medal. Meanwhile, USA's Allysa Vavra snared bronze for the U.S. squad with a third-place 4:48.05. After the third race of the evening, the U.S. already had six total medals, while Brazil had the other three.
Canada's Hanna Pierse (4:52.95), Argentina's Georgina Bardach (4:53.81), Mexico's Susana Escobar (4:54.49), Canada's Elizabeth Jewell (4:57.65) and Ecuador's Samantha Arevalo (4:58.27) also competed in the finale.
Men's 400 free
Team USA continued stockpiling the medals with a 1-2 outing in the men's middle distance event. Charlie Houchin hit the wall in 3:50.95, while Matt Patton placed second for silver in 3:51.25 to push the U.S. medal tally to eight with three golds, two silvers and three bronzes. Venezuela's Cristian Quintero finally broke through the U.S.-Brazil ownership of the podium with a bronze-winning time of 3:52.51.
Argentina's Juan Pereyra (3:52.71), Brazil's Lucas Kanieski (3:56.26), Venezuela's Alejandro Gomez (3:56.28), Argentina's Martin Naidich (3:56.77) and Mexico's Arturo Perez Vertti (3:58.33) finished fourth through eighth in the championship heat.
Women's 400 free relay
The U.S. twice lowered the Pan American Games record in the relay event. First, Madison Kennedy, Elizabeth Pelton, Amanda Kendall and Erika Erndl topped prelims in 3:40.85 to beat the 2003 record of 3:41.93 set by the U.S. That same foursome returned in the finale to win Team USA's fourth gold and ninth medal overall in 3:40.66.
Brazil's Michelle Lenhardt, Tatiana Barbosa, Flavia Delaroli-Cazziolato and Daynara de Paula took silver in 3:44.62 for Brazil's fourth medal, while Canada's Jennifer Beckberger, Caroline LaPierre, Ashley McGregor and Paige Schultz took bronze in 3:48.37.
Venezuela (3:48.55), Mexico (3:49.87), Argentina (3:51.90), Bahamas (3:54.28) and Peru (4:00.64) also swam in the finale.