Pan American Games, Day 5 Prelims: Sydney Pickrem Eyeing Second Gold

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Pan American Games, Day 5 Prelims: Sydney Pickrem Eyeing Second Gold

Canada’s Sydney Pickrem has her eyes on a second gold medal of the Pan American Games, having secured the top seed in the women’s 200 individual medley on Wednesday morning.

Pickrem was nearly a second clear of the field as she looks to add to her 200 breaststroke gold medal. It’s the final prelims session of the five-day competition at Centro Aquatico in Santiago, Chile.

The concluding finals session will include the men’s and women’s 1,500 freestyle.

From morning prelims:

Women’s 200 individual medley

Sydney Pickrem went 2:14.41 to lead all in prelims. Her breaststroke split was, to no one’s surprise, fearsome. She split 38.42, while the three swimmers behind here were between 40.50 and 41.25.

Kennedy Noble is her closest pursuer. The American went 2:15.23 to grab the second seed. Noble is chasing her third gold, to go with the medley relay and the 200 back plus silver in the 100 back. Puerto Rico’s Kristen Romano was third in 2:15.98, with American Abby Harter fourth. Look out for Mary-Sophie Harvey, the Canadian 200 free champ who was fifth in 2:16.94.

Men’s 200 individual medley

A Canadian finished first in prelims, but maybe not the one you’d expect. Collyn Gagne is in good form, the 400 IM silver medalist leading the field in 2:02.18 to grab the center lane. But the eight finalists were clustered within .87 seconds, with the top six within .59. It portends and open final.

Among the contenders are Mason Laur, the American second in 2:02.41 as he looks to add to his 200 fly gold. Another .03 back was Vini Lanza of Brazil, who is looking for more than his silver in the 100 fly. Finlay Knox, the Canadian record holder in the event, is fourth, .01 behind Lanza, followed by Brazil’s Leonardo Coelho and American Arsenio Bustos. Any of the six could win the final.

Women’s 400 medley relay

A tame prelims has all of the big squads through. Canada led the way in 4:05.19, 1.24 seconds ahead of the United States, though big changes are in the offing for both squads.

Canada went with Madelyn Gatrall, Sophie Angus, Katerine Savard and Brooklyn Douthwright for the morning. Rachel Nicol, the 100 breast champ, and Maggie MacNeil, the 100-everything champ, are waiting in the wings, as is 100 back bronze medalist Danielle Hanus. Sydney Pickrem also has high level relay experience, though the schedule might not work in her favor.

The Americans were second in 4:06.43 with Reilly Tiltmann, Anna Keating, Olivia Bray and Gabi Albiero. They have decisions on the anchor leg – Albiero won 50 free gold; Catie De Loof has bronze in the 50 and 100. Either Kennedy Noble (silver in the 100, gold in the 200) or 100 back gold medalist Josephine Fuller will be drafted in, and Kelly Pash is likely to step in for Bray. Emma Weber, who finished fifth in the 100 breast, is a likely add, though it’s the team’s weak leg.

Colombia finished fifth in 4:10.54, followed less than a second back by Brazil. Colombia is looking for its first medal of the meet.

Men’s 400 medley relay

Brazil has bested the U.S. in both male relays so far, and that looks like the battle again. The prelims edge went to the U.S., winning in 3:37.19, 0.26 seconds up on Brazil.

Changes will ring for both teams. The U.S. went with Chris O’Connor, Noah Nichols, Jack Dahlgren and Coby Carrozza in the morning. They can choose from co-silver medalists Brooks Curry or Jonny Kulow on the anchor (Curry has the Olympic experience, Kulow the form after silver in the 50), plus the 100 back, 100 breast and 100 fly champs – that’s, respectively, Adam Chaney, Jake Foster and Luke Miller.

Brazil fielded Gabriel Fantoni, Raphael Windmuller, Victor Baganha and Victor Alcara in the morning. Gui Caribe will certainly anchor. Guilherme Basseto is waiting for backstroke. Vini Lanza will be coming off the 200 IM but should get the fly nod, and veteran Joao Gomes is the man for breaststroke.

Canada finished third, nearly three seconds ahead of Mexico. Bronze would seem to be theirs to lose.

Brazil, Canada and the U.S. have swept the relay medals in the other six events at the meet.

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