SOFLO’s Gaby Banks Closes Out Junior Pan American Games

By Sharon Robb
CALI, Colombia, November 29, 2021–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Gaby Banks competed in her final event in her first Junior Pan American Games Monday at Hernando Botero O’Byrne Swimming Pool.

The 18-year-old Florida State swimmer who represents Jamaica internationally, finished 14th in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.90. Banks was 16th in prelims in 27.04. It was her fifth and final event.

Aruba’s Patrick Groters, 22, entered in the 400-meter individual event, did not compete. The former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swim Club swimmer, who has already won gold and silver medals, has the 200 IM left to swim on Tuesday.

Nicole Frank, 17, of Uruguay and Azura, was eighth in the 400-meter individual medley prelims in 5:09.55. She did not compete in finals.

South Florida Heat’s Micaela Sierra, 17, of Uruguay and Azura will compete in the 200-meter individual medley on Tuesday.

Brazil leads the men’s and women’s team standings. The swimming competition ends Tuesday night.

Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca, is hosting the first-ever edition of the Junior Pan American Games.

It is a key event in the lead-up to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Paris 2024 Olympics, allowing up-and-coming athletes a new level of competition they didn’t have in past years.

Approximately 3,000 volunteers, 1,400 technical officials and 1,142 other officials are participating along with 4,806 athletes from 41 countries and territories affiliated with Panam Sports in 39 sports. The meet is for ages up to 22.

Neither the U.S. or Canada, the region’s most successful countries, sent swim teams to the event although they are competing in other sports. Brazil (25), Colombia (25), and Mexico (26) have the largest delegations of swimmers.

The Games were initially scheduled to begin on June 5 but were postponed to September 9 to 19. It was further delayed because of COVID-19 before moving to late November and early December.

50-meter freestyle:

  1. Stephanie Balduccini, Brazil 25.47, 2. Deyse Goncalves Pereira Ba, Brazil 25.74, 3. Anicka Delgado, Ecuador 25.74, 14. Gaby Banks, Jamaica 26.90.

400-meter individual medley:

  1. Maria Selene Alborzen, Argentina 4:52.22, 2. Fernanda De Groeij, Brazil 4:55.13, 3. Alondra Ortiz, Costa Rica 4:57.14.

50-meter freestyle:

  1. Victor Alcara Guimaraes, Brazil 22.08, 2. Lucas Peixoto, Brazil 22.34, 3. Camilo-Andres Marrugo Montano, Colombia 22.92

400-meter individual medley:

  1. Erick Gordillo, Guatemala, 4:22.09, 2. Stephan Steverink, Brazil 4:24.35, 3. Roberto Bonilla Flores, Guatemala 4:26.08.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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