By Sharon Robb
CALI, Colombia, November 27, 2021–The Florida Gold Coast is well-represented at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games at Hernando Botero O’Byrne Swimming Pool.
On opening night Friday, Uruguay’s Nicole Frank, 17, who trains with Azura Florida Aquatics, finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke in a best time 1:10.34. She was fastest morning qualifier in a best time 1:10.20. Her previous best was 1:12.70.
Also in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke prelims, Uruguay’s Micaela Sierra of South Florida Heat and Azura was 11th in 1:14.73 and finished third in the consolation in a personal best 1:14.43.
Maria Munoz, 22, of Peru and Azura Florida Aquatics, was fourth fastest qualifier in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:18.65 and finished seventh in 2:20.17.
Azura’s Gabriela Araya, 22, of Chile was ninth fastest in the men’s 200-meter butterfly prelims in 2:05.13. He did not swim finals.
In morning prelims, Peru’s Joaquin Vargas, 19, of Azura Florida Aquatics was sixth fastest in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:02.55. He went on to finish sixth in 3:58.81.
Aruba national team member Patrick Groters was 13th in the 400-meter freestyle prelims in 4:11.07. On Saturday, he will swim the 200-meter backstroke. He is also entered in the 100 backstroke, 200 IM and 400 IM.
Groters, now at University of South Carolina, swam at NSU University School and Pine Crest Swim Club. He was chosen as one of Aruba’s flag bearers in the Opening Ceremonies. Patrick’s older brother Jordy Groters, is coaching Aruba’s swimmers. Jordy Groters also swam at NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club and Missouri and founded and now coaches Giants Aquatics Aruba.
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 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.
- Maria Paula Heitmann, Brazil 4:17.64, 2. Lucia Gauna, Argentina 4:19.14, 3. Delfina Dini, Argentina 4:19.24.
- Martina Lucia Barbeito, Argentina 1:08.74, 2. Giulia Oliveira Carvalho, Brazil 1:10.24, 3. Bruna Monteiro Leme, Brazil 1:10.27.
- Karen Durango Restrepo, Colombia 2:13.51, 2. Rafaela Trevisan Raurich, Brazil 2:14.58, 3. Samantha Banos, Colombia 2:15.90.
400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Brazil 3:45.06, 2. Mexico 3:49.97, 3. Colo,bia 3:51.05.
- Santi Corredor, Colombia 3:53.14, 2. Eduardo de Moraes, Brazil 3:53.23, 3. Juan Manuel Morales Restrepo, Colombia 3:57.26.
- Mariano Lazzerini, Chile 1:02.28, 2. Andres Puente Bustamante, Mexcico 1:02.29, 3. Bernhard Christianson, Panama 1:03.16.
- Matheus Gonche, Brazil 1:59.63, 2. Roberto Bonilla Flores, Guatemala 2:01.08, 3. Kayky Mota, Brazil 2:01.60.
400-meter freestyle relay:
- Brazil 3:17.14, 2. Mexico 3:24.02, 3. Colombia 3:24.40.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com