TORONTO – Team USA women’s captain Caitlin Leverenz (Tucson, Ariz.), Sierra Schmidt (Erdenheim, Pa.) and the women’s 400-meter medley relay all won gold in Pan American Games record fashion to lead the United States on Saturday at the Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre.
Team USA claimed seven medals on the final night of competition to top the medal table with 32 total medals – 12 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze – earned in Toronto.
The women’s 400m medley relay of Natalie Coughlin (Vallejo, Calif.), Katie Meili (Colleyville, Texas), Kelsi Worrell (Mt. Holly, N.J.) and Allison Schmitt (Canton, Mich.) won the final gold medal of the meet for the U.S. in a Pan American Games record 3 minutes, 56.53 seconds. Coughlin led things off with a Games record 59.05 for the 100m back, also good for the third-fastest time in the world this year, and the team never looked back.
The quartet also eclipsed the Pan Am record in this morning’s prelims. “That was an awesome relay. We knew going into this meet our medley had a really good shot at winning,” Coughlin said. “For all us four to have done two hard medley relays in a day, it’s really good practice, and I’m proud that we actually got faster tonight.”
Leverenz completed a sweep of the women’s individual medley events with a victory in 200m IM in 2:10.51 to set a Pan American Games record for the second time today. Teammate Meghan Small (Lineboro, Md.) completed a 1-2 sweep for Team USA, taking the silver in 2:11.26.
In the first race of the night, Schmidt led from the start in the women’s 800m free and touched in 8:27.54 to break the Pan American Games record by 7 seconds and establish a personal best. Chile’s Kristel Kobrich was second in 8:29.79, followed by Brazil’s Andreina Pinto in third in 8:31.08.
The men’s 400m medley relay Nick Thoman (Cincinnati, Ohio), Brad Craig (Midland, Mich.), Giles Smith (Baltimore, Md.) and Josh Schneider (Cincinnati, Ohio) added silver with a time of 3:33.63.
Also earning a spot on the podium Saturday was Gunnar Bentz (Atlanta, Ga.), who surged over the final 100 meters to claim bronze in the men’s 200m IM in 2:00.04, and Olympian Andrew Gemmell (Wilmington, Del.), who earned silver in the men’s 1500m free with a time of 15:09.92.
In other A final action Saturday, Courtney Harnish (York, Pa.) was sixth in the women’s 800m free in 8:38.00, Ty Stewart (Hattiesburg, Miss.) was fifth in the men’s 200m IM in 2:01.83 and Ryan Feeley (Rye, N.Y.) touched sixth in the men’s 1500m free in 15:19.99.