Fairfax native Amanda Kendall earned four gold medals at the 2011 Pan American Games, which took place October 15-22 at the brand new Scotiabank Aquatics Center in Guadalajara, Mexico.
In a week of firsts for the Louisiana State junior, Kendall earned her first individual gold in her first major international competition. She anchored two relays on her way to four gold medals in four swims, tied for the most gold medals amongst USA swimmers competing.
The former Robinson High and Mason Makos swimmer started her meet as part of two record-breaking relays. On the opening night of swimming competition, the U.S. women's team
posted a new Pan Am record in the 4×100 freestyle relay in a time of 3 minutes 40.66 seconds. Three nights later, Kendall anchored the 4×200 freestyle relay, which won decisively in a time of 8:01.18. Amanda posted the fastest splits in both relays. She followed up her relay performances the following night touching first in the 100 freestyle with a personal best 54.75. Kendall concluded her breakout meet anchoring the 4×100 medley relay and helping her team to another meet record in 4:00.01.
Kendall is no stranger to the record books. Her name still appears in half of the Robinson records, and NVSL swimmers may recall her record-breaking performance in the 50 freestyle (26.42) at the 2009 NVSL All-Star meet when she swam for Kings Ridge Swim Club. Her record still stands.
While many big names were missing from the field, the week's performances in Mexico mark big strides for Amanda towards earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic swim team and competing at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
Riding her Pan Am's success, Amanda returned to NCAA action last weekend to give LSU an added boost against rival Alabama. She posted four first-place finishes for the Tigers, collecting a total of 40 points. LSU swept Alabama 151-149 on the men's side and 175.5-124.5 on the women's.
For complete swimming results from the 2011 Pan American Games, click here.