Meet Recap: Collegians Shine At XVIII Pan American Games

Collegians who competed during the 2019 track & field seasons recently turned in some incredible performances at the XVIII Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

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There is no better place to start than at the top. That is where the Mississippi State duo of Marco Arop and Anderson Peters sit alone after breaking longstanding Pan American Games records in the 800 and javelin, respectively.

Very few athletes competing in the athletics portion of the Games had a better performance than Peters did Saturday. Peters wasted no time in asserting himself as he launched the javelin 87.31m (286-5) on his first attempt. Not only did that topple an eight-year-old Pan American Games standard, it also gave Peters the No. 4 performance on the All-Dates Collegiate Chart.

Saturday proved to be sweet redemption for Arop.

After failing to make it to the NCAA final site back in June, Arop ran with conviction in Peru. Arop easily made it through to the final and then in said final, he took advantage of a brisk opening lap (49.74 at the bell) and kicked past Wesley Joel Vazquez down the homestretch.

Arop crossed the finish line in 1:44.25, which bettered a 12-year-old Pan American Games record. It was also the fastest time run by a collegian in 2019.

Then it was in the final of the men’s pole vault where Chris Nilsen struck gold. Nilsen, who won the NCAA title a few months ago competing for South Dakota, beat Augusto Dutra da Silva de Oliveria on Saturday. He earned the top prize thanks to his clearance of 5.76m (18-10¾).

Arop, Nilsen and Peters were three of the 18 collegians from 2019 who won a grand total of 24 medals at the XVIII Pan American Games. The Southern California duo of Chanel Brissett and Anna Cockrell doubled up in Peru, as did Lynna Irby who competed for Georgia during the indoor season.

Collegiate Medalists At XVIII Pan American Games

Name
Program
Event
Medal
Marco Arop
Mississippi State
Men’s 800 Meters
Gold
Chris Nilsen
South Dakota
Men’s Pole Vault
Gold
Anderson Peters
Mississippi State
Men’s Javelin
Gold
Carlos Villarreal
Arizona
Men’s 1500 Meters
Gold
Alejandro Zapata
Liberty
Men’s 4×400 Relay
Gold
Anna Cockrell
Southern California
Women’s 4×400 Relay
Gold
Lynna Irby
Georgia
Women’s 4×400 Relay
Gold
Chanel Brissett
Southern California
Women’s 100 Hurdles
Silver
Anna Cockrell
Southern California
Women’s 400 Hurdles
Silver
Jordan Geist
Arizona
Men’s Shot Put
Silver
Amere Lattin
Houston
Men’s 400 Hurdles
Silver
Mar’Yea Harris
Iowa
Men’s 4×400 Relay
Silver
Wil London III
Baylor
Men’s 4×400 Relay
Silver
Ashlan Best
Stanford
Women’s 4×100 Relay
Silver
Kyra Constantine
Southern California
Women’s 4×400 Relay
Silver
Natassha McDonald
Alabama
Women’s 4×400 Relay
Silver
William Paulson
Arizona State
Men’s 1500 Meters
Bronze
Clayton Fritsch
Sam Houston State
Men’s Pole Vault
Bronze
Roberto Vilches
Missouri
Men’s High Jump
Bronze
Cravon Gillespie
Oregon
Men’s 4×100 Relay
Bronze
Dwight St. Hillaire
Kentucky
Men’s 4×400 Relay
Bronze
Chanel Brissett
Southern California
Women’s 4×100 Relay
Bronze
Lynna Irby
Georgia
Women’s 4×100 Relay
Bronze
TeeTee Terry
Southern California
Women’s 4×100 Relay
Bronze