Allysa Vavra made her first ever international swimming competition a memorable one, capturing a bronze medal is the 400 individual medley on Saturday at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Vavra, a Panther Valley High School graduate and Coaldale native, picked up one of nine United States medals on the opening day of the swimming competition. She turned in a time of 4:48.05 in the finals, finishing behind teammate Julia Smit (4:46.15), who won the gold, and Brazil's Joana Marahan (4:46.33), who won the silver. Vavra easily captured the bronze as she was nearly five seconds ahead of fourth place finisher Georgina Bardach of Argentina.
Vavra qualified for the finals by winning her heat earlier in the day on Saturday. Vavra swam in the third of four heats and won it with a time of 4:53.76.
Swimming competition at the Pan Am Games will continue through Saturday, Oct. 22. Vavra, who is a senior member of the Indiana University swim team this fall, is not scheduled to participate in any other events at the Games.