Publication Date: Wednesday, August 20, 2003|
PAN AM GAMES
Swimming highlights American gold mining in the Dominican Republic
Swimming highlights American gold mining in the Dominican Republic
(August 20, 2003) Marshall, Cramer, Kirk among the medal winners; women's volleyball grabs the bronze medal
by Rick Eymer
It was only fitting that the last swimming event of the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic not only produced the 21st gold medal for the United States women's and men's swimming team, but also elicited the 20th meet record.
The United States earned 115 gold medals, 18 percent of which was won by swimmers like Stanford senior Peter Marshall, who swam on the 400 medley relay team that ended the Pan Am Games for the swimmers on Saturday. That team, which also included Mark Gangloff, Ben Michaelson and Nick Brunelli won the gold in a meet record 3:37.27.
"That was one of the goals our team had: total dominance," said U.S. women's swimmer Jamie Reid, who won the 200 back.
Marshall also won the 100 back on Friday, while Stanford junior Jayme Cramer finished third.
Stanford sophomore Dana Kirk also won a couple of medals, earning the bronze in the 100 fly in 1:00.51 and the bronze in the 200 fly in 2:12.85.
Kara Lynn Joyce won her first ever individual medal (gold) in an international competition in the 50 free in a meet record 25.24.
Even the Synchronized swimmers got into the act. Stanford senior Erin Dobratz was part of the American team that won the gold medal with a score of 97.000.
Dobratz was joined by De Anza College's Lauren McFall, Los Gatos resident Kendra Zanotto, Santa Clara's Alison Bartosik, Becky Jasontek, Stephanie Nesbitt and former Russian Olympian Anna Kozlova, who resides in San Jose.
Bartosik and Kozlova also teamed up to win the gold medal in Duet.
Elsewhere in swimming, Americans Morgan Hentzen and Rachel Burke finished 1-2 in the women's 800 free, and the U.S. women took the 400 medley relay by nearly eight seconds over Canada, setting a Pan Am mark of 4:05.92 with Dianna MacManus, Staciana Stitts, Dana Vollmer and Amanda Weir.
Ryan Lochte became the fourth-fastest American in the 200 individual medley at 2:34.00, but he swam it in an exhibition and did not swim in the finals.
Michael Raab set a record in the 200 fly with a personal best 1:57.33 to win the gold.
The U.S. women surprised Brazil in four sets for the bronze medal. The Americans won 25-23, 25-19, 17-25, 25-19.
Wiz Bachman had 18 points to lead the Team USA. Nicole Branagh added 17 and 16-year-old Cynthia Barboza provided a spark with clutch blocking and offense.
Host Dominican Republic upset Cuba for gold.
Cuba swept the United States in the Pan American Games semifinals of women's volleyball, using a powerful attack the Americans could not match.
Cuba seldom trailed en route to a 25-19, 25-19, 25-21 win over Team USA on Thursday in the semifinals.
Cuba, the three-time defending Olympic gold medalist playing with its top team, was too strong and experienced for the United States, which sent its 'B' team to the games.
"The organization of their attack is the best we've seen from anybody," said coach Mike Hebert.
Stanford senior Ogonna Nnamani led the U.S. with 13 points in the contest.
"We started making a lot of unforced errors, giving up points when we should have kept the ball in play," said Bachman of the Americans 25 errors to Cuba's 17.
In the third set, Team USA led 5-4, but Cuba answered with four straight points. The Americans tied it at 12, but the Cuban attack was too much and Cuba pulled away.
"It was a hard-fought match, but we managed to get the win," Cuba coach Luis Calderon said.
Three American pitchers threw no-hitters in the nine-game tournament, including a perfect game by Texas junior Cat Osterman in the gold medal game -- a 4-0 victory over Canada.
UCLA grad Lisa Fernandez and UNLV grad Lori Harrigan also produced no-hitters.
Arizona's Jennie Finch also made sure Osterman looked good on the victory stand.
Finch carefully straightened her teammate's jacket, and the victorious U.S. women's team celebrated its fifth consecutive title at the Pan Am games.
"You've got to look out for everybody," said Finch. "When you're going to be on the medal stand, you've got to look good."
Osterman, the USA Collegiate Player of the Year after compiling a 32-6 record with an 0.38 ERA and 488 strikeouts, struck out 14 in the United States' win over Canada on Thursday night, a game delayed almost four hours by weather and a lengthy elimination match before it.
"I got my groove early on," Osterman said. We're happy to get this gold, obviously, but Athens is what we're shooting for."
The Americans have won 51 straight Pan Am games, allowing a total of four runs in the last five Pan Am softball tournaments.
Stanford grad Jessica Mendoza also plays for the national team, and Stanford coach John Rittman was an assistant in Santo Domingo.
UCLA's Natasha Watley hit a two-run homer and scored twice.
"This is like a dynasty. It's fun to be a part of," Watley said.
The USA women's national team has won two Olympic gold medals, and the past five World Championships in addition to the five straight Pan Am titles, and has been the top-ranked team in the world the past 17 years.
The United States won its first boxing gold when super heavyweight Jason Estrada defeated Michael Lopez Nunez of Cuba, 14-6.
American Vic Wunderle beat countryman Guy Krueger 109-106 in the men's archery final after twice setting games records in earlier rounds. It was the fifth Pan Ams gold medal for the top-seeded Wunderle.
In taekwondo, Olympic champion Steven Lopez of Houston won gold in his first international competition in a new weight class.
Lopez, who won in Sydney at 68 kilograms, won here as a welterweight (80 kilos). In his four matches Friday, he outscored opponents 28-6.
The U.S. men couldn't do much of anything against Brazil in the volleyball bronze medal match, with the Brazilians sweeping 25-23, 25-17, 25-20 in 79 minutes.
In Canoe-Kayak, Americans Ruth Nortje and Kathy Colin each earned gold medals. Nortje won the first gold for the U.S. kayakers by sprinting to victory in the 500 meters singles race. Ninety minutes later, Nortje and Colin cruised to an easy victory in the women's doubles at 500 meters.
In water skiing, three Americans won gold medals.
Freddy Krueger was the jumping champion with 67.00 points. Regina Jaquess took the women's tricks competition at 6,960, and the women's slalom went to Karen Truelove.
In cycling, former Olympian Tanya Lindenmuth won her second gold medal of the games, taking the individual spring.
In squash, the American women beat two-time defending champion Canada 2-1.
Princeton's Meredith Quick beat Carolyn Russell with a sensational rally. After she fell behind two sets, Quick came back to win 3-9, 3-9, 9-3, 9-6, 9-4.
Individual gold medalist Latasha Khan played Melanie Jans in a rematch of the singles championship match _ and won again. Khan lost the first game 9-10, then won 9-3, 9-1 and 9-0. That clinched the team title.