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Two Gold and a Bronze for U.S. Crews at XVI Pan American Games 2011
October 19, 2011
source: Allison Frederick, USRowing

CIUDAD GUZMAN, Mexico - Tuesday's standout performances at the XVI Pan American Games 2011 brought the United States' medal haul up to five. U.S. crews won two gold and one bronze on the second day of finals in Ciudad Guzman.

Women's Single
Beijing Olympian Margot Shumway (Westlake, Ohio) ended her performance at the XVI Pan American Games with a gold medal, the first for the United States in rowing competition this week.

Shumway was in second place through the 1,500-meter mark, before sprinting past Canada's Isolda Penney and into the lead. She held off the strong effort of Argentina's Maria Best in the final stretch to win in 7:53.05. Argentina crossed second for silver in a 7:55.55, with Canada bronze in an 8:06.88.

"My goal today was just to push my limits, have no regrets and give everything I had from stroke one, to the end of the race," said Shumway. "I'm a little in shock. I feel really happy that I left everything on the water, and that it ended with a gold medal."

Men's Pair
Ty Otto (Seattle, Wash.) and Michael Gennaro (Havertown, Pa.) won a second gold for the U.S. in the men's pair.

"We are super pumped," said Gennaro. "We're really happy and excited to have the opportunity to race for the United States."

"We got a lot of momentum going into the summer," said Otto, who, along with Gennaro, won gold in the men's eight at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Amsterdam. "It was fun trying to make the jump to represent the U.S. at the senior level. Coming down here is our first big multi-sport competition, and it's just fun."

Otto and Gennaro dominated Sunday's preliminary heat en route to today's final, where they crossed ahead of Brazil (6:48.74) and Canada (6:50.80) for the gold medal in 6:47.07.

Lightweight Women's Double Sculls
In the lightweight women's double, first-time national team members Michelle Sechser (Folsom, Calif.) and Chelsea Smith (Edina, Minn.) won a bronze medal. The U.S. crew was the top seed going into the final after winning the preliminary race for lanes.

In the final, Sechser and Smith were in third position throughout much of the race. Mexico crossed first for the gold medal in 7:16.04, followed by Cuba (7:17.77) and the U.S. (7:18.88).

Men's Quadruple Sculls
The men's quadruple sculls crew of Tom Paradiso (Blue Bell, Pa.), Bob Duff (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.), Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Andrew Quinn (Cherry Hill, N.J.) finished sixth in the final, posting a time of 6:10.88. Argentina edged out Cuba by 0.49 seconds for the gold medal.

Lightweight Men's Double Sculls
Paradiso and Duff returned a little over an hour later to race in the final of the lightweight men's double. The U.S. was in fifth place at the 500-meter mark before overtaking Brazil in the second quarter of the race and finishing fourth in 6:30.85. Mexico won gold (6:24.52), followed by Cuba (6:27.07) and Canada (6:29.27).

Four U.S. crews go to the line Wednesday to race for medals in the lightweight women's single, women's quadruple sculls, men's single sculls and men's eight.

More than 6,000 athletes from 42 countries are competing in this year's Games, held every four years, a year out from the Summer Olympic Games. Rowing has been a part of the Pan American Games since 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the last Pan American Games, held in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the United States brought home seven medals on the men's side and three medals on the women's side, for a total of ten.

The 2011 Pan American Games are the third Pan American Games hosted by Mexico and the first held in the state of Jalisco. Previously, Mexico hosted the 1955 Pan American Games and the 1975 Pan American Games, both in Mexico City.

Competition Schedule for Wednesday, 10/19 (CST, tentative and subject to change)

9:30 a.m., Men's Lightweight Four Final B
9:38 a.m., Men's Lightweight Four Final A
9:46 a.m., Lightweight Women's Single Sculls Final B
9:56 a.m., Lightweight Women's Single Sculls Final A
10:20 a.m., Women's Quadruple Sculls Final A
10:34 a.m., Men's Single Sculls Final B
10:42 a.m., Men's Single Sculls Final A
10:57 a.m., Men's Eight Final A

For a full U.S. roster, athlete bios and features, visit the Pan American Games Coverage page.