Friday, October 21, 2011

Two medals for U.S. track cyclists at Pan American Games

The track cycling portion of the Pan American Gameswrapped up on Thursday with two medals earned by U.S. riders on the velodrome. These two medals are in addition to the gold and bronze medals earned by U.S. riders during the mountain bike competitions in Mexico.


The United States’ track contingent got off to a very good start when Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.), Dean Tracy(Portland, Ore.), and Jimmy Watkins (Bakersfield, Calif.) joined forces to earn a silver medal in the men’s team sprint on Monday.
“This race was huge for us,” said Tracy. “Watching our times drop race after race is exciting, and we’re only going to get better.”
Not only did the guys grab a silver, but they set an unofficial U.S. record with their time of 44.036.
Venezuela and Colombia were the gold and bronze medalists in the event.


After placing sixth in the women’s sprint on Tuesday, Dana Feiss (Telford, Pa.) added a bronze medal to the silver earned by the men on day one. The Pan American Games was the first major international competition for the 22-year-old Feiss, and she rode to third-place in the women’s keirin on Thursday.
“I was just thinking about getting in a good position and seeing what I could do,” said Feiss. “I kept telling myself to just do my best and, ‘be smart, be safe, be fast.’ It’s definitely nice to know that today my best was podium-worthy.”
Scoring the gold and silver medals in the event were Daniela Larreal (Venezuela) and Daniela Luz Gaxiola (Mexico).


In addition to the two medal-winning performances, U.S. riders made some great efforts over the four days.
The women’s team sprint was a heartbreaker for the U.S. when Elizabeth Reap Carlson (Smithport, Pa.) and Madalyn Godby (Lousiville, Colo.) barely missed out on the podium with a loss to Mexico by only 0.376 seconds in the bronze medal match. The winners were Venezuela’s Daniela Larreal and Mariestela Vilera. Colombia took the silver.
Blatchford and Watkins both found themselves in the race for fifth place in the men’s individual sprint. Crossing the line in 10.673, Watkins defeated both Blatchford and Ruben Horta (Mexico) to earn the fifth place spot. Blatchford finished seventh in the event.
In the men’s keirin, Jimmy Watkins rode to fourth-place. Hernando Fabian Puerta (Colombia), Gadiel Hersony Canelon (Venezuela), and Leandro Botasso (Argentina) made up the podium.
For complete results from the track cycling portion of the Pan American Games, please click here.
The medals earned by U.S. riders on the track were in addition to the gold and bronze medals earned by Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo.) and Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va.) during the mountain bike portion of the Pan American Games. Additionally, BMX and women’s road racing action is still coming up. Stay tuned to for reports on the U.S. riders.
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