National Team Finishes With 27 Medals at Pan American Championships

BY BILL KELLICK | SEPT. 01, 2017, 12:20 P.M. (ET)

Andrea Ruiz captured the gold medal in the cadet female featherweight division

COSTA RICA (Sept. 1, 2017) — U.S. Junior and Cadet National Team members enjoyed their best day on Thursday at the Pan American Junior and Cadet Taekwondo Championships, winning 12 more medals on the event’s final day to push the team’s total to 27 for the tournament. Team USA finished with 11 gold medals, six silver medals and 10 bronze medals.

Reaching the top step of the podium in junior sparring on the final day were Anastasija Zolotic (Largo, Fla.) and Leah Mitelberg (Fort Lee, N.J.). Zolotic took gold in the female flyweight (-44kg) division, while Mitelberg captured gold in the female featherweight (-49kg) class.

Austin Tran (Coppell, Texas) took silver in the male featherweight (-55kg) division, and bronze medals were won by Vincent Bui (Menifee, Calif.) in male flyweight (-48kg) and by Logan Weber (Overland Park, Kan.) in female welterweight (-55kg).

In cadet sparring, Delaney Campbell (Sachse, Texas) and Andrea Ruiz (Montebello, Calif.) both won gold medals in their respective divisions. Campbell won the female flyweight (-33kg) division and Ruiz captured the female featherweight (-41kg) class. Benjamin Char (Ashburn, Va.) took silver in the male featherweight (-45kg) division.

Four bronze medals were also won by Cadet National Team members on Thursday: Nicole Pelina (Northridge, Calif.) in female welterweight (-47kg), Tyler Tabil (Eastvale, Calif.) in male welterweight (-53kg), Aliyah Shipman (Plantation, Fla.) in female middleweight (-55kg) and Rocco Simonelli (Palm Harbor, Fla.) in male middleweight (-61kg).

The U.S. National Team squads were led by coaches Dennis Kim, Dennis White, Sang Cha, Sabrina Salim, Marlen Moreno, Lynda Laurin, Andrew Suh and Russ Gale.

Other Americans earning sparring medals on the final day were Bilal Hasan (Mukilteo, Wash.) in junior male flyweight (-48kg), Omar Salim in cadet male flyweight (-37kg) and Millana Wochner in cadet female featherweight (-41).

In Tuesday’s poomsae competition, the U.S. male poomsae team placed first and the female team took second place. Dan Chuang was named Best Male Poomsae Coach and Ryan Real (Diamond Bar, Calif.) was named Best Male Poomsae Athlete.

Anastasija Zolotic won the junior female flyweight division