(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - Miguel Ballesteros (Miami, Fla./Ki-Itsu-Sai/58kg) led the way for the American contingent on the second day of competition (13-14-year-olds) at the Pan American Infantil Championships Nov. 12 in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Ballesteros not only took the gold medal at 58kg, but also was awarded the Ippon Trophy for most ippons (instant win, similar to a pin in wrestling or knockout in boxing) scored in a tournament as well as the Outstanding Male award.
Franchesca Durand (Coral Springs, Fla./Ki-Itsu-Sai/53kg) and Marina Lambert (Chesapeake, Va./Washington Judo/+64kg) both defended their titles from last year in Santo Domingo while Kyle Taketa (Torrance, Calif./Gardena/40kg) added a gold medal to go with his 2004 silver.
Antonio Rodriguez (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Ki-Itsu-Sai/64kg) and Risha Mishima (Honolulu, Hawaii/Shobukan/48kg) also advanced to the final round, winning silver medals.
Carly Patton (Zephyrhils, Fla./El Mambi/53kg) also was honored at the tournament as the Outstanding Female of the tournament in the 11-12-year-old division, following her gold medal win Nov. 11.
Brazil won the overall medal count (31 total: 15 gold, nine silver, seven bronze). After winning a medal in each category during the 11-12-year-old event Nov. 11, the Brazilians added 16 more medals during the 13-14-year-old event.
Team USA came in a close second with 25 overall medals (eight gold, three silver, fourteen bronze). Colombia finished third with seven medals, including two gold.
"We're all proud of how the team did this weekend," said Head Coach Jhonny Prado (North Lauderdale, Fla.) "All of these athletes trained very hard for this event and the results show it."
Prado was joined in Costa Rica by Team USA staff, including Team Managers Sergeant Major E.L. Mayfield (Jacksonville, N.C.) and Antonio Rodriguez (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), USA Judo Executive Director/CEO Jose H. Rodriguez (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and referees Robert Fukuda (Fruitland, Idaho) and Gary Takemoto (Long Beach, Callif.)
U.S. results are as follows:
40kg: Kyle Taketa (Torrance, Calif./Gardena)
58kg: Miguel Ballesteros (Miami, Fla./Ki-Itsu-Sai)
64kg: Antonio Rodriguez (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Ki-Itsu-Sai)
36kg: Nathan Silva (Baldwin Park, Calif./Guerreros)
44kg: Robby Schultheis (Gurnee, Ill./Gurnee)
+64kg: Daniel Palatnik (Rego Park, N.Y./Spartak)
48kg: Aaron Fukuhara (Torrance, Calif./Gardena)
Sami Syed (Los Angeles, Calif./53kg) also competed, but did not place.
53kg: Franchesca Durand (Coral Springs, Fla./Ki-Itsu-Sai)
+64kg: Marina Lambert (Chesapeake, Va./Washington Judo)
48kg: Risha Mishima (Honolulu, Hawaii/Shobukan)
58kg: Danielle Greenstein (Coral Springs, Fla./Ki-Itsu-Sai)
64kg: Kelsi Bostic (Anderson, Ind./Anderson YMCA)
40kg: Ashley Cameron (Garland, Texas/Becerra)
44kg: Mirielle Graves (Edwardsville, Ill./USA Stars)