JUDO: USA Wins Women's Silver, Men's Bronze in Pan Am Team Competition

May 10, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
For Immediate Release May 10, 2008 Contact: Nicole Jomantas, 719.271.9937 (cell) Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us (Miami, Fla.)-Team USA ended the team competition at the Pan American Championships on Saturday with two more medals-silver in the women's division and bronze in the men's. Ronda Rousey (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE / 70kg) and Travis Stevens (Glenville, N.Y. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center / 81kg) led their teams by going undefeated in each of their three matches. A 2007 World silver medalist, Rousey's first match was against Mayra Aguiar (BRA), the teenager who she beat in the final seconds of the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro. The match went down to the wire again with neither athlete scoring until Rousey threw Aguiar for a yuko (quarter-point) in the final 10 seconds of the match. Rousey found herself in an unfamiliar position in her next match when she was thrown twice for a yuko and a waza-ari (half-point) by 2007 Pan Am Champion Yuri Alvear (COL). Rousey came back to earn two kokas (smallest points) off a throw and a penalty committed by Alvear and then threw her for ippon with an uchimata (inner thigh throw) midway through the match. In the final match, Rousey threw Nidia Cordero (MEX) for ippon. Stevens and Victor Penalber (BRA) were tied in Stevens' first match with a penalty each when he threw Penalber for a waza-ari. Stevens beat his next two opponents by ippon, throwing Mariano Bertolotti (ARG) with a long fireman's carry and Fausto Bivieca (DOM) with an o uchi gari (inner leg throw). Open weight athletes Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / USA Judo National Team FORCE) and Mindy Swanson (Honolulu, Hawaii / Hawaii Tenri) each won key matches as well. McCormick won his first match on a walkover against Walter Santos (BRA) and his next two against Sandro Lopez (ARG) and Jose Vazquez (DOM) with throws for ippon. Swanson came back from a first match loss to Priscilla Marques (BRA) to win her next two matches against Colombia on a walkover and Mavi Mendoza (MEX) who she threw for ippon. Brian Picklo (Mustang, Okla. / USA Stars / 100kg) nearly upset Leonardo Leite (BRA), a bronze medalist in the individual competition, when he double-legged Leite for a waza-ari, but Leite attacked quickly again, armbarring Picklo to win the match. Although Picklo lost his next match against Eduardo Costa (ARG), he threw Teofilo Diek (DOM) for ippon to end the day with a win. Katie Mocco (Glenville, N.Y. / NYAC / USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center) was slated to fight in the 78kg division, but she won each of her three matches on walkovers. Heidy Arias (Hialeah, Fla. / Budokan Judo Club / 63kg) and Julian Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / Ki-Itsu-Sai / 66kg) both competed as well, but neither won a match. Rousey, Stevens and McCormick were all named to the Pan American All-Star Team at the conclusion of the tournament. Competition concludes on Sunday at the James L. Knight Center with the Zone Cup where athletes from 13 countries in North and Central America will have one final opportunity to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The Zone Cup will begin at 10 a.m. and will be broadcast live at www.usjudo.org. Complete team results are as follows: Men's Team 1. Brazil, 3-0 2. Dominican Republic, 1-2 3. Argentina, 1-2 3. United States, 1-2 Women's Team 1. Brazil, 3-0 2. United States, 2-1 3. Colombia, 1-2 3. Mexico, 0-3 For more information, contact Nicole Jomantas, 719.271.9937 (cell) or Nicole.Jomantas@usajudo.us. -END-