Team USA Wins 12 Medals at Pan American Juvenile Championships

June 13, 2009, 9:27 a.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - In his first appearance at the Pan Ams since 2005, Max Schneider (Chicago, Ill. / Tohkon Judo) won a gold medal on Friday at the Pan American Juvenile Championships in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Schneider threw a Colombian player with a tomoe nage (circle throw) for ippon (instant win) during the first minute of his final match to win the 66kg division.

Team USA won 12 medals out of 16 divisions during the first day of competition at the Pan American Juvenile and Junior Championships.

Joshua Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), a bronze medalist at this event as a 51kg player last year, advanced to the finals in the 55kg division, but lost his match to a Brazilian player when he was thrown with a seoi nage (shoulder throw) for ippon and placed second.

Max Golembo (Vernon Hills, Ill. / Cohen's Judo), a 2005 Pan Am Infantile bronze medalist, won a silver medal earlier in the day in the 73kg division. 

Team USA's nine bronze medalists included the following players:

  • Destinee Nagtalon (Cupertino, Calif. / San Jose Buddhist Judo Club / 40kg)
  • Vanessa Calimquim (Long Beach, Calif. / South Bay Judo / 44kg)
  • Brianna Padron (Davie, Fla. / Panther Judo / 48kg)
  • Samantha Martin (Burleson, Texas / Ruben Martin Judo Training Center / 52kg)
  • Crystal Butts (Fontana, Calif. / LACC Judo Club / 57kg)
  • Kadee Shadden (Mineral Wells, Texas / Ruben Martin Judo / 70kg)
  • Micaela Enriquez (Burleson, Texas / Ruben Martin Judo Training Center / +70kg)
  • Daniel Neyra (Boca Raton, Fla. / Onikusu Judo Club / 51kg)
  • Jimmy Barnes (Oklahoma City, Okla. / USA Stars / +90kg)

For three members of Team USA, the Pan Am Juvenile Championships were just their first competition of the season as medalists Schneider, Golembo and Nagtalon all will be competing at the Cadet World Championships in Budapest, Hungary from Aug. 6-9.

The following three athletes lost bronze medal matches and placed fifth:

  • Yesenia Crespo (Dover, Fla. / Del Diaz Mambi Training Center / 63kg)
  • Ruben Martin (Burleson, Texas / Ruben Martin Judo / 66kg)
  • Pablo Redden-Gonzalez (Earlysville, Va. / Charlottesville Judo Academy / 81kg)

Mike Harris (Clermont, Fla. / Central Florida Judo & Jujitsu) lost his first two matches in the 90kg division and did not advance.

Competition continues for Team USA on Saturday with the 17-19-year-old Junior division.