As the 2010 competition schedule nears its end, USA Pentathlon can reflect on a year of great progress in international competitions as its athletes proved they can compete with the world’s best.
This was evident from the year’s first World Cup event in Mexico when 18-year-old Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.) won the silver medal, pushing Olympic champion and eventual 2010 World Cup champion Lena Schoneborn of Germany to the bitter end in the exciting combined event. Isaksen capped off the busy summer calendar with a career-best 12th place finish at the world championships, up from her 17th-place finish last year. The sky’s the limit for this talented Arkansas native who is making great strides leading up to the 2012 Summer Games in London.
Another 2008 Olympian who made notable strides in 2010 was Sam Sacksen (Somerset, Pa.) who improved his fencing score by 200 points while benefitting from training at the New York Athletic Club.
Also on the men’s side, Will Brady (Howell, Mich.) turned in a very consistent year in international competition, capping it off with a 5th-place finish in the combined event during the qualification round of the world championships. Brady, along with Dennis Bowsher (Dallas, Texas) and 2008 Olympian Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo.) have proven they can run and swim with the best in the world.
This year was also a strong one for American juniors. At the inaugural Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore, the U.S. duo of Anna Olesinski (Roswell, N.M.) and Nathan Schrimsher (Roswell, N.M.) had a strong showing. Olesinski narrowly missed out on the medals, placing fourth in the women’s individual event, and Schrimsher had a solid 12th-place in the men’s competition. Schrimsher also made history when he was paired with Cuba’s Leydi Laura Moya Lopez, the women’s individual gold medalist, during the mixed relay. It marked the first time in decades that an American and Cuban had paired up in an Olympic-style event and generated headlines around the world.
The U.S. also fielded a full team at the Youth A World Championships held in Sweden. Representing the U.S. were Olesinski, Samantha Achterberg (Littleton, Colo.), McKenzie West (Sedalia, Colo.), Ryan Anderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Cory Cranford (Morrison, Colo.) and Andrew Wiggins (Laurel, Miss.). The 2010 Junior World Team was comprised of Emily Andrews (Absecon, N.J.), John Gibbons (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Hans Lauzen (Aurora, Ill.) and Lucas Schrimsher (Roswell, N.M.).
The 2010 international competition calendar comes to a close with the Pan Am Championships to be held Nov. 17-22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.