Stettinius wins NORCECA competition

June 25, 2011, 10:59 a.m. (ET)

Suzanne Stettinius (Parkton, Md.) bested a field of 24 women on Friday to win the NORCECA Modern Pentathlon Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico. The event is Pan American trial event.
Stettinius had a rough start to her day but finished in spectacular fashion. She won her last eight bouts of the fencing competition and totaled 1000 points. Stettinius followed that up with a swim time of 2:24.90. On the riding portion, she knocked down one rail but moved into second place overall. In the final event, the combined run/shoot, Stettinius overtook Mexico's Tamara Vega for the top spot by shooting under 17 seconds on her first two rounds and was able to coast to the victory.
Samantha Achterberg (Sedalia, Colo.) finished in 7th place with a personal best total of 4848. She had 840 points in the fencing and swam a time of 2:27 to put her in the top 12 heading into the ride. Achterberg turned in the best ride by an American, suffering just a four-point time penalty. That put her in 6th place heading into the combined event and only a struggle on her last round of shooting dropped her to 7th in the final standings.
The third member of the U.S. women's squad, Rendy Lynn Opdycke (Mercer Island, Wash.) finished 17th overall. She was 15th in the fencing with 760 points and dominated the swim in a time of 2:16. Opdycke ran into some problems on the ride as she could not get her horse past the fifth jump and finished with 400 points for that event. She also had trouble with the functioning of her pistol on the shooting portion but still finished respectably.
The U.S. squad finished in third place in the team standings behind Mexico and Canada.

The American men's team of Eli Bremer (Monument, Colo.), Will Brady (Howell, Mich.), Nathan Schrimsher (Roswell, N.M.) and John Gibbons (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will be in action on Saturday.