The 16-member team that will represent the United States at the 2008 Pan American Taekwondo Championships was announced Sunday at the conclusion of the selection camp held Sept. 10-14 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The squad will compete at the Pan Am Championships in Caguas, Puerto Rico, October 3-5.
"This was an incredible selection camp", said U.S. National Team Coach Juan Moreno. "The athletes all came in focused and committed to making this team. The level of intensity and competition was one of the best that I have ever seen at a camp. The decision to select the team was extremely tough, but the committee literally spent 4-5 hours a day deliberating on who would be the potential team members."
A total of 58 athletes attended the selection camp.
The 16-member Pan Am Championships Team will be comprised of:
Male Finweight: Charles "Arnell" Smith (Ft. Washington, Md.)
Male Flyweight: James Howe (San Ramon, Calif.)
Male Bantamweight: Bernard Posey (Greensboro, N.C.)
Male Featherweight: Steven Lin (Chatham, N.J.)
Male Lightweight: David Bartlett (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Male Welterweight: Rudford Hamon (Miami, Fla.)
Male Middleweight: Jayson Grant (Worcester, Mass.)
Male Heavyweight: Brett Schuschereba (Derry, N.H.)
Female Finweight: Alexis Martinez (Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
Female Flyweight: Charlotte Craig (Murietta, Calif.)
Female Bantamweight: Eleni Koutsilianos (Astoria, N.Y.)
Female Featherweight: Aziza Chambers (Springfield, Ohio)
Female Lightweight: Whitney Daniel (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Female Welterweight: Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.)
Female Middleweight: Dalia Avivi (Miami, Fla.)
Female Heavyweight: Lauren Cahoon (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Weight Division Summaries:
Charles Smith, 23, is a two-time national champion (2003 & 2008) and a member of the 2004 Pan Am Championships Team and 2004 National Team. He also was the 2005 collegiate champion and won a bronze medal at the 2005 World University Games.
Alexis Martinez, 16, is a two-time senior national champion, winning titles in 2007 & 2008.
James Howe, 21, is a two-time national champion (2007 & 2008) as well as a 2008 U.S. Open gold medalist and 2006 collegiate champion.
Charlotte Craig, 17, is a 2008 Olympian, reaching the quarterfinals of the women's Olympic flyweight division in Beijing. She won bronze medals at the 2007 senior world championships and the 2006 junior world championships, and was a senior national champion in 2005 and won gold at the 2005 Pan American Junior Championships.
Bernard Posey, 18, is a two-time medalist at the Pan American Junior Championships, winning gold in 2007 and bronze in 2005. He is also a two-time U.S. junior champion in 2005 & 2006.
Eleni Koutsilianos, 21, is a five-time U.S. National Team member and won gold at the last Pan American Championships in 2006. She is also a three time national champion (2003, 2004 & 2005) and three-time U.S. Open gold medalist (2004, 2005 & 2006).
Steven Lin, 21, is a two-time national champion, winning titles in 2006 & 2008.
Aziza Chambers, 19, was the 2007 collegiate champion and a member of the 2008 Collegiate World Championships Team. She also captured a bronze medal at the 2008 U.S. National Championships.
David Bartlett, 28, won the 2008 World Military Championships and is a four-time U.S. national champion (1999, 2002, 2003 & 2006).
Whitney Daniel, 17, was a silver medalist at the 2008 World Junior Championships. She also won silver at the 2008 U.S. National Championships and bronze at the 2007 U.S. National Championships.
Rudford Hamon, 26, is a two-time national champion (2005 & 2007). He won a silver medal at the last Pan Am Championships in 2006 and was the 2005 collegiate champion.
Paige McPherson, 17, is a three-time senior national champion (2006, 2007 & 2008), a Pan Am Junior gold medalist in 2007, U.S. Open gold medalist in 2008 and Junior Olympic champion in 2007.
Jayson Grant, 19, is the 2006 senior national champion and 2008 collegiate national champion.
Dalia Avivi, 22, won gold medals at the 2008 collegiate championship and 2008 U.S. Open. She was also a member of the 2007 U.S. Senior National Team.
Brett Schuschereba, 23, is a three-time medalist at the U.S. National Championships, winning gold in 2006, silver in 2008 and bronze in 2007.
Lauren Cahoon, 23, is a two-time Senior National Team member (2005 & 2006), two-time collegiate champion (2003 & 2008), 2008 U.S. Open gold medalist and 2003 senior national champion.