Beach Teams Sweep St. Lucia Golds

Oct. 13, 2013, 11 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 13, 2013) – Lane Carico won her third gold medal in a row, Heather Hughes took her second and David McKienzie and Austin Rester won their first as a team on Sunday at the NORCECA Beach Circuit event in St. Lucia.

Heather Hughes, left, and Lane Carico, right, pose with their gold medals
   Heather Hughes, left, and Lane Carico pose with their gold medals.

In Sunday’s women’s final, Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) defeated Mexico’s Martha Revuelta and Bibiana Candelas, 21- 17, 21-18 to improve their tournament record to 5-0.

On the men’s side, the team of McKienzie (Lakewood, Colo.) and Rester (Grapevine, Texas) came back from a 2-0 pool play loss to Canada’s Andrew Hinchey and Ryan Vandenburg to defeat them in the final, 21-23, 25-23, 15-8.

The tournament wasn’t easy for the team, which was a last-minute replacement for Will Montgomery and Avery Drost, who had to pull out when Drost was hurt in Chula Vista.

“For us, it was a little bit challenging because we did not train much together before the tournament,” McKienzie said. “Our first match was really bad, but we started to put it together as the tournament progressed.”

It was the second straight NORCECA event that a U.S. men’s team has won as Nick Lucena and Theo Brunner won in Chula Vista.

Austin Rester, left, and Dave McKienzie show off their first-place hardware
   Austin Rester, left, and Dave McKienzie show off their hardware.

Hughes and Carico took the gold in Chula Vista and Carico also took gold with Sara Hughes at the NORCECA events in September in Puerto Rico.

“It feels good to have a consistent presence of the NORCECA beach tour,” Carico said. “We are going to play more together and grow as a team.”

The team is planning to compete in the final two legs of the tour, in Costa Rica on Nov. 22-24 and in Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 27 to Dec. 2.

Both the U.S. gold medal teams defeated their American teammates in the tournament quarterfinals.

Hughes and Carico beat Kaitlin Nielsen (Santa Rosa, Calif.) and Sarah Day (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 21-15, 21-18. McKienzie and Rester topped John Hyden (San Diego, Calif.) and Tri Bourne (Aiea, Hawaii), 21-19, 21-18.