Tom ShephardOpen letter to the USAP Membership 

Dear Pentathlon Family:

I have just returned from the UIPM World Cup, Los Angeles that we hosted in Pomona, California. While it is fresh in my mind, I wanted to share some observations with you regarding the competition and our team.

I was reminded by our CEO Rob Stull about the tremendous sense of community that exists within the pentathlon world. This was truly illustrated by our friends around the world supporting this event. Our pentathlon friends from Egypt chipped in by carrying banners from Egypt to the site for us. Others from around the world also helped in numerous ways to make sure that this would be a successful event. It is spirit that we carry with us and hope to pay forward throughout the years. We also have the continuing and great support of the WCAP program, with a special thank you to WCAP’s massage therapist, Sharon Jacobson for taking care of the athletes.

Pomona turned out to be quite successful for us. Every large scale event has it’s challenges and this was no exception. In spite of the challenges, we decided to proceed with the event, and Fairplex did a very nice job in hosting us. Most importantly, the reason for proceeding with the event was to be able to expose 24 of our athletes; experienced and inexperienced, to World Cup level competition. We accomplished our goal. We had people as young as 16-year-old Veronika Diederichs competing and seasoned veterans competing alongside them.

Ultimately we put two women and one male through to the individual finals. Each performed well, and USAP’s Samantha Achterberg and Isabella Isaksen ended up 17th and 22nd respectively, and Amro El Geziry ended up ninth.

The husband and wife team of Izzy and Amro then turned up the heat in the relays to take a silver!! Our first American medal of the year, and on our home turf!

We also hosted a Board meeting to refine our objectives for the coming year. We have a clear picture of the challenges and opportunities ahead and are all working together to make additional progress.

Most importantly we had 24 athletes and staff come together as a TEAM in Pomona. We need to build on this ‘espirit de corps’ daily, in every way, so that we foster a winning environment.

I want to again thank our staff for all the hard work that they did to ensure that this event ran successfully. Let’s keep the momentum going!

Best,

Tom Shepard 

Chairman, USA Pentathlon