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Sunday, March 12, 1995 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Pan Am Preview

Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph

ARCHERY: U.S. archers expect to contend for individual and team gold medals. Rick McKinney, the 1984 Olympic silver medalist, leads the men's team. Two-time defending Pan Am women's champion Denise Parker leads the women's team.

BADMINTON: The Pan Am Games offer U.S. players a rare opportunity to win medals in an international competition. Only Canada and Peru pose roadblocks to the medal stand for U.S. players. Three 1992 Olympians lead the U.S. team. Linda French, a training center resident, is an 11-time national champion. Other Olympians on the team are OTC residents Tom Reidy and Erika von Heiland.

BASKETBALL: Usually a medal staple for the United States, this event could be a dud. No women's competition. The men's team consists of a mystery concoction of second-echelon Continental Basketball Association players.

BASEBALL: The timing dilemma forced U.S. officials to try something different. Instead of sending a team of college all-stars, USA Baseball officials is sending St. John's University. Pitting any U.S. college team against Cuba is a mismatch. Making it to the medal round will be a victory for the U.S. entry.

BOWLING: U.S. team members expect to contend for team and individual gold medals. The top U.S. competitor is Liz Johnson, a triple gold medalist at the 1994 FIQ World Youth Championships. Johnson won consecutive U.S. amateur titles in 1994 and 1995. She is the women's world record-holder for high season average (234.8) set in 1993-94.

BOXING: The best U.S. team available expects to win its share of medals in Argentina. But how many will be gold? Cuba looms as the answer to that question.

CANOE-KAYAK: The U.S. team boasts a load of experienced athletes. Ten of 14 team members are veterans of the Olympics. Kayaker Mike Herbert, a two-time Olympian, won three gold medals (two in 1987 and one in 1991) and one silver (1991) in the past two Pan Am Games.

CYCLING: Two-time Olympian Connie Paraskevin-Young seeks her second Pan Am gold medal in the match sprint. Two-time Olympian Carl Sundquist seeks his second Pan Am gold medal in team pursuit. Olympic bronze medalist and world silver medalist Erin Hartwell is favored in the 1-kilometer time trial. Other medal hopefuls include sprint and keirin world champion Marty Nothstein and world pursuit bronze medalist Janie Eickhoff. World road and team time trial bronze medalist Jeanne Golay is a medal favorite. World Cup champion Juliana Furtado and world silver medalist David "Tinker" Juarez rate as gold-medal favorites in mountain biking.

DIVING: 1992 Olympic champion Kent Ferguson and 1988 Olympian Mark Bradshaw finished 1-2 in the 1991 Pan Am 3-meter competition. Patrick Jeffrey, a 1988 Olympian, won a bronze medal in platform diving at the 1991 Pan Am Games. The top U.S. women's diver, Mary Ellen Clark, a 1992 Olympic platform bronze medalist, dropped out after suffering her third bout of vertigo.

EQUESTRIAN: Norman Dello Joio, bronze medalist in show jumping at the 1992 Olympics, leads the U.S. team. Other U.S. medal contenders include dressage riders Elizabeth Ball and Anne Gribbons, and show jumpers Nona Garson and DD Matz.

FENCING: Peter Westbrook and John Friedberg return from the men's sabre team that won a silver medal at the 1991 Pan Am Games. Michael Marx won a bronze medal in foil at the 1987 Pan Am Games. In the women's competition, Leslie Marx, Donna Stone and Margo Miller return from the team that won a gold medal in team epee in 1991. Nick Bravin, a double medalist in 1991, returns in men's foil. In women's foil, Ann Marsh and Felicia Zimmerman return from the 1991 U.S. gold medal team.

FIELD HOCKEY: The U.S. women expect to battle host Argentina and Canada (the only countries to defeat the United States at the 1994 Women's World Cup in Ireland). The men's squad features seven players who competed in the 1987 and-or 1991 Pan Am Games.

GYMNASTICS (artistic): U.S. athletes expect to dominate. Two-time women's world all-around champion Shannon Miller leads the U.S. women's team that won silver medals at the 1992 Olympics and 1994 World Championships. Dominique Dawes and Kerri Strug, members of both of those teams, also expect to medal. Scott Keswick and John Roethlisberger, 1992 Olympians, lead a strong U.S. men's team.

GYMNASTICS (rhythmic): Cuba's Lourdes Medina dominated the 1987 and 1991 Pan Am rhythmic competition. The last time a U.S. gymnast medaled in the all-around competition was 1987, when Diane Simpson won a silver medal.

JUDO: The U.S. will send a team that includes three men and three women Olympians. The top U.S. player is Jason Morris, a 1992 Olympic silver medalist.

KARATE: The U.S. team features four defending Pan Am champions and rates as one of the strongest in the field.

PELOTA: No U.S. athletes entered.

RACQUETBALL: Already dominant on the world stage, U.S. players expect to bring home plenty of gold from this competition. Leading the way is 1994 world doubles and team champion John Ellis.

ROLLER SKATING: Of the 36 U.S. roller skating competitors, 14 are world champions. In men's speedskating, Tony Muse owns 16 world titles. Teammate Derek Parra is two-time defending world overall champion. Other defending champions include Steven Findlay and April Dayney in artistic figures, and singles skaters Heath Medeiros, Dezera Salas and Rechelle Hanson. Tim Patten and Lisa Friday are world champions in dance. The threesome of Teresa Cliff, Cheryl Ezzell and Gypsy Lucas won a world title in the 5,000-meter relay. Vicci King owns world titles at 1,500 and 5,000 meters. Heather Laufer was the 1993 and 1994 overall individual world champ.

ROWING: The U.S. team features seven Pan Am veterans and six Olympians. U.S. rowers expect to contend for medals in several events.

SAILING: Paul Foerster, the 1992 Flying Dutchman Olympic silver medalist, rates as a medal contender. So does Doug Hart, a 1983 Pan Am wind-glider silver medalist.

SHOOTING: Olympic silver medalist Bob Foth leads a U.S. team favored to dominate the competition. Other top shooters include Olympians Ann-Marie Pfiffner, Deena Wigger, Wanda Jewel, Web Wright, David Johnson, Terry Anderson, Dan Iuga, John McNally, Ben Amonette, Darius Young, Connie Petracek and Libby Callahan.

SOCCER: The U.S. men are reigning Pan Am gold medalists, but many of those players graduated to the team that represented the United States in last summer's World Cup. The 1995 Pan Am team is made up of the U.S. under-23 national team. The United States will not take advantage of a rule allowing teams to use three players who are not under 23.

SOFTBALL: The U.S. women are gold-medal favorites. Of the 18 women's players, 13 were members of the team that won the 1994 world title. Of the 18 men's players, two are Pan Am veterans and six played in the world championships.

SQUASH: Best bets for U.S. medals are Anthony Arthur Brettkelly, winner of the 1987 Amsterdam Open, and the U.S. women's doubles team of Demer Holleran and Alicia McConnell, the reigning world champions.

SWIMMING: The United States should dominate the competition. The men's Pan Am roster includes 12 members of the 1994 world championship team and six Olympians. The women's roster includes nine members of the world championship team and three 1992 Olympians.

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING: Defending 1991 Pan Am gold medalist Becky Dyroen-Lancer leads a strong U.S. team that should compete for medals in every event.

TABLE TENNIS: The U.S. team features 1991 men's Pan Am bronze medalist Jim Butler and the defending gold-medal mixed doubles team of Sean O'Neill and Diana Gee.

TAEKWONDO: With defending champions in every weight class, the U.S. team should dominate.

TEAM HANDBALL: The U.S. men's team features six Pan Am veterans. The women's team features nine Olympic veterans. Both figure to contend for medals.

TENNIS: The top-ranked American is Chandra Rubin (No. 36 in the world). Ann Grossman is No. 39 and Shaun Stafford is 55th. None of the men on the team are ranked in the top 60.

TRACK AND FIELD: This should be the strongest U.S. Pan Am team in recent memory. The team features 14 1994 U.S. champions, three defending Pan Am Games champions and 19 Olympians.

TRIATHLON: Timothy DeBoom, the 1994 Pan Am silver medalist, and Nate Llerandi and Andre Carlson lead the men. Gail Laurence-Garci won the 1994 Pan Am title and finished 11th in the world championships.

VOLLEYBALL: The last time the United States won a medal in volleyball at the Pan Am Games was 1987. Both the men's and women's teams figure to end that streak in 1995. The men's team includes six players who are Pan Am or Olympic veterans. Nine women have Olympic or Pan Am experience.

WATER POLO: The men's team features four members of the team that won a silver medal at the 1991 Pan Am Games and finished fourth at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

WATER SKIING: Six of the top water skiers in the United States will compete, led by men's world tricks champion Tory Baggiano, women's world tricks record-holder Tawn Larsen, U.S. and world open men's jumping record-holder Sammy Duvall and Sherri Sloane, the world's top-ranked women's jumper.

WEIGHTLIFTING: The U.S. team, featuring six Olympians, figures to battle Cuba head-to-head for domination. Stars are Mario Martinez, Tim McRae, West Barnett, Mark Henry and Bryan Jacob.

WRESTLING: Three-time Pan Am medalist, freestyle heavyweight Bruce Baumgartner, will attempt to become the fourth U.S. athlete to medal in four games. U.S. freestyle and Greco-Roman teams expect to battle Cuba for domination.

Copyright (c) 1995 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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