The Day in Review : Lenzi Comes Through on Last Dive to Win Duel on the Springboard
Mark Lenzi was unnerved by a partisan crowd rooting for yet another Cuban contender and the fact the gold medal in the 1-meter springboard diving competition at the Pan American Games came down to the last dive Tuesday.
“I was trying to keep myself calm, because my hands were shaking,” said Lenzi, who won the gold. “I’ve never been that nervous.”
Lenzi and Abel Ramirez of Cuba dueled for more than an hour in the hot, humid East Havana Pool Complex. About 3,500 fans jammed into overhanging seats, where they roared and hooted as if they were at a boxing match. After five dives the two competitors were the only ones in contention for a gold medal.
After Ramirez’s final dive, Lenzi watched the Cuban celebration, looked at his coach, and thought, “Well, that’s great for him, but it’s not over yet.”
Lenzi, the World Cup 3-meter gold medalist from Fredericksburg, Va., did a reverse 1 1/2 with 2 1/2 twists that gave him the victory.
Jason Giambi drove in four runs and Chris Roberts and Charles Johnson each hit two-run home runs as U.S. hitters combined for 14 hits against two Mexican pitchers in a 12-4 romp at Latino Americano Stadium.
Giambi, Roberts and Johnson, the team’s 3-4-5 hitters, finally got untracked in the third inning after a combined start of 0 for 15.
The U.S. won a silver medal in dressage behind the team of Gwen Blake of Enumclaw, Wash., Jennifer Miller of Lebanon, N.J., and Kathy Adams of Stanfordville, N.Y. Canada won the gold medal and Mexico the bronze.
Caitlin Bilodeaux, an American living in Montreal, shared a bronze medal in women’s foil with Cuba’s Barbara Hernandez. Bilodeaux won two gold medals in the 1987 Pan American Games, and was 11th at Seoul.
Carla Estrada of Cuba, who defeated Bilodeaux in the semifinals, won the gold.
Canada defeated the United States, 2-0, in women’s action, and the Americans dropped to 1-1. Cuba edged Trinidad, 2-1, in other pool play.
Canada leads group B with a 2-0 record. The United States and Cuba are tied for second as competition continues today.
The U.S. women dominated to win the gold medal by 4.1 points over Cuba. Canada won the bronze, 2.85 behind Cuba.
Stephanie Woods from Austin, Tex., had the highest individual score with a 9.8 vault. Woods led the U.S. contingent, which had the three highest qualifiers for the all-around competition. Also qualifying were Chelle Stack of Houston and Kristin McDermott of Brooklyn, N.Y.
The United States, traditionally strong in rifle events, won gold medals in three-position women’s shooting and men’s English match. The women’s team consisted of Debra Sinclair of Beaverton, Ore.; Tammie De Angelis of Rockville, Md., and Launi Meili of Cheney, Wash.
The men’s team featured Robert Foth of Clarence, N.Y.; Tom Tamas and Michael Anti, both of Columbus, Ga.
The United States swept the competitions with Sinclair and Tamas winning individual gold medals. Meili and Anti each finished third, but did not get bronze medals because of a Pan American Games rule that forbids one country from winning all the medals.
Debbie Doom of El Monte threw her second perfect game at Santiago, Cuba, as the United States routed Nicaragua, 8-0. Doom, who is being called “ la supersonica ,” threw a perfect game against the Netherlands Antilles in the opener.
In men’s action, Peter Sandman allowed three hits and struck out seven as the United States defeated the Dominican Republic, 7-2. The Americans (4-0) were led by Brian Martie and Rick Minton with a home run each.
Becky Dyroen of San Jose, Calif., the world figures champion, won the gold medal in synchronized swimming with an innovative routine that featured a move she calls the Strobe Light.
Dyroen scored 181.3722 points and silver medalist Maria Guisti of Venezuela had 180.0227.
The U.S. men and women each won, 3-0. The men, with Sean O’Neill of McLean, Va., Jim Butler of Iowa City, Iowa, and Dhiren Narotam of Ames, Iowa, defeated the Dominican Republic.
The women, led by Diana Gee of Dallas and Insook Bhushan of Aurora, Colo., defeated Brazil.
Behind goalkeeper Bill Kessler’s strong play the United States defeated Brazil, 23-21, for its second consecutive close victory. Kessler, a veteran of the U.S.’s gold medal team at the 1987 Pan American Games, stopped Brazil from scoring in the final minutes. Argentina defeated Canada, 25-22, in another game as Roberto Morlachi scored seven goals.
Mexico overwhelmed Jamaica, 29-1, in the tournament opener as Marco Antonio Yryzar scored seven goals.
Puerto Rico defeated Argentina, 13-8, in the other game at Sports City pool. The United States, which is expected to challenge for the gold medal, opens the tournament today against Brazil.
Bryan Jacob of Palatka, Fla., won silver medals in the 60-kilogram snatch and overall but Pedro Negrin of Cuba took the gold medal in all three 60-kilogram events. Jacob, the national collegiate champion from Georgia Tech, was fourth in the clean and jerk.
In the 67.5 kilogram division, Victor Echeverria of Cuba won three gold medals and Eine Acevedo of Colombia won two silvers and a bronze.
All 10 U.S. wrestlers won on the first day of Greco-Roman competition. Highlights included pins by Andy Seras of Schenectady, N.Y., over Gilberto Sanchez of the Dominican Republic at 149 1/2; David Butler of El Cajon over Pedro Murillo of Peru at 163, and Matt Ghaffari of Chandler, Ariz., over Juan Cruz of Peru in super-heavyweight.
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