Regina Jaquess slalom skiing at the Pan American Games
Photography: Team USA

Regina Jaquess won gold medals in women's slalom, jump and overall at the XIX Pan American Games.

Anna GayErika LangRegina JaquessMary Morgan HowellNate SmithNewsWakeboarding3-Event

U.S. Wins 9 Total Medals At XIX Pan American Games

by Scott N. Atkinson

U.S. Pan American Water Ski Team members Anna Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.), Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) and Daniel Johnson (Statesville, N.C.) each won medals in respective events on Tuesday as the water ski and wakeboard competition at the XIX Pan American Games concluded at Laguna Los Morros in San Bernardo, Chile.

Jaquess (1 buoy at 41 feet off/166 feet/6,710 points) and Gay (5 buoys at 38 feet off/138 feet/10,600 points) won the gold and bronze medals, respectively, in women’s overall on Tuesday, with Jaquess tallying 2,633.02 points and Gay scoring 2,599.36 points. Canada’s Paige Rini earned the silver medal, scoring 2,623.14 points.

Johnson earned the bronze medal in men’s wakeboard, tallying 78.33 points. Argentina’s Kai Ditsch won the gold (88.33 points) and Canada’s Hunter Smith earned the silver (82.67 points).

U.S. Pan American Water Ski Team members finished with a combined nine medals in respective events at the XIX Pan American Games. The U.S. Pan American Water Ski Team finished with five gold medals, one silver and three bronze during the four-day competition.

Members of the 2023 U.S. Pan American Water Ski Team were: Anna Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.), Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.), Erika Lang (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Nate Smith (McCordsville, Ind.). The American Water Ski Association’s International Activities Committee selected the water ski athletes based on a pre-determined selection criteria. Mary Morgan Howell (Dothan, Ala.) and Daniel Johnson (Statesville, N.C.) were selected by USA Wakeboard to represent the team as the wakeboard athletes following the 2023 Pan American Games Team Trials in April in Auburndale, Fla.

In addition to women’s overall, Jaquess won the gold medal in women’s slalom, scoring 4 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off. Canada’s Neilly Ross (3 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off) and Paige Rini (1 buoy at 39-1/2 feet off) earned the silver and bronze, respectively. Gay placed fifth (1/2 buoy at 38 feet off). Jaquess also won the gold medal in women’s jump with a distance of 171 feet. Chile’s Agustina Varas earned the silver (165 feet) and Canada’s Paige Rini earned the bronze (155 feet). Gay placed fourth (134 feet).

Jaquess, 39, has now won 19 medals, including 12 gold, in Pan American Games competition, the most among U.S. water ski athletes since the sport became part of the Pan American Games’ program in 1995.

Lang won the gold medal in women’s tricks, setting a new Pan American Games’ record 11,030 points. Canada’s Neilly Ross earned the silver (10,870 points) and Gay earned the bronze (10,210 points). Lang earned the top seed for the finals with a Pan American Games’ record score of 10,590 points in the previous day’s elimination round. The score shattered the previous mark of 9,910 points set by Peru’s Natalia Cuglievan in 2019. Lang, 27, was competing in her third Pan American Games. The native of Gilbert, Ariz., earned the silver medal in women’s tricks at the 2019 Pan American Games and the bronze medal in 2015.

Smith won the gold medal in men’s slalom, scoring a Pan American Games’ record 3 buoys at 41 feet off. The Dominican Republic’s Robert Pigozzi earned the silver (1 buoy at 41 feet off) and Brazil’s Felipe Neves Simioni earned the bronze (4 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off). Pigozzi was the defending champion and previous Pan American Games record holder with a score of 2-1/2 buoys at 41 feet off in 2019. Smith, 32, was making his second appearance at the Pan American Games, and first since 2015 when he won the gold medal in men’s slalom.

Argentina’s Eugenia De Armas won the gold medal in women’s wakeboard, scoring 83.11 points. Howell earned the silver with a score of 80.56 points and Chile’s Ignacia Holscher earned the bronze (64.89 points). De Armas broke her own Pan American Games’ record of 82.67 points set at the 2019 Pan American Games with a score of 85.00 points in the elimination round to earn the top seed for the finals.

In other events, Mexico’s Patricio Font won the gold medal in men’s tricks, scoring 11,910 points. Canada’s Dorien Llewellyn earned the silver (10,690 points) and Chile’s Matias Gonzalez earned the bronze (10,170 points). Font broke his own Pan American Games’ record of 11,580 points (2019) in the elimination round with a score of 12,090 points to earn the top seed for the finals.

Chile’s Emile Ritter won the gold medal in men’s jump with a distance of 212 feet/64.7 meters. Canada’s Dorien Llewellyn earned the silver (212 feet/64.5 meters) and Argentina’s Tobias Giorgis earned the bronze (208 feet).

Canada’s Dorien Llewellyn won the gold medal in men’s overall, scoring 2,970 points. Argentina’s Tobias Giorgis earned the silver (2,689.09 points) and Chile’s Martin Labra earned the bronze (2,671.83 points).

Chris Travers (Groveland, Fla.) was the water ski coach and Dr. Brad Harman (Alvarado, Texas) was the team physician.

The Pan American Games take place every four years, in the year preceding the Olympic Games and is the third-largest multi-sport event in the world behind the Summer Olympic and Winter Olympic Games.

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