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Pan American Racquetball Championships (PARC) -- Full Recap

by Cheryl Kirk

2024 Pan American Racquetball Championships Delegation
(Photo by USA Racquetball)

The U.S. Team Delegation was pleased to return to Guatemala City, March 23-30, where Team USA athletes competed in Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles against 9 other countries.

U.S. Team Delegation

Jake Bredenbeck (Minnesota): #1 Singles
Charlie Pratt (Oregon) #2 Singles

Jake Bredenbeck and Sam Bredenbeck (Minnesota): Doubles

Michelle Key (Arizona): #1 Singles
Lexi York (Minnesota): #2 Singles
Naomi Ros (Texas) and Lexi York: Doubles

Michelle Key and Sam Bredenbeck: Mixed Doubles

Supporting our U.S. Team Athletes:

Pablo Fajre (California): Coach
Julian “Jules” Lowe (Arizona): Strength and Conditioning Coach (and Much More)
Cheryl Kirk (Illinois): Team Leader

XXXV Pan American Racquetball Championships Guatemala 2024
Photo by: Courtesy of Team USA

Un Viernes Ocupado, 4/22

Friday’s schedule was brisk! While our Team USA athletes practiced at Domo Complejo de Racquetball (the club) before competition began on Saturday, numerous meetings of an administrative nature took place.

The Coaches and Delegates Meeting commenced at 12:00 at the Clarion Suites host hotel where a great deal of information about the event was provided to the 10 participating countries*, especially the draws/match schedules for the first phase of competition.

* Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, USA

At the PARC General Assembly, newly installed PARC President Estuardo Wer administrated the elections of the new Executive Board, all of whom had secured nomination letters from their countries. For a four-year term (2024-2028), the Executive Board consists of Dr. Wer (President), Osvaldo Maggi (Executive Vice President/Argentina), Cheryl Kirk (Secretary/USA), Dean Schear (Treasurer/USA), Ron Brown (North America VP/Canada), Lázaro Mendoza Simón (Central America/Caribbean VP/Cuba), Thomas Youman (South America VP/Ecuador), Marie Gomar (Women’s Development/Guatemala), and María Paz Muñoz (Athlete Representative/Ecuador).

XXXV Pan American Racquetball Championships Guatemala 2024
Photo by: Courtesy of Team USA

Saturday’s Schedule

All of a sudden it was March 23rd and time for the pool play/round robin phase of competition to begin. Visit or R2 Sports to view all draws and divisions.

PARC 2024 Format/Scoring

The first part of the tournament was pool play/round robin, seeded by countries’ past results. The outcome of the first phase determined the seeding for the Main Draws that were competed Tuesday-Thursday. Then, Thursday-Saturday, the Team Competition phase took place where single elimination draws by country were formed/seeded using the results from the first (individual) phase of competition.

The format throughout was Best 3 Games of 5, all to 11 points, all win by 2 points. In other words, the first player/doubles team to win three games was the match winner. If one player/team won the first three games in a row, the match was over. If they split with their opponent(s), two games each, they went to a tiebreaker fifth game.

Rally scoring is standard, which means that a point is scored on every rally whether the rally winner was the server or the receiver.

A Virtual Field Trip

U.S. Junior Team Esprit Coach and U.S. Team Pan Am Games Assistant Coach Jen Meyer wanted so much to join Team USA on this trip to PARC. Even though she was instead needed back in Colorado where she teaches middle school, she took her class on a virtual field trip to Guatemala City on Monday the 25th, courtesy of live streaming. The class watched Jake’s and Lexi’s matches, rooting for them and breaking out into cheers when they won. In the Daily Blog, Team USA gave a big shout-out to our newest fans to thank them for their support!

PARC Staff

Dedicated staff members traveled to Guatemala in support of the event and its athletes. The operations staff, including those who provided live streaming, are a dedicated and talented team who do a magnificent job and continue to raise the bar at each and every IRF and PARC event.

Operations/Leadership: Osvaldo Maggi (Argentina), Mauro Grandio Buzeleh (Argentina), Marcelo Gómez Pacheco (CRC), Dean Schear (USA), Cheryl Kirk (USA)

Desk Staff: Walter Capandegui, Adrián Macrino (Argentina)

Broadcast/Streaming/Social Media: Jose Cruz (Guatemala), Pablo Fajre (USA), Gustavo Farell (USA), Rafael Gatica (Chile), Gary Mazaroff (USA), Fernando Ruiz (Guatemala), Alberto Sánchez (Venezuela)

PARC Referees

The referees (in Spanish, arbitros) swung into action on Saturday. They are the unsung heroes of each event, officiating many hours a day to ensure that athletes get experienced referees and never have to think about being referees themselves.

The members of this excellent team were Jaime Martell (Mexico), Ricardo Gonzalez (aka Tucky Kravitz; Mexico), Iván Valdez (Mexico), María Paz Muñoz (Ecuador), Diana Aguilar (Mexico), Fabián Torres (Colombia), Francisco Gómez (Colombia), Roland Keller (Bolivia), Glenn Martineau (USA), and Daniel Maggi (Argentina).

A Special Presentation

Action on the streaming court was interrupted for a short time mid-day Monday to recognize Marcelo Gómez Pacheco who served as president of PARC for the last nine years. Marcelo traveled home to Costa Rica on Tuesday with a commemorative plaque and the PARC Executive Committee’s heartfelt gratitude for his dedication and commitment. What a difference Marcelo made in so many ways. He will be missed! Marcelo will remain very involved in Costa Rican racquetball, concentrating on future development including a new women’s program.

Team Competition Phase – Info/Results

After the individual phase concluded on Thursday, the Team Competition began that afternoon and ran through the finals on Saturday 3/30. Here’s how Team Competitions are set up:

• Each “country vs. country” matchup in team competition are best two matches out of three, single elimination.

• Two singles and one doubles match are scheduled, with the order varying as the draw progresses. (Mixed doubles teams do not compete in the Team Competitions.)

• If a country wins its first two matches vs. the other country, the third match will not take place.

• If the countries split results in the first two matches (one win/one loss), the third match will be played to determine the country winner.

While the USA Women’s Team defeated Canada on Friday, Argentina won the next round, ending a USA run to the finals.

The USA Men’s Team defeated both Chile and Costa Rica on Friday, securing a berth in the finals vs. Mexico on Saturday. Mexico won the final, placing the USA Men’s Team in second.

After the Men’s and Women’s Team competition concluded on Saturday, final results were calculated and the Awards Ceremony recognized both the individual medalists and team competition winners.

Note: In IRF and PARC tournaments, semifinalists are both awarded 3rd place medals

PARC Overall Results – Individual Awards

Men’s Open Singles

1st – Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico)
2nd – Samuel Murray (Canada)
3rd – Jake Bredenbeck (USA)
3rd – Andrés Acuña (Costa Rica)

Women’s Open Singles

1st – María José Vargas (Argentina)
2nd – Carla Muñoz (Chile)
3rd – Merynanyelly Delgado (Dominican Republic)
3rd – Natalia Mendez (Argentina)

Men’s Open Doubles

1st – Gabriel Garcia/Andrés Acuña (Costa Rica)
2nd – Coby Iwaasa/Samuel Murray (Canada)
3rd – Sebastián Hernández/Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico)
3rd – Jake Bredenbeck/Sam Bredenbeck (USA)

Women’s Open Doubles

1st -- María José Vargas/Natalia Mendez (Argentina)
2nd – Naomi Ros/Lexi York (USA)
3rd -- Carla Muñoz/Paula Mansilla Cid (Chile)
3rd -- Merynanyelly Delgado/María Cespedes (Dominican Republic)

Mixed Open Doubles

1st – Michelle Key/Sam Bredenbeck (USA)
2nd – Juliette Parent/Coby Iwaasa (Canada)
3rd -- Carla Muñoz/Jaime Mansilla (Chile)
3rd – Natalia Mendez/Gerson Miranda (Argentina)

Day 9 Action from the XXXV Pan American Racquetball Championships Guatemala 2024
Photo by: Courtesy of Team USA

PARC Team Competition Awards

Women’s Team

1st – Argentina
2nd – Dominican Republic
3rd – USA
3rd – Chile


Men’s Team
1st – Mexico
2nd – USA
3rd – Canada
3rd – Costa Rica


Combined Team (Overall)

1st – USA
2nd – Dominican Republic
3rd – Costa Rica
4th – Canada

Day 9 Action from the XXXV Pan American Racquetball Championships Guatemala 2024
Photo by: Courtesy of Team USA

What a great feeling to see Team USA members on the podium multiple times and especially all together for the Combined Team win! Congratulations to Jake, Sam, Charlie, Michelle, Lexi, and Naomi. It’s always a thrilling moment when The Star Spangled Banner is played in Awards Ceremonies!

Indeed, congratulations to ALL of the countries for their efforts and results at the Pan American Racquetball Championships!

Thank You’s

The last Daily Blog for each event traditionally offers a mega-section thanking so many for their hard work during the tournament. For the sake of brevity, but always in the spirit of appreciation, please visit to see who and how many contributed their time and efforts to this very successful event.

But...this article affords the opportunity for some extra-special acknowledgment of the support that arrived via a behind-the-scenes Dream Team. Read on...

Racquetball Family Support

With so much financial concentration going toward USA Racquetball’s initiative to bring the IRF World Championships back to the USA (this August!) for the first time in 28 years, things were looking tentative at best to be able to afford PARC participation this year.

But...on behalf of Team USA with the six athletes who stepped up to represent their country with willingness to cover their own expenses, Jake Bredenbeck initiated a GoFundMe fundraiser entitled “Help Team USA Represent in Guatemala” to request assistance. Others pitched in as well. The Racquetball Family stepped up big-time for our team and for our sport.

Warm thanks go to Randall Root, John O’Donnell, Jr., Laura Brytowski, Jennifer Briglia, Timothy Pratt, Melinda Walker, Sarah Quinn, Deborah Pratt, Colin Murphy, Paul Maduell, Stephen Czarnecki, David Moyle, Chris Shepard, David Boyovich, Sara Freeman, Cindy Tilbury, Ron Denler, Tia Vincent, Yolas Correa, Kyle Vander Hill, Victor Garcia, Rob Thornton, Damian Zamorano, Jim McCarr, Vishav V. Singh, Richard Aal, James Black, Susan Finn, Melissa York, Kyle Ulliman, Chris Corigliano, Grace Ratley, Daily Racquetball, Gene Fry, Eric Hopkins, Martha Sanchez, Jeremy Horner, Cheryl Kirk, Kit Lawson, Mike Wedel, Aleta VanderBeek, Jazmin Trevino, Art Fleming, Jennie Cohagen, Robert Kulp, Bryan Crosser, Chris Corigliano, Michael Aguas, Jerry Hall, Melodese Mahoney, Steve Jensen, Carrie Reitmeier, Jaime and Christine Torres, Heather Olsen, Alok Mehta, Michael Davern, Mike Long, Melissa Bledsoe, Terry Rogers, Kendra Tutsch, Dan Whitley, Jennifer Meyer, Team Dovetail, Alamo City Racquetball Association (ACRA), and several Anonymous contributors.

For all who contributed monetarily and/or through your encouraging words and vibes, Team USA sends much gratitude for your support! (Note: If anyone was missed in the above list, please know that your contribution is no less appreciated. Thank you!)

Team USA will look back on this experience as one we’ll always treasure.

The next Daily Blogs will be coming from the IRF World Championships in San Antonio, Texas, USA, in late August, and another set will be published in December with coverage of the U.S. Junior Team’s December trip to the IRF World Junior Championships back in Guatemala City.

2024 Pan American Racquetball Championships (PARC) Guatemala City, Guatemala

32 photos