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Team USA Takes Bronze in Pan American Racquetball Championships

by Cheryl Kirk

Logo Strip of the Pan American Racquetball Championships 




APRIL 9 - 16, 2022


In this first PARC event since Barranquilla, Colombia, in 2019, delegations from twelve countries* competed at the eight-court racquetball complex, Complejo de Raquetbol - Villa Deportiva Abraham Telchi. 


* Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, USA


Players numbering 140 populated 27 divisions -- 5 Open Individual Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles; 2 Open Team (Men’s and Women’s), Men’s A, Men’s A Doubles, and 18 Juniors (Boys/Girls Singles/Doubles 21 & Under, 18 & Under, 16 & Under, and 14 & Under). 


The junior divisions competed for experience and country pride, but the event was not an official one such as the coming IRF World Junior Championships later this year (announced at the PARC Congress to be hosted in Guatemala City, likely in December).



The Team USA Delegation, seven strong, arrived in Santa Cruz on April 6 and returned home on April 17. 


Jim Durham -- Coach

Jake Bredenbeck -- Men’s #2 Singles / Men’s Doubles

Sam Bredenbeck -- Men’s Doubles

Alejandro Landa -- Men’s #1 Singles / Mixed Doubles

Kelani Lawrence -- Women’s #2 Singles

Erika Manilla -- Women’s Doubles / Mixed Doubles

Rhonda Rajsich -- Women’s #1 Singles / Women’s Doubles


Team Dinner at the Pan American Racquetball Championships



The Team’s trip was funded through the incredibly generous support of many racquetball benefactors (with a very special thanks to Randy Root). This much-appreciated help was supplemented by USA Racquetball through its Athlete Development Program (ADP). 


Americans Dean Schear and Gary Mazaroff were also on hand at the event as members of the Pan American Racquetball Confederation’s Operations Team (floor management, WADA testing, etc.). 



On Tuesday, April 12th, the PARC Congress met for the first time since 2019 in Barranquilla, Colombia. Among other business, PARC Executive Committee elections were held for the following positions with the individuals listed making up the roster through 2024:


President - Marcelo Gómez Pacheco (Costa Rica)

Executive Vice President - Osvaldo Maggi (Argentina)

Secretary - Cheryl Kirk (USA)

Treasurer - Dean Schear (USA)

Vice President North America - Ron Brown (Canada)

Vice President Central America Caribbean - Estuardo Wer (Guatemala)

Vice President South America - Patricio Gatica Tagle (Chile)

Women’s Development - Marie Gomar (Guatemala)


Also serving on the Executive Committee are:

Athlete Representative - Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador)

Secretary General - Luke St. Onge 


Pan American Racquetball Championships Executive Committee


On Tuesday, April 12th, the PARC Congress met for the first time since 2019 in Barranquilla, Colombia.



In addition to his many other duties and long days, Jim Durham provided riveting match coverage for each day of the competition. View the coverage and photos. 


After the final day in Bolivia, Coach Jim wrapped it all up before boarding his flight back to the USA:


April 17, 2022 -- We had our last team meeting Friday evening. The team shared our appreciation for each other, the competitors that we faced all week, and all of the fans who donated their hard-earned money to make this trip possible. It’s always good to be reminded of the generosity we receive when our racquetball community feels connected to the dedicated players who represent the United States on the international stage. Each player had a chance to express their appreciation and thoughts regarding the week’s competition. 


It was a challenging week. Matches ran two, three, and four hours late as the IRF grappled with the new rally scoring format. That made for long 8-12 hour days at the club. The new mixed doubles category was fun to watch, and the competition was stellar. Rally scoring also resulted in many more drama-packed matches with exciting must-win points like the one when Maria Vargas tried to surprise Erika Manilla with a jam serve at 9-10 in the tiebreaker. Manilla flat rolled a beautiful backhand winner for the match. 


The awards ceremony on Saturday was very well organized. The Junior players were in attendance, and it was obvious that they appreciated being in the same ceremony as their adult racquetball heroes. Many had their pictures taken with adult players. Rhonda gave her shirt to a junior, and it brought the star-struck young lady to tears. Such moments make you realize how important international events are for our sport.  


Jake Bredenbeck and a fan at the XXXIII Pan American Racquetball Championships



Note: In IRF and PARC events, both semifinalists earn 3rd place (bronze) medals and awards.


Women’s Open Singles

1st       Angelica Barrios (Bolivia)

2nd      Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina)

3rd       Carla Muñoz (Chile) / Ana Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala)


Men’s Open Singles

1st        Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia)

2nd       Andres Acuña (Costa Rica)

3rd        Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) / Alejandro Landa (United States)


Women’s Open Doubles

1st         Vargas/Mendez (Argentina)

2nd        Salas/Herrera (Mexico)

3rd         Manilla/Rajsich (United States) / Sabja/Meneses (Bolivia)


Men’s Open Doubles

1st         Iwaasa/Murray (Canada)

2nd       Cueva/Ugalde (Ecuador)

3rd        J. Bredenbeck/S. Bredenbeck (United States) / Garcia/Acuña (Costa Rica)


Mixed Open Doubles

1st        Montoya/Salas (Mexico)

2nd       Meneses/Moscoso (Bolivia)

3rd        Manilla/Landa (United States) / Centellas/Garcia (Argentina)


Women’s Team 

1st        Argentina

2nd       Mexico

3rd        United States / Bolivia


Women's Team Bronze Medalists at the XXXIII Pan American Racquetball Championships


Men’s Team

1st        Bolivia

2nd       Mexico

3rd        United States / Costa Rica


Men's Team Bronze Medalists at the XXXIII Pan American Racquetball Championships


Combined Team

1st        Bolivia

2nd       Mexico

3rd        United States / Argentina


Overall Team Competition - Bronze Medalists at the XXXIII Pan American Racquetball Championships




Team USA would like to extend thanks to everyone who made it possible for this memorable event to occur. It is good to be back and playing an international schedule.


Much gratitude goes to the sponsors of this event:


Sponsors of the Pan American Racquetball Championships


The local Santa Cruz Organizing Committee did a fantastic job of preparing the racquetball facility. The courts and the whole complex was clean and beautiful, the snack bar was well-run and stocked with economical water and food, and the shuttles ran on time. The awards ceremony was superb. 


Mauro Grandio, Osvaldo Maggi, Marcelo Gómez Pacheco, Gary Mazaroff, Dean Schear, and the team of referees were on point and kept the tournament moving forward. 


Mauro Grandio, Osvaldo Maggi, Marcelo Gómez Pacheco, Gary Mazaroff, Dean Schear, and the team of referees were on point and kept the tournament moving forward.


Pablo Fajre handled the technical details of live streaming. 


Renee Isherwood provided team support, booking hotel rooms and handling the many details that got Team USA to Bolivia. Thanks to Aimee Roehler for posting match coverage every day. 


A special thanks to everyone in the racquetball community who stepped up and answered Erika Manilla’s call to action with a generous donation. 


Salvador Acosta
Matthew Bajan
John Behm
Don Barrows
Emily Bloedel
Georgette Blomquist
Craig C
Mary Caltagirone
Chad Copher
Matthew Dockter
James Douglas
Louis Drzewiecki
Jim Durham
Tom Durham
Shannon Feaster
Karen Guzman
Kevin Hayes
Tim Iseminger
Cheryl Jones 
Renae Lampkin
Michael C Lippitt
Max Lopez
Moshe Mann
Dan Muths
Scott Nail
Brian Nagorski
Michael Pawka
Daniel Ramirez
Carrie Reitmeier
Thomas Resendez
Amy Risley
Randall Root
Stewart Solomon
Tracey Stevens
Joe H. Sullivan
Jeffrey Thompson
Jaime Torres
Oscar Vargas
Damian Zamorano


Mario Mercado and Erika Manilla at the XXXIII Pan American Racquetball Championships


Thanks for reading!


-- Coach Jim Durham



Photos courtesy of Jim Durham


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