A pair of Gopher alums – Pat Smith and Scott Schiller – competed in the Pan American Championships in Frisco, Texas over the weekend, taking on competitors from across North, Central and South America. Smith captured the first of three gold medals won by Team USA on the Greco side of the competition, earning the top spot on the podium at 71 kilograms for the second straight year at the Pan-Ams, while Schiller won his first career international medal, one of eight won by the U.S. in freestyle.
Smith flew to the championship bout with a pair of convincing victories, first a fall at 1:46 of his opening match, followed by an 8-0 technical fall in the semis to reach the final match. In the gold-medal contest, Smith won a 2-2 decision over Jair Alexis Cuero Munoz of Colombia on the tiebreaker, tying the match late after blocking a throw attempt from Cuero. The gold was the second of Smith’s Pan American career. He marched through the Pan-Am field in Chile last April to win his first.
Schiller, who currently works for the Gopher program as a grad assistant, brought back to Minnesota his first international medal, a bronze from his work at 97 kilograms. The event was Schiller’s second international competition since reaching the finals of the U.S. Nationals as an unseeded competitor earlier this winter. He capped his first medal-winning performance with an 11-0 tech fall in his bronze-medal match against Nathaniel Rose from Trinidad and Tobago.
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