Saturday, October 22, 2011
United States wins seven titles Saturday
GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- After nearly two hours in the Pacific Ocean, it all came down to a fraction of a second.
And for 17-year-old Arthur Frayler, those three-tenths of a second cost him a gold medal Saturday in the 10-kilometer open water swim at the Pan American Games.
"It was a battle for first," said Frayler, a high school senior from Pennsylvania. "That's all it was really."
Canada's Richard Weinberger edged Frayler to the line in the 6.2-mile race off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, winning the gold medal in 1 hour, 57 minutes, 31 seconds. Frayler was next -- only 0.3 seconds behind.
"We got to the boat at the same time. He touched me out," said Frayler, who added silver to his swimming gold in the 1,500-meter freestyle Tuesday. "I just missed touching the board, which happens. It's open water swimming, it happens."
Although it wasn't gold, Frayler's medal still helped the United States extend its lead at the top of the medals table on Day 8 of the Pan American Games. The U.S. team won seven titles Saturday, bringing its gold total to 48. Brazil was next with 18.
Archery favorite Brady Ellison won the men's individual title, while Rocky Carson won the men's singles title in racquetball. In shooting, Emil Milev and Vincent Hancock added two more golds, giving the United States 10 gold medals in the sport.
Two more medals came in water skiing, where Andrew Adkison won the men's wakeboard and Regina Jacquess took the women's overall title, while Helen Maroulis claimed the last in freestyle wrestling.
Although Frayler missed out on another gold, his Pan American Games ended on a high note, even if it was joined with a somber tune.
Frayler was close friends with Fran Crippen, the defending Pan Am Games champion in the open water swim who died competing last year in the United Arab Emirates.
Frayler, who will attend the University of Florida next year, was swimming in Guadalajara with Crippen on his mind.
"Fran was like my older brother. He got me into open water swimming," Frayler said. "He pushed me during practice. He told me I could be better than I was. I swam that race for him today."
Taking silver, though, was not in any way settling for second best.
"I fought as hard as I could. Came out second by 0.3," said Frayler, who is hoping to qualify for next year's London Olympics. "I think he (Crippen) would be proud of me, with how I swam at Pan Ams, and I'm going to keep fighting for him."
Before the Olympics come around, Frayler still has some work -- and plenty of homework -- to do back home. He is a senior at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Penn.
"Life at home is good for me," Frayler said. "I have great friends and family that understand my commitment to the sport and school."
Things couldn't be going much worse for the U.S. women's basketball team.
The defending champion Americans lost their second straight game Saturday, falling to Puerto Rico 75-70. On Friday, the Americans lost to Argentina 58-55.
The softball team fared better, again. The defending champions routed Cuba 13-1 to reach the final with an 8-0 record. They will face either Canada or Cuba for gold.
Ellison, the world's top-ranked archer, struggled a bit but still managed to win a second gold medal in Guadalajara. The 22-year-old American also won the team gold.
"I was just a little bit off, maybe a just a bit weak in my shot," Ellison said. "It's archery, sometimes the body is just different. But I shot good on the arrows that I needed to shoot well to win the match."
The other kind of shooting produced three more medals for the United States.
Milev won the men's 25-meter rapid fire pistol while Hancock won the men's skeet. Earlier, Sarah Beard earned bronze in the women's 50-meter rifle three-position event.