LIMA, Peru – Former Texas A&M athletes Annie Kunz and Bethany Galat earned silver medals in their respected sports on Thursday at the 2019 Pan American Games. Track and Field’s Kunz competed in her fourth heptathlon of the season, scoring 5,990 points. Former A&M swimmer Bethany Galat had the sixth fastest time in the world (2:21.84) in the women’s 200m breaststroke.
A trio of Aggies swimmers, including Galat competed in the 200m breaststroke. Mexico’s Esther Gonzalez finished sixth (2:28.98) for the women and Mauro Castillo placed fourth (2:12.21) for the men.
Four other track and field athletes participated in Thursday’s action including Tyra Gittens, Bralon Taplin, Kanika Beckles and Brenessa Thompson. Donavan Brazier will compete in the men’s 800m semifinal on Friday at 3:50 p.m.
Chennedy Carter and the United States women’s basketball team improved their record to 3-0 after defeating Colombia 75-63. Carter had two points and a blocked shot in 15 minutes of action.
Softball’s Tori Vidales had one hit in Mexico’s 4-0 loss to Canada. Mexico will play in the semifinals on Friday against Puerto Rico.
The Pan American Games run through August 11, with coverage of many events on the ESPN family of networks.
Swimming – Galat Garners Silver Medal in 200m Breaststroke
Three Aggies competed in individual events on Thursday. USA’S Bethany Galat had a preliminary time of 2:27.81 in the women’s 200m breaststroke. She had an impressive swim in the finals, touching the wall in 2:21.84, which is the sixth fastest time in the world.
Esther Gonzalez also swam in the women’s 200m breaststroke. She had a time of 2:30.26 in the prelims and lowered her time to 2:28.98 to finish sixth in the finals.
Mauro Castillo represented Mexico and had a time of 2:13.07 in the men’s 200m breaststroke prelims. Castillo had a fourth-place finish in the finals, posting a time of 2:12.21.
The mixed 4x100m medley relay was the last race of the night. In the prelims, Mexico posted a 4:01.65 time with two siblings on the relay team. Esther Gonzalez swam the breaststroke leg with a split of 1:11.68 and her brother Mateo had a split of 55.06 in the butterfly leg.
Peru’s McKenna DeBever had a split of 1:05.13 in the backstroke leg in the 4x100m medley relay.
Track & Field – Annie Kunz Earns Heptathlon Silver Medal
Aggie alum Annie Kunz scored 5,990 points to garner the silver medal in the heptathlon at the Pan American Games on Thursday. After being in the bronze medal position throughout the first day of the multi-event, Kunz moved into second place on day two and remained there through each of the three events contested.
“This is a meet where you’re going in to compete and make the podium, not worry so much about each set of points” noted Kunz. “Coming off the USA Championships a week ago, I’m pretty happy with the silver medal.”
Cuba’s Adriana Rodriguez, who placed fourth at the 2018 World Junior Championships, won the gold medal with a tally of 6,113 points while Colombia’s Martha Araujo claimed bronze with a score of 5,925.
Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens, the first day leader, fell to sixth place after the long jump and javelin with 4,971 points and opted not to start the final event.
“With the heptathlon you never know what’s going to happen,” stated Kunz. “You’re going to fail at least once every heptathlon and it’s just how you react to that and come back from it. Out here I definitely had a rough go with my javelin, it was a struggle and I could have run faster in the 800, so there are always things you wish you could have done better.”
This marked the fourth heptathlon on the season for Kunz, who lettered in track and field as well as soccer while at Texas A&M. She recently set a career best of 6,153 points in placing fourth at the USATF Championships on July 27-28 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Starting the second day of the heptathlon with the long jump proved to be a bit tricky for the Aggie duo. Kunz fouled her first two attempts and then managed to produce a leap of 20-0 ½ (6.11) for 883 points. Gittens fouled her first jump, then had a mark of 14-5 ¼ (4.40), and rebounded with a distance of 17-10 ¼ (5.44) for 683 points.
Heading into the javelin Cuba’s Adriana Rodriguez moved into the overall lead with 4,724 points with Kunz in second (4,496) and Gittens third (4,449).
Kunz maintained a hold on second place with a 131-1 (39.95) toss in the javelin for 666 points while a mark of 106-4 (32.41) by Gittens only picked up 522 points and dropped her to sixth place.
A time of 2:19.69 in the 800m completed the mission for Kunz as she scored 828 points to remain in the silver medal position, 65 points ahead of Araujo, who clocked 2:18.33 in the final event.
Bralon Taplin, competing for Grenada, finished eighth in the 400m final with a 46.01. In the 200m semifinal, Kanika Beckles (Grenada) ran 23.99 to place sixth in her heat while Brenessa Thompson (Guyana) finished fifth in her heat with a 24.20. They were 16th and 18th, respectively, overall.
Softball – Vidales, Mexico Fall to Canada, 4-0
Former Texas A&M All-American Tori Vidales and the Mexican National Team took on Canada in the preliminary round, but fell 4-0.
Vidales started first base and singled in the fourth inning, but Mexico was unable to score. Vidales has played in all five games and has a .857 slugging percentage. She’s also tied for fourth in runs batted in with five.
Mexico will advance to face Puerto Rico in the semifinals on Friday at 10 a.m.
Basketball- Carter Helps United States To 75-63 Win Over Colombia
Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter helped the United States to the top spot in Group B as the USA defeated Colombia 75-63 to close pool play with a perfect 3-0 record.
Carter started the game and only played 15 minutes, and scored two points plus blocked a shot in the game. The Stars and Stripes outscored Colombia by 18 points while Carter was in the game—the highest +/- on the US team Thursday.
Carter and the United States take on the winner of the Canada/Puerto Rico game in the semifinal game at 9 p.m. Friday, with coverage on ESPN3.
Volleyball – Camila Gomez and Team Colombia are currently playing against Peru. The match is currently tied 1-1.
Texas A&M Lima 2019 Medal Count (9)
Claire Rasmus – United States – Swimming (4x100m freestyle relay)
Claire Rasmus – United States – Swimming (200m freestyle)
Claire Rasmus – United States – Swimming (Mixed 4x100 freestyle relay)
Lindon Victor – Grenada – Track & Field (decathlon)
Annie Kunz – United States – Track & Field (heptathlon)
Bethany Galat – United States- Swimming (200m breaststroke)
Sarah Gibson – United States – Swimming (100m butterfly)
Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo – Mexico – Swimming (Mixed 4x100 freestyle relay – final)
Angel Martinez – Swimming – (Mixed 4x100 freestyle relay – prelim)
Tomorrow at the Pan American Games
Texas A&M has five athletes in action on Friday at the Pan American Games, with medals up for grabs in track and swimming. Most events are streamed on ESPN3, with additional coverage at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on ESPNU (English) and at 8 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. on ESPN Deportes (Spanish).
All times Central and local to Peru
Softball – Tori Vidales (Mexico) – Mexico vs. Puerto Rico – Semifinal Game – 10 a.m.
Track and Field – Donavan Brazier (United States) – 800 m semifinal – 3:50 p.m. – ESPN3
Volleyball – Camila Gomez (Colombia) – Colombia vs. Canada – 6:30 p.m. – ESPN3
Swimming – Finals – 8:30 p.m. – ESPN3 – Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo (400 IM), Men/Women 4x200 Freestyle Relay
Basketball – Chennedy Carter (United States) – United States vs. Canada/Puerto Rico – 9 p.m. – ESPN3