In racquetball’s pinnacle international competition, players from HEAD Penn’s Pro Staff left the 2011 Pan American Games with several medals clinging from their necks. Like the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games are held every four years for the countries of the Americas. The 2011 games featured nearly 6,000 athletes from 42 different countries participating in 36 sports. In the racquetball competition 61 athletes from 12 different countries were represented. This was the fourth time racquetball has been part of the Pan American Games and the sport will be included in the 2015 Games in Toronto, Canada.
In each of the previous three Pan American Racquetball competitions, an American brought home the title in the Men’s Singles division. This year the streak continued as Rocky Carson (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) won the Gold Medal without dropping a single game. The medal is Rocky’s second from the Pan American Games, having earned a bronze in the Men’s Singles division in the 2005 competition in the Dominican Republic. Rocky is currently ranked No. 2 on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT).
In the Women’s Doubles division, Samantha Salas (Leon, Mexico) captured the Gold Medal on her home soil. The win was Salas’ second consecutive Women’s Doubles title in international competitions after winning the 2010 World Championships. Samantha is currently ranked No. 3 within the Women’s Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO), the top professional tour for women. She reached the final of the WPRO’s season opener in Dallas in September.
Shane Vanderson continued his strong international play in Guadalajara by earning a Bronze Medal in the Men’s Doubles competition. Shane is a former World Doubles Champion and 8-time member of the United States National Team. Shane currently sits in the No. 8 spot on the IRT rankings.
To follow Rocky, Samantha and Shane success on the court, visit http://www.facebook.com/headpennracquetball.