The 2019 Pan-American Games will officially get underway on Friday, July 25 and the Virgin Islands are sending athletes to compete in athletics, men’s and women’s basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, sailing and swimming.
At the games, runner Eduardo Garcia will look to continue his path to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Garcia’s time of 2:18.50 at the Chevron Houston Marathon in January gave him the Virgin Islands record, the fastest time in the Caribbean region, and a top-5 spot in the Central America and the Caribbean region. The Pan-American Games’ men’s marathon will take place on July 27 at 8:30 a.m.
The V.I. women’s basketball roster includes: Victoria Hamilton, Tyra Aska, Natalie Day, Cheyenne Hedrington, Brittany Matthews, Sedeja Fieulleteau, Breyanna Roberts, Lanese Bough, Kadesha Barry, Tanecka Carey, Imani Tate, and Anisha George.
The team will enter the games tied with opponent Columbia as the 34th-ranked team. The other teams in the group are the United States, who hold the number one spot in the rankings, and Argentina, who are ranked 15th in the world.
The men’s basketball roster for the games is: Georgio Milligan, Walter Hodge, Jason Perry-Murrary, Jonathan Gray, Ivan Aska, Phillip Jones, Khalid Hart, Devon Peltier, Laron Smith and Xavier Richards.
The men come into the tournament ranked 46th in the world and will also be in a group with the top-ranked United States, Puerto Rico, ranked 16th, and the 20th-ranked team in the world, Venezuela.
The last time the V.I. faced Venezuela, at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center in December, the territory lost 77-76, but they won their most recent competitive game against Chile 64-59 in February.
Men’s basketball will take place from July 31 to Aug. 4, and then the Women will take the court from Aug. 6-10.
The V.I.’s beach volleyball team is comprised of Melanie Valenciana and Mannika Charles. They will play in Group C. Beach volleyball started before the opening ceremonies and the V.I team is 0-2, losing in straight sets to Brazil Wednesday and Mexico Thursday. They will finish the tournament Friday against Chile at 11:20 a.m.
Deion Pruitt will be representing the Virgin Islands in the boxing ring. Boxing will begin on July 27 with the medal bouts taking place on Aug 1 and 2.
Mayumi Roller, who previously competed in the 2012 London Olympics, will be sailing for team V.I with the sailing part of the games taking place from Aug 3-10.
The V.I. swimmers for this year’s games are Natalia Kulpers, Adriel Sanes, and Matthew Mays. They will compete from Aug 6-10.