Pan American Games Around Corner

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, June 29. WITH July arriving this weekend, it's worth mentioning that the Pan-American Games are on the horizon. The competition is scheduled for July 17-22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a number of big-time names will be in action, most notably Gary Hall Jr. The two-time defending Olympic champ in the 50 freestyle will contest his pet event.

On the male side, Hall will be complemented by the likes of Randall Bal and Mark Gangloff, experienced at the international level. Bal recently delivered a sub-54 clocking in the 100 backstroke while Gangloff is one of the United States' top breaststrokers. Meanwhile, rising star Ricky Berens will race the 100 butterfly.

For the women, the United States squad is heavy on youth, including Caitlin Leverenz. The teenager has been making noise in the medley and breaststroke events and should challenge for an Olympic berth next year in the 200 breast. Also on the roster are Samantha Woodward, a sprinting and fly force, and Teresa Crippen, a multi-dimensional talent who was a member of the Pan Pacific Champs team last year. Stanford's Julia Smit, a backstroke/medley standout, will also represent the USA.

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