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Coach Aaron Johnson wins GOLD and a SILVER at the 2019 Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The United States had four individual champions and nine total medalists in No-Gi Grappling competition on day one of the Pan American Grappling Championships. This allowed the United States to place second in the team standings.
One of the U.S. athletes, Breanna Stikkelman of Simi Valley, Calif., won a pair of gold medal, capturing the title at 58 kg and 64 kg. At 58 kg, she won a three-athlete round-robin, including a decision over runner-up Laura Pasquali of Argentina. At 64 kg, she scored an overtime submission over Marion Peralta of Argentina at 3:05 to secure the gold medal.
Stikkelman was a Gi Grappling World champion in 2017 and a World silver medalist in No-Gi Grappling in 2017.
The other Pan American champions in No-Gi Grappling were Aaron Johnson of Greenwood, Ind. at 62 kg, Luis Quinones of Los Angeles, Calif. at 71 kg and Carlos Soto of West Lafayette, Ind. at 92 kg.
Johnson earned his gold medal with a submission win over Maximilliano Block of Argentina in 2:54. Quinones won two matches by submission to win his gold medal, including stopping eventual silver medalist Gianfranco Matrolorenzo of Argentina in 3:04. Soto stopped Henry Jorge Ottaviano of Argentina, 7-0 to capture his gold medal.
Johnson also entered at 66 kg and won a silver medal. The oher U.S. athlete winning a silver medal was Gabe Beauperthuy of Colorado Springs, Colo. at Over 100 kg, who finished with a 1-1 record for the day.
Bronze medals went to Jon Becerra of Santa Ana, Calif. at 84 kg in the men’s division and Maja Morgan of Huntington Beach, Calif. at 58 kg.
Only host Argentina, which had the largest squad in the tournament, placed ahead of the United States in the team standing in No-Gi. There were six nations entered in the No-Gi division.