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Team USA Wins Gold at First PanAmerican Saltwater Kayak Fishing Championship in Costa Rica

State College, PA – July 3, 2024: USAngling is proud to announce that Team USA won gold at the first official 2024 Pan American Saltwater Kayak Fishing Championship in Costa Rica! The 2-day tournament, sanctioned by the Pan American Sportfishing Federation, took place at Ballena Bay in Tambor, Costa Rica on June 22nd and 23rd.

There were a total of 41 competitors representing the USA, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Guatemala. Individual gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to the anglers in addition to the team medals. The team medal placements were determined by adding the top 3 anglers’ overall scores for both days.

Team USA put on an impressive show winning gold with a total score of 833 points. Team Mexico won the silver medal with 705 points and Team Costa Rica was only one point behind winning bronze with a score of 704 points. It was a tight race and after day one, Team USA sat in the lead with 378 points, followed by Mexico with 360 points, followed by Costa Rica with 315 points.

“There was a lot of pressure going into day 2 with Mexico basically one fish behind us,” says USAKFS Communications Director and Team USA angler, Annie Nagel. “I was blown away by the outstanding performance by Team USA on the second day and there is no doubt that every single person competing gave it their all out there.”

Guy Marsh of Team USA placed first and won the individual gold medal with a spectacular overall score of 296 points. Lance Clinton of Team USA won the individual silver medal and was close behind with a stellar overall score of 285 points. Jonathan Velazquez of Team Mexico won the individual bronze medal with an impressive overall score of 281 points.

Guy Marsh recognized Lance Clinton and his encouragement, lessons, and tips and tricks over the past year. He said “When I stood there by my friend Sunday, he with silver and me with gold, I knew it should have been the opposite. I would not be in the top 10 without Lance Clinton. I am thankful for his fishing tips; I am thankful for his friendship; I am blessed that God brought him into my life. Thank you Lance for being the friend you are.”

Guy Marsh, Lance Clinton, and Ryan Deitrick (252 points) were the top scoring anglers for team USA and ultimately led the team to their huge victory. They also each earned a spot to compete at the World Championships hosted in Spain this upcoming October under the USAngling Kayak Fishing Saltwater program.

With an emphasis on conservation the tournament was a catch-video-release format. Each angler could submit up to 12 fish per day with scoring based on a points per species system. “Slam” points were added to the total score for multiple species.