COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Ali McColloch and Kelly Reeves won gold in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, on the NORCECA Continental Tour. It is the pair’s fourth podium finish of 2016 and second gold.
After yet another meeting of American teams in the semifinal round, Betsi Flint and Kelley Larsen joined their country-mates on the podium after earning bronze with a victory against Costa Rica.
Spencer McLachlin and Miles Evans took top honors for a U.S. men’s team when they finished fourth in their first NORCECA tournament of the year. The finish ties Miles’ best of fourth at North Bay in 2015 and is McLachlin’s first ever tournament on the Tour.
Both U.S. women’s teams opened the tournament in the same pool. McColloch and Reeves won the pool, 3-0 and in their first match-up against Flint/Larsen, came out on top 21-19, 21-19. During the quarterfinals, McColloch/Reeves topped Mexico 21-16, 21-18. Flint/Larsen also notched a win, 23-21, 21-18 over six-seed Canada.
For their second faceoff of the weekend, this time in the semifinals, Reeves and McColloch once again beat Flint and Larsen, with a score of 21-17, 21-14, to earn a spot in the gold medal match.
Flint and Larsen went on to claim bronze with a 21-16, 21-16 win against the host country’s Karen Cope/Natalia Alfaro. For gold, Reeves and McColloch swept Cuba’s Yanisleidis Sanchez/Lidiannis Echeverria 21-14, 21-18.
Together for the first time on the NORCECA Tour, McLachlin/Evans had a booming start, going 3-0 in their pool. In the quarterfinals they swept Puerto Rico, 21-9, 21-12, but fell against Canada in the semifinals, 21-19, 13-21, 15-12.
For bronze, the pair was unable to rally from behind, despite picking up the second set, 21-10, 14-21, 15-12, against Guatemala’s Andy Leonardo/Luis Garcia.
Also a new team, Michael Boag and Hawk Hatcher went 3-0 in pool play. Despite their strong start, they stumbled with a loss to Guatemala in the quarterfinals, 21-17, 14-21, 15-12. Playing for fifth-place against Costa Rica’s Richard Smith/Sebastian Valenciano, the duo won in three, 13-21, 21-16, 15-12. The win ties the career best for Hatcher and marks Boag’s professional career debut.
The NORCECA Continental Tour is scheduled to continue April 21-25 in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Women | Tamarindo, April 15-17
1. Kelly Reeves/Ali McColloch
2. Yanisleidis Sanchez/Lidiannis Echeverria CUB
3. Betsi Flint/Kelley Larsen
Men | Tamarindo, April 15-17
1. Michael Plantinga/Cameron Wheelan CAN
2. Daneil Williams/Fabien Whitfield TRI
3. Andy Leonardo/Luis Garcia GUA
4. Spencer McLachlin/Miles Evans
5. Michael Boag/Hawk Hatcher