Kerri Walsh Jennings, Brooke Sweat Win Gold at NORCECA Continental Championships
There was only two ways that Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat would come away with any tangible positives from this weekend’s trip to Boca Chica for the NORCECA Continental Championships: A gold or silver medal.
They’ll be leaving having accomplished exactly that, beating Cuba for gold on Sunday afternoon, giving Walsh Jennings her 57th international gold medal and, somewhat amazingly, the first of her career in a NORCECA.
It is nothing shy of remarkable that Walsh Jennings, nearly 20 years after making her international debut in beach volleyball, is still accomplishing new feats. Leading up to this week, she had played in 257 events, yet had never competed in a NORCECA. And then she won her first event on that tour, because of course she did, adding another gold to a trove full of them.
Walsh Jennings and Sweat were not the only veterans to add a victory to a long line of them in Boca Chica. Jake Gibb, who had previously played in 319 professional beach volleyball tournaments, had also never won a NORCECA. Unlike Walsh Jennings, he had played in a few, in 2014 and 2015, finishing second in Trinidad and Tobago with Casey Patterson in 2014. On Sunday, he and Taylor Crabb beat Canadians Sam Schachter and Sam Pedlow, 21-19, 21-18. The win is Crabb’s fourth in seven NORCECAs, and he has yet to finish outside of the podium.
Every American team, in fact, took home some hardware, as Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman claimed bronze with a win over Canada’s Nicole and Megan McNamara. Ryan Doherty and Miles Evans also beat a Canadian team, Grant O’Gorman and Simon Fecteau-Botin, for bronze, making it a gold and bronze weekend for the Americans in Boca Chica.
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