The 2019 Pan-American Games, which open on Friday in Lima, Peru, will have a distinct University of Alabama flavor through the two weeks of competition.
Eleven current and former UA athletes, including nine women, will participate in the games, representing five different nations. Three of those athletes will be competing for the United States: softball outfielder Haylie McCleney, sprinter Quanesha Burks and volleyball standout Krystal Rivers.
Burks will be in her second Pan-Am Games, having also represented the USA in 2015.
McCleney, aiming for a spot on the USA Team in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, is coming off a gold medal performance in the International Cup in Columbus, Georgia, leading the USA to a 2-1 title win over Japan in last week’s title game. She hit .481 and drove in six runs in six games in the event.
Rivers is an outside hitter for the USA volleyball team, which plays its opening match Aug. 7 against Argentina.
Four current and former UA track athletes will compete for Trinidad and Tobago, including sprinter Jereem Richards, who is coming off a gold medal performance as part of the Trinidadian 4×400 relay team at the 2019 World Relays in Yokohama and shot putter Portius Warren, who earned 2019 NCAA All-America honors after finishing second at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, last month. Also running for the Trinidadian team are 400-meter specialist Mauricia Prieto and hurdler Ruebin Walters.
Alabama gymnast Shallon Olson, the youngest member of the Canadian National Team, could compete in all-around and floor exercises for Team Canada but her specialty is vault. She won the Canadian national Championship in May.
Also competing for the Canadian track team is Natassha McDonald, a UA junior who will run the 400 meters.
Former UA point guard Alana de la Silva will play for Brazil’s basketball team and Vanessa Clerveaux will run sprints for Haiti.
Current and former Alabama track and field athletes will compete at a trio of national championships this week, including the U.S., Canadian and Trinidad Outdoor Championships.
Seniors Shelby McEwen (high jump) and Robert Dunning (110-meter hurdles) and sophomore Bobby Colantonio Jr. (hammer throw) along with 2019 seniors Kord Ferguson (shot put/discus) and Keitavious Walter (100 meters/200 meters) will compete at the USATF Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
McEwen is the defending NCAA indoor high jump champion, while he, Colantonio Jr., Dunning, Ferguson and Walter have all earned All-America honors.
All-American senior Natassha McDonald will run the 400 meters at the Canadian Outdoor Championships in Montreal, Quebec.
Former UA athletes Mauricia Prieto (100 meters/200 meters) and Portious Warren (shot put/discus) will join alumni Jereem Richards (100 meters/200 meters) and Ruebin Walters (110-meter hurdles) in competing at the Trinidad Championships in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
Earlier this month McDonald and Colantonio Jr. medaled at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships, while Warren medaled at the World University Games.
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or via Twitter @cecilhurt