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Virginia Well Represented at Pan American Games

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.  - The University of Virginia will be well represented at the upcoming Pan American Games with seven athletes and coaches with ties to the Cavalier athletics program participating in the games. The Pan American Games begin Oct. 14 and run through Oct. 30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Among those with ties to Virginia are field hockey players Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese (United States); former rower Melanie Kok (Canada); former swimmer Scot Robison (United States); head swimming coach Mark Bernardino (United States); rowing operations assistant Josh Gautreau (United States); and former head women's basketball coach Debbie Ryan (United States).

Field hockey events will be held in Guadalajara from Oct. 19-29 and Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) and Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) are two of 16 team members selected to represent the United States.

Selenski and Vittese have been members of the U.S. national team for a year, earning their first international caps in the summer of 2010. They were both selected first-team All-Americans as juniors in 2010, when Virginia went 18-4 and advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the second straight year. Selenski and Vittese are redshirting the 2011 season as they compete for Team USA.

Swimming events at the Pan Am Games are scheduled to take place Oct. 15-22. Bernardino will serve as an assistant coach for the men's squad and Robison was named to the roster in the 100 and 200 freestyle events. Robison will also swim as a member of at least two relays. He is one of 48 swimmers who will represent Team USA.

Bernardino, entering his 34th season at the helm of the Virginia program, adds the Pan American Games coaching position to a long list of international experiences. Most recently, he served as the head men's coach at the 2009 World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia.

Robison (Charlotte, N.C.) wrapped up his Virginia career in 2010-11. He departed as a 21-time All-American, 17-time ACC champion, the conference record holder in the 100 and 200 freestyle and the school record holder in the 50 freestyle. He also was a member of all five relays that hold ACC records. In the summer of 2011, Robison was a member of Team USA at the World Championships where he earned a bronze medal as a member of the 4x100 freestyle relay team. He also finished third in the 100 freestyle and fourth in the 200 freestyle at the ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships. Though his collegiate eligibility is finished, Robison continues to train at UVa.

Rowing events at the Pan American Games are slated for Oct. 15-19 on Lake Zapotlan in Guzman City, Mexico. Kok, a native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, rowed at Virginia from 2004-07 where she was a two-time All-American, including a first-team selection as a senior in 2007. Kok has represented Canada at the World Rowing Championships and earned a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Gautreau is in his first year as the operations assistant with Virginia rowing. The native of New Ipswich, N.H., competed at Syracuse in 2004 and 2005. He won gold in the lightweight four at the 2011 Canadian Henley and also took first-place honors in the lightweight four at the 2011 USRowing Elite National Championships and 2010 USRowing Club National Championships.

The USA women's basketball team opens the Pan Am Games Oct. 21 with a 1 p.m. (2 p.m. Eastern) game against Argentina. Ryan, the head coach at Virginia from 1977-2011, will serve as an assistant coach with the United States women's basketball team. At Virginia, Ryan's teams won 20 or more games 23 times and 30 or more twice. The Cavaliers participated in the NCAA Tournament 24 times under her direction and made three consecutive Final Four appearances from 1990-92. Ryan's teams reached the Sweet Sixteen 12 times, including 11 consecutive years (1987-97), won three Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament titles and 11 ACC regular-season championships. She is a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and her Virginia teams compiled an overall record of 739-324.


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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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