Clayton Fritsch made just his second trip out of the country last weekend and brought home a bronze medal from the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
It was similarly his second opportunity representing the United States after coming away with the top spot at the U-23 North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association Championships in Querétaro, Mexico.
The rising junior at Sam Houston State cleared 5.35 meters on his second attempt and needed only one shot at 5.41m and 5.51m where he was the first competitor over the latter height out of only six men remaining. Fritsch nailed his final attempt at 5.61m to become one of only three jumpers making that mark although that was as high as the former Sealy Tiger went.
His teammate, Chris Nilsen from South Dakota State University, didn’t miss a jump until the bar reached 5.76m but still made it over in his third attempt. Augusto Dutra of Brazil met him in the final round at 5.81m but neither competitor cleared that mark, leaving Dutra’s highest clearance at 5.71m, earning him silver.
The gold and bronze helped the red, white and blue to a grand total of 33 medals over the two-week competition, a 16-medal lead on the next-leading country, Jamaica. The United States earned the most gold (7), silver (14) and bronze (12) medals as well.