Team USA SUP & Paddleboard athletes won ISA World SUPP team Bronze, 10 individual medals, and clinched four Pan Am Game qualifications. San Clemente's Candice Appleby is the world’s only SUP athlete to double qualify for the Pan Am Games.
Puerto Rico (Nov. 7, 2022) –Team USA SUP & Paddleboard athletes took home team Bronze, 10 individual medals (five of them Gold), and four Pan Am Game qualifications at the 2022 International Surfing Association (ISA) World SUP & Paddleboard Championship in San Juan, Puerto Rico. France won team Gold, Team Spain took Silver, and Japan the fourth-place Copper Medal.
San Clemente, California’s Candice Appleby was the only athlete in the world to double qualify for the 2023 (and 2019) Pan American Games in both SUP Technical Race and SUP surf events. Teammates Connor Baxter and Zane Schweitzer earned Pan Am Games qualifications in SUP Technical Race and SUP surf respectively. The trio has been competing together for 15 years, since the men were in their early teens. The 2023 Pan Am Games held in Santiago, Chile is the second largest sporting event in the world behind the Olympic Games.
“I’m so proud of this team. To have four event qualifiers for the Pan Am Games, including Candice - the winningest and only SUP athlete in history to double qualifying for her second Pan Am Games, defending Pan Am Games Gold Medalist Connor Baxter, and rising star Zane Schweitzer, is so exciting,” said USA Surfing CEO Brandon Lowery. “Along with these seasoned champions, we have Soryn Preston – the youngest to ever compete in ISA’s winning a medal at just 13. American SUP & Paddleboard talent is strong.”
USA’s April Zilg and Connor Baxter (Current APP World Tour rankings leaders) were unstoppable winning SUP Sprint Race Gold Medals with significant leads. North Carolina’s Zilg didn’t start racing until she was 25 years old. “I just want everybody to know, no matter how old you are or how late you start or whatever your athletic background is, you can do it. You really can,” Zilg said.
Hawaii’s Hunter Pflueger won back-to-back Golds in prone distance and tech race events – his fourth ISA Gold Medal.
See the full team’s individual results below.
SUP Sprint Race
Connor Baxter – 1st place Gold Medal
April Zilg – 1st place Gold Medal
SUP Technical Race
Candice Appleby – 1st place Gold Medal
April Zilg – 4th place Copper Medal
Connor Baxter – 5th place
Bodie Von Allmen- 15th Place
Hunter Pflueger – 1st place Gold Medal
Liz Hunter – 4th place Copper Medal
Hunter Pflueger – 1st place Gold Medal
Liz Hunter – 7th place
Zane Schweitzer – 3rd place Bronze Medal
Bernd Roediger – 7th place
Candice Appleby – 5th place
Kanani Yockman – 17th place
SUP Distance Race
April Zilg – 6th place
Stephanie Shideler – 8th place
Bodie Von Allmen – 13th place
Riley Jaggi – 22nd place
Junior SUP Technical
Campbell Carter – 3rd place Bronze Medal
Soryn Preston – 3rd place Bronze Medal
Team captain Candice Appleby called this year’s event the best in her medal-studded eight years of competing in ISA events. “The local Puerto Rico and ISA staff was incredible! From board storage, to security, beach marshals, and everyone in between. The Puerto Rican organizing committee made me feel so safe and welcome,” she said. “I’m so proud of my teammates, and honored to have had the opportunity to represent our country together. Each one of them brought everything they had in athleticism, patriotism and team unity. It was a privilege to be team captain.”
It was coach Matt Schweitzer’s first ISA World SUP event, leading a team that included his younger brother Bronze Medalist Zane Schweitzer. “Coaching athletes to perform their best in and out of the water is something I really love, and I am very grateful for everyone that puts the trust in me for such important times in their life and career,” Schweizer said. “Big Mahalo to the team and congratulations to everyone involved.”
USA Surfing gave special thanks to LOSS-PROOF® Action Sports Apple Watch Strap for supporting the team’s travel, accommodations and coaching. LOSS-PROOF was created for action sports and aggressive activities like the ISA competition in Puerto Rico’s variety-pack of conditions.
The team will intensify their training for the Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile, which runs Oct. 20 through Nov. 5, 2023
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