Team USA, the three-time defending IWBF America’s Qualifier champions, are set for the 2017 version as they embark onto the last training camp, and then go on to arrive in Cali, Colombia, for the 10-day event that is scheduled for August 21-31. This event is the start of the quadrennial for Team USA as they must place in the top four to qualify for the 2018 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany. The United States is coming off a historic 2016 summer as they won the Rio Paralympic Games gold medal, the first gold since the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games.
The U.S. Men’s National Team is led by eight Paralympic gold medalists. The team is starting their trek to Tokyo 2020 next week, and will be led by the 2016 co-captains Steve Serio of Westbury, New York, and Mike Paye of Warren, Michigan. Both are three-time Paralympians and return for another exciting season. Matt Scott; Detroit, Michigan, is also back and hopes to make a U.S. Paralympic team for the fifth consecutive time. Two-time Paralympic medalist Ian Lynch of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, is also back and offers versatility on both defense and offense.
Brian Bell of Forest Park, Illinois; Jared Arambula of Velparaiso, Indiana; Aaron Gouge of Wake Forest, Illinois; and Jake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are members or the 2016 gold-medal team and are looking forward to their second appearance at the 2020 Paralympics.
Also joining the team is John Boie of Milton, Wisconsin; Ryan Neiswender of Lebanon, Pennsylvania; Jorge Salazar of Delano, California; and Jorge Sanchez of Oakland, California. Both Neiswender and Sanchez were members of the 2013 America’s Qualifier team.
The U.S. Men were drawn into Group B and will have pool play competition against Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. Team USA will open up the IWBF America’s Qualifier on August 23 at 1 p.m. Mountain, against Mexico at the Colisum Evangelista Mora, which has hosted numerous sporting events. Group A Teams are: Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.
On August 28, the quarter finals are slated to start at 12 p.m. Mountain and conclude later that evening. The two semi-final games are slated for August 29 at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Mountain. The medal games are scheduled for August 30 at 2 p.m. with the bronze-medal games, and will be followed with the gold-medal game at 4 p.m. Mountain.
The United States is led by Head Coach Ron Lykins of Columbia, Missouri, who has coached three teams to gold medals at the Paralympics (2004 and 2008 women; 2016 men). He will be assisted by Robb Taylor of Auburn, Alabama, and Christian Burkett of Seattle, Washington. Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri, returns as the team manager, and Mary Vacala of Savannah, Georgia, will be serving as the athletic trainer.
Make sure to keep up with the NWBA’s social media accounts and check back the website frequently, as we will be posting progress of the qualifier games.
2017 America’s Cup Qualifier
August 23-30, 2017
Date Time (MST) U.S. Opponent
8/23 1:00 PM Mexico
8/24 6:00 PM Colombia
8/25 12:00 PM Uruguay
8/27 4:00 PM Brazil
IWBF America’s Qualifier Medal Rounds
8/28 12:00 PM, Men’s quarter-final
8/28 2:00 PM, Men’s quarter-final
8/28 4:00 PM, Men’s quarter-final
8/28 6:00 PM , Men’s quarter-final
8/29 12:00 PM, Men’s semi-final
8/29 4:00 PM, Men’s semi-final
8/30 2:00 PM, Men’s Bronze medal match
8/30 4:00 PM, Men’s Gold medal match