Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Ari Berliner (25) from the Jason Morris Judo Center (JMJC)) in Glenville, NY led the way for the JMJC taking 5th place at the Pan American Championships, April 26, 2024. Berliner lost an overtime thriller to Lenin Preciado (ECU) in the bronze medal match. This was Ari’s fourth Pan Am appearance having placed 5th in 2021, Bronze in 2022 and 7th in 2023. Berliner moved up to #44 in 66kg on the world ranking list with this result. Three other JMJC athletes ended up with 7th pace. Burnt Hills High School Graduate, Hannah Martin (35) took 7th at 63kg, Nate Keeve (28) places 7th at 100kg and Alex Knauf (22) was also 7th in 90kg. Kell Berliner (29) lost his first round 81kg bout to Gabriel Falcao (BRA) and was eliminated. Melissa Myers (28) lost a heartbreaking overtime first round battle to Saya Middleton (AUS) and was eliminated in her second Pan Ams closing out the JMJC’s participation in this event. JMJC Alumni, Carrie Chandler served as one of USA Judo National Coaches. Chandler was a Pan Am Champ in 2005 and currently runs the Chandler Judo Academy in Fort Worth, TX. Chandler’s student, Jayda Fulp (17) won the U18 (Cadet) 63kg division that competed two days before the Sr. Pan Ams started. The Jason Morris Judo Center has now placed at least one athlete on the Pan Am team for 20 straight years which is unprecedented in USA Judo. The JMJC has placed four athletes on the team 7 times and had 3 athletes 5 times. The JMJC has also placed a remarkable 71 total athletes total on the Pan Am team as well. Ari Berliner, Keeve, Knauf & Martin also represent the New York Athletic Club.

JMJC Tidbit: JMJC’s Head Coach & 4x Olympian, Jason Morris was a 3x Pan Am Games Finalist and 2x Champ (1987 & 1991) in 78kg. The Pan Am Games are held every four years as opposed to the Pan Am Championships which is every year.

Follow JMJC on Instagram @jasonmorrisjudocenter

Ari Berliner signs autographs for fans at the Pan Am Championships in Rio.