Three U.S. athletes advanced to the finals in respective events Thursday as the water skiing and wakeboarding events got under way at the XVI Pan American Games at Boca Laguna in Chapala, Mexico.

Members of the 2011 U.S. Pan American Games Water Ski Team are: Andrew Adkison (Orlando, Fla.), Russell Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.), Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.), Freddy Krueger (Winter Garden, Fla.) and Jon Travers (Groveland, Fla.). The American Water Ski Association’s International Activities Committee selected the water ski athletes (Gay, Jaquess, Krueger and Travers). Adkison was selected by USA Wakeboard to represent the team as the wakeboard athlete. Mike Meek (Albany, Ohio) and Dave Briscoe (Winter Haven, Fla.) are the coaches for water skiing and wakeboarding, respectively, and Frank Harrison (Rancho Mirage, Calif.) is the team leader.

On Thursday, Adkison advanced to the finals of men’s wakeboarding by earning the top score (84.40 points) in his heat, which was just 0.60 points off the day’s top score by Canada’s Aaron Rathy. Each wakeboarding competitor advanced to the finals, which are slated for Saturday.

Meanwhile, Gay and Jaquess each advanced to the finals of men’s and women’s tricks, respectively. Gay earned the No. 3 seed, scoring 8,560 points in the men’s semifinals, while Jaquess earned the No. 2 seed, scoring 7,060 points in the women’s semifinals. Finals in tricks are slated for Sunday.

For results, click here.

Competition continues Friday with semifinals in men’s and women’s slalom and jumping.