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Athletes with Western Pennsylvania ties compete at London Games

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By Meredith Qualls
Saturday, July 21, 2012, 11:50 p.m.
 

ATHLETICS

Aug. 3-12

TREVOR BARRON , 19

Event: Race walk

Local connection: Bethel Park; (Colorado College)

Notable: Barron is the youngest American race walker ever, after qualifying at the 2012 Olympic Trials for the 20-kilometer race walk. In addition, he set a new USA standard for 15 kilometers, turning in a split of 1 hour, 2 minutes, 6.57 seconds.

BRIDGET FRANEK, 24

Event: 3,000-meter steeplechase

Local connection: Penn State graduate (Eugene, Ore.)

Notable: Franek placed second at the Olympic trials (9:35.62) in Eugene, Ore., and was the 2010 NCAA steeplechase champion at Penn State.

JEREMY SCOTT, 31

Event: Pole vault

Local connection: Allegheny College graduate (Brookland, Ark.)

Notable: Believed to be one of the tallest world-class pole vaulters in history at 6-foot-9, Scott will compete at the Olympics for the first time after placing sixth in the 2009 World Athletics final and finishing second in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

RYAN WHITING, 25

Event: Shot Put

Local connection: Penn State volunteer assistant (Port Matilda, Pa.)

Notable: The defending World Indoor champion in shot put, Whiting qualified after recording a toss of 71-0.75 (21.66), placing second. In 2011, Whiting was the U.S. team's indoor champion (22.00m/72-2.5), and placed seventh at the World Outdoor Championships (22.00m/72-2.5).

LAURYN WILLIAMS, 28

Event: Relays

Local connection: Rochester High School graduate (Miami)

Olympics exp.: 2004, 2008

Notable: In 2004, Williams won the silver medal in the 100 but contributed to the U.S. team's disqualification in 2008 by fault of a dropped baton. In 2010, Williams took time away from the sport before returning in 2011 and qualified after finishing sixth in the 100 dash at the U.S. trials.

BASKETBALL

July 28 TO Aug. 11

SWIN CASH , 32

Team: USA

Position: Forward

Local connection: McKeesport High School graduate

Olympics experience: 2004

Notable: At Connecticut, Cash helped the Huskies to NCAA championships in 2000 and '02. In '03, she helped the Detroit Shock to its first WNBA championship and was named a WNBA All-Star and All-Star MVP with the Seattle Storm in 2011. Cash currently plays for the Chicago Sky.

CYCLING

July 28 to Aug. 12

BOBBY LEA, 28

Event: Track

Local connection: Penn State graduate (Mertztown)

Olympics exp.: 2008

Notable: In the 2008 Olympics, Lea placed 16th in the Madison and has collected four national championships since. This year, he placed seventh in the Beijing circuit of the 2011-12 UCI Track World Cup and 17th in the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

DIVING

July 29 to Aug. 11

CASSIDY KRUG , 27

Event: 3 meter

Local connection: Montour High School graduate (Stanford, Calif.)

Notable: The three-time Pennsylvania high school champion fell short of qualifying for the Olympics in 2004 and 2008 but came back to take first at the 2012 USA Diving Winter National Championships (1046.35) before qualifying first at the Olympic Team Trials (1094.85).

FENCING

July 28 to Aug. 12

MILES CHAMBLEY-WATSON , 22

Event: Foil

Local connection: Penn State student (State College)

Notable: London-born, Chambley-Watson enters his first Olympics after taking gold at the Pan American Games (Team) last season.

MARIEL ZAGUNIS, 27

Event: Saber

Local connection: Family from Oakmont (Beaverton, Ore.)

Olympics: 2004, 2008

Notable: Zagunis made history in 2004 when she became the first U.S. fencer to take gold in 100 years and the first Olympic medalist in women's saber, which debuted the same year. In 2008, she took home another gold in Individual Saber, and bronze in Team Saber. She has won the FIE Senior World Cup four times, most recently in 2011.

DORIS WILLETTE, 22

Event: Foil

Local connection: Penn State graduate (State College)

Olympics exp.: 2008

Notable: After traveling to the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a replacement athlete, this year, Willette advanced to her first individual Grand Prix quarterfinal, after finishing seventh in Marseille in April, and took gold at the Pan American Championships (Team) and USA Fencing National Championships.

FIELD HOCKEY

July 29 to Aug. 11

LAUREN CRANDALL, 27

Position: Midfielder

Local connection: North Allegheny student until age 13 (Coronado, Calif.)

Olympics exp.: 2008

Notable: Crandall earned an automatic Olympic berth — the first ever in USA Field Hockey — after captaining the team to a gold-medal finish at the 2011 Pan American Games.

ROWING

July 29 to Aug. 4

NATALIE DELL, 27

Event: Women's quadruple sculls

Local connection: Penn State graduate (Boston)

Notable: Dell took bronze in the quadruple sculls at the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup II and silver at the 2011 World Rowing Championships.

AMANDA POLK, 25 (Alternate)

Event: Women's eights, Women's pairs

Local connection: Oakland Catholic High School graduate (Princeton, N.J.)

Notable: Part of the U.S. national Olympic team since 2009, Polk won gold in the eight in both the 2011 World Rowing Championships and the 2011 Rowing World Cup circuit in Lucerne, and set a world record (5:54.17) in the eight's heat at the 2012 Samsung World Rowing Cup II.

SAILING

July 29 to Aug. 11

ANNA TUNNICLIFFE, 29

Sport: Sailing (Women's match racing, Elliott 6m)

Local connection: Family from Pittsburgh (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Olympics exp.: 2008

Notable: After taking gold in laser radial at the 2008 Olympics, Tunnicliffe switched to women's match racing and the Elliott 6m for the upcoming games. In 2009 and 2011, she was named ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

SHOOTING

ERIC UPTAGRAFFT, 46

Event: Prone

Local connection: West Virginia graduate (Firestone, Colo.)

Olympics exp.: 1996

Notable: Uptagrafft has been a member of the national rifle team for almost 20 years and is married to Sandra Uptagrafft, one of the top U.S. women's pistol shooters. In 1996, he competed for the U.S. in prone rifle and placed fifth in prone rifle at the 2007 Munich World Cup.

SOCCER

July 25 to Aug. 11

MEGHAN KLINGENBERG , 23

(Alternate)

Position: Midfielder

Local connection: Pine-Richland graduate

Notable: A former WPIAL and PIAA champion, Klingenberg helped the University of North Carolina to two consecutive national championships, and was a U-20 Women's World Cup champion in 2008. She was selected by the Washington Freedom in the first round of the 2011 WPS draft, and played on the U.S. Women's National team.

SWIMMING

July 29 to Aug. 12

ALLISON SCHMITT, 22

Events: 200 and 400 freestyle, 4x100 and 4x200 freestyle relays

Local connection: Born in Pittsburgh (Canton, Mich.)

Olympics exp.: 2008

Notable: After helping Team USA to the bronze medal in 2008, Schmitt returned to the 2012 Olympic Trials, finishing first in the 200 freestyle (setting a new U.S. record) and 400. As a part of the 2011 FINA World Championships, she won a gold medal as a part of the 4x200 free relay and placed sixth in the 200 freestyle.

VOLLEYBALL

July 28 to Aug. 12

MATT ANDERSON, 25

Position: Outside hitter

Local connection: Penn State graduate (Anaheim, Calif.)

Notable: Named “best spiker” at NORCECA Men's Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament in 2012 where the U.S. took gold, Anderson recorded 64 points on 52 kills, four blocks and eight aces at the same tournament. In 2011, he averaged more sets than any other U.S. men's player.

NICOLE FAWCETT, 25

(Alternate)

Position: Outside hitter

Local connection: Penn State graduate (Zanesfield, Ohio)

Notable: In 2011, Fawcett helped USA take fourth at the Montreux Volley Masters, averaging three points in 12 sets, and helped the Team USA take gold at the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix.

ALISHA GLASS, 24

(Alternate)

Position: Setter

Local connection: Penn State graduate (Leland, Mich.)

Notable: Glass started in six of 14 matches in the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix, averaging 5.25 running sets, 1.29 digs and 0.54 points per set, helping Team USA take gold at the competition for three consecutive years (2010-12).

CHRISTA HARMOTTO , 25

Position: Middle blocker

Local connection: Hopewell High School, Penn State graduate (Hopewell)

Notable: Harmotto makes her Olympic debut after aiding the U.S. team in its third consecutive gold medal at the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix, where she started in the first ten matches and was named best blocker in the preliminary round, averaging 1.31 blocks per set.

MEGAN HODGE, 23

Position: Outside hitter

Local connection: Penn State graduate (Durham, N.C.)

Notable: Named MVP and best scorer at the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix after recording 103 points in the final round (89 kills, 13 blocks, one ace), Hodge took the U.S. team to three consecutive gold medals from 2010-12.

WRESTLING

Aug. 5 to 12

JAKE HERBERT , 27

Weight class: Freestyle 84kg

Local connection: North Allegheny High School graduate (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Notable: Before taking the 185-pound freestyle title at the U.S. wrestling trials in April, Herbert had a 149-4 career record at Northwestern and was awarded the Hodge Trophy. In 2009, he became the world silver medalist.

COLEMAN SCOTT , 26

Weight class: Freestyle 60kg

Local connection: Waynesburg (Stillwater, Okla.)

Notable: Scott grabbed the final spot for the U.S. wrestling team in the 132-pound freestyle class after winning a freestyle World Cup title in May 2012.

COACHES

DAVE JOHNSON

Sport: Rifle

Local connection: WVU grad (Colorado Spring, Colo. )

Olympics exp.: 1992

Notable: Has coached the National Team since 2002, and saw two of his athletes win medals at the '04 games.

LOU ROSSELLI

Sport: Wrestling (Freestyle assistant coach)

Local connection: Edinboro graduate (Colombus, Ohio)

Olympics: 1996

Notable: Has coached since 2000, and serves as associate head coach for Ohio State. Coached at Pan American Games and U.S. World University Games, and is a three-time U.S. Freestyle World Team Coach.

INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES WITH LOCAL TIES

ATHLETICS

Aug. 3 to 12

DOMINIQUE BLAKE, 25

Team: Jamaica

Event: 4 x 400m Relay

Local connection: Penn State graduate

Notable: A sixth-place finish qualified Blake for the 2012 Jamaican relay pool, including a career-best 51.72 in the semi-finals. Blake was semi-finalist in the open 400 at the 2012 World Indoors and a 2008 NCAA National Champion.

SARAH-ANNE BRAULT, 22

Team: Canada (Alt.)

Event: Triathlon

Local connection: West Virginia student

Notable: In 2012, Brault won the PATCO Championships in Argentina and placed third at the Vina Del Mar Continental Cup. She was named an alternate to Canada's national team based on qualifying race times.

SHANA COX, 27

Team: Great Britain

Event: 400m

Local connection: Penn State graduate

Notable: Cox qualified for her Olympic debut after running 51.84 to finish second in the 400 meter dash in the Aviva London Olympic Trials, following a bronze medal finish at the European Team Championships.

KIRSTEN NIEUWENDAM, 20

Team: Suriname

Event: 200m

Local connection: Penn State student

Olympics exp.: 2008

Notable: Following the 2008 Olympics, where Nieuwendam ran 24.46 in the 200m, she competed in the 2008 and 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships, and placed third in the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships.

BASKETBALL

July 28 to Aug. 12

KIERON ACHARA, 29

Team: Great Britain

Position: Forward/Center

Local connection: Duquesne graduate

Notable: Part of Great Britain's second-ever Olympic team, after graduating from Duquesne in 2008, Achara debuted with Great Britain before playing professionally with Italy and Spain.

FENCING

July 28 to Aug. 12

DANIEL GOMEZ-TANAMACHI

Team: Mexico

Event: Foil

Local connection: Penn State student

Notable: At Penn State, Gomez-Tanamachi placed 10th in the NCAA National Championship, beating 13 of his opponents. Mexico has not medaled in fencing at the Olympics since 1968, when Pilar Roldán won the silver medal in women's foil.

GYMNASTICS

July 28 to Aug. 12

FELIX ARONOVICH, 24

Team: Israel

Event: Individual All-Around

Local connection: Penn State student

Notable: After qualifying at a test event in London in January, Aronovich placed 11th in the all-around at the European Championships in May. At Penn State, Aronovich set records in the pommel horse, parallel bars and all-around, and helped Penn State place third at the 2012 NCAA Championships.

TOMMY RAMOS, 26

Team: Puerto Rico

Event: Individual All-Around

Local connection: Penn State graduate

Notable: Tamos placed fifth in the still rings at an Olympic test event in London in January before being seleted by the Puerto Rico Gymnastics Federation in late June. At Penn State, Ramos helped the Nittany Lions to the program's 12th NCAA championship in 2007 and a Big Ten title in 2008. He excels in the parallel bars and the high bar.

ROWING

July 29 to Aug. 4

FLORIN CURUEA, 30

Team: Romania

Event: Men's fours

Local connection: Pine-Richland crew coach

Notable: Head crew coach at Pine-Richland High School and Pittsburgh Rowing Club since 2006, Curuea qualified after placing second (6:01.41) at the FISA Olympic Qualification Regatta. He also competes with the Steaua CSA in Romania.

SOCCER

July 25 to Aug. 11

ERIN McLEOD, 29

Team: Canada

Position: Goalkeeper

Local connection: Penn State graduate

Notable: After leading Penn State to a No. 1 ranking and a Women's College Cup berth in 2005, McLeod played for professional teams in Canada and the U.S., and currently plays for the Dalsjöfors GoIF in Borås, Sweden.

CARMELINA MOSCATO, 28

Team: Canada

Position: Midfielder

Local connection: Penn State graduate

Notable: Moscato debuted with the Canadian U-20 national team at age 16 before attending Penn State, where she led the Nittany Lions to four Big Ten Championships from 2001-05 and PSU's best season ever with a 19-game winning streak. She currently plays professionally in Piteå, Sweden.

SHOOTING

July 27 to Aug. 6

NICCO CAMPRIANI, 24

Team: Italy

Event: Air, three-position, prone

Local connection: West Virginia graduate (Italy)

Olympics exp.: 2008

Notable: Outmatched in the 2008 Olympics, Campriani has since won the 50m rifle 3 position men's final, finishing first in the closing match of the 2012 ISSF World Cup in London.

JON HAMMOND, 32

Team: Great Britain

Event: Three-position, prone

Local connection: West Virginia head coach (Morgantown, W.Va.)

Olympics exp.: 2008

Notable: After a disappointing 29th finish in the 2008 Olympic games, Hammond won four medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, making him the most successful Scottish athlete in the competition's history.

PETRA ZUBLASING, 23

Team: Italy

Event: Women's 10m air rifle, women's 50m three-position

Local connection: West Virginia student (Morgantown, W.Va.)

Notable: Zublasing competed with the Italian National Team from 2004-10, where she competed in women's air rifle and 50m women's 3P at 2010 World Championships in Munich. She is the current NCAA air rifle champion.

TAEKWONDO

Aug. 8 to 11

ANDREA ST. BERNARD, 32

Team: Grenada

Division: -67kg sparring

Local connection: Duquesne graduate (Toronto, Canada)

Notable: After receiving a third-degree blackbelt through the World Taekwondo Federation, Bernard will be the first-ever Grenada taekwondo athlete. At Duquesne, St. Bernard was a volleyball middle hitter.

 

 
 


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