Olympic Update, Day #8: Trio of Tigers in Rowing, Fencing Earn Bronze
DAY 1: Hendershot, Loch, Matheson, Prendes, Stone
DAY 2: Lind, Morin, Prendes, J Reinprecht, K Reinprecht, Wilkinson
DAY 3: Lawrence, Loch, Ochal, Scanlan
DAY 4: Matheson, Prendes, J Reinprecht, K Reinprecht, Stone
DAY 5: Hendershot, Loch, Thompson
DAY 6: Lind, Morin, Ochal, Prendes, J Reinprecht, K Reinprecht, Stone, Wilkinson
DAY 7: Cabral, Matheson
DAY 8: Lawrence, Ochal, J Reinprecht, K Reinprecht, Scanlan, Stone
An amazing 72-hour stretch for Princeton at the Olympics continued Saturday morning when former heavyweight Sprints champion and lightweight assistant coach Glenn Ochal '08 helped the USA fours to a bronze medal.
Hours later, Maya Lawrence '02 and Susannah Scanlan '14 helped Team USA to a bronze medal in the epee team competition, defeating Russia 31-30 in the final match to claim the medal.
That moves Princeton's London 2012 medal count to six. Caroline Lind '06 won gold for the USA Thursday in the women's eights final, while Andréanne Morin '06 and Lauren Wilkinson '11 helped the Canadian eights to silver.
That was Thursday. On Friday, two more Princetonians kept their medal dreams alive. Donn Cabral '12 rallied on the final stretch to reach the steeplechase final, while Diana Matheson '08 led Team Canada into the women's soccer semifinals.
Six competed during Day 8, but Ochal has already made sure that it would be a memorable one. In one of the most high-profile events of the Olympic rowing competition, the U.S.A. lined up in Lane 3 and put itself in medal position immediately. Through the 500-meter mark, the top three boats were Great Britain, Australia, and the Americans.
That wouldn't change. The USA placed third in 6:07.20, more than four seconds faster than fourth-place Greece. Great Britain won in 6:03.97, while Australia topped the Americans by two seconds.
Princeton also got a victory from Gevvie Stone '07, who won the 'B' final in a time of 7:45.24. Stone topped the Lithuanian rower by 2.7 seconds to finish seventh in the event.
That wrapped up rowing, at least from Princeton's perspective. The numbers overall were amazing: the Tigers sent eight rowers in seven boats, and they ended up with four medals while reaching six 'A' finals. All eight rowers finished at least in the Top 8 in their respective events.
Lawrence and Scanlan started the day in the quarterfinals against Italy, along with teammates sisters Courtney and Kelley Hurley. With Lawrence, Scanlan and Courtney Hurley in action, the U.S. defeated Italy in touches 45-35 to move on. Scanlan and Lawrence each helped build the margin, winning two of their three bouts.
That advanced the U.S. to a semifinal match against South Korea, but the Princetonians couldn't duplicate their opening-match success. Lawrence was 1-2 in the semifinal and Scanlan 0-3 while Courtney Hurley was 1-2 as eventual silver medalist South Korea won 45-36.
Even with the loss, the U.S. still had a chance at a medal, but it would have to defeat Russia to claim it. Kelley Hurley replaced Scanlan for the bronze battle, and sister Courtney Hurley provided the decisive touch in the 31-30 win. Lawrence's individual results were just as close as the match, as the Tiger alumna went 1-1-1 against Russia. It is the U.S.'s first medal in women's team epee fencing since the event joined the Olympic program in 1996, though it was not part of the Olympic program last time out in 2008.
Julia Reinprecht ’14, Katie Reinprecht ’13 and the U.S. field hockey team’s goal of making it to the medal stand was ended Saturday, as Team USA was edged 3-2 by New Zealand. It dropped the American side to 1-3 in the tournament, as the U.S. suffered its third one-goal loss.
New Zealand came out as the immediate aggressors and capitalized 45 seconds into the contest. Down 1-0 early, the Americans played on their heels until the midpoint of the first half. As things settled down for the U.S. side, Team USA evened the score 1-1 with 19 minutes to play. Despite finding more fluidity on the field, New Zealand retook control of the game with a goal less than two minutes later.
Several swift stops by Julia and U.S. defense prevented New Zealand from adding further to its budding lead before Team USA was able to square things up. With 1:15 remaining before halftime, the U.S. made it a two-all game off a penalty corner.
In the second half both sides attempted to wrangle control of the game, but as it was all game New Zealand was there to strike first with the game-winner with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Americans will wrap up their Olympic pool B play on Monday, Aug. 6 versus South Africa at 5:45 a.m. ET on NBC Sports.
Only one Princetonian will be in action Sunday, but it will be a dramatic morning. Cabral, the 2012 NCAA champion and Roper Trophy recipient, races at 4:25 p.m. in the men's steeplechase gold medal final.