The medal count continues to climb for resident-athletes from the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center who are competing in the 2012 London Games.
After the U.S. men’s archery team captured a silver medal in the team shoot during the opening weekend of competition, it was time for rowing and track and field competition to begin.
The Games of the XXX Olympiad have lived up to past editions by delivering both their share of heartbreak and surprises. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for area Olympians, though the accent has to be placed on the positive.
In rowing, the United States finished with three medals — one gold and two bronze. The U.S. women’s eights claimed supremacy in the water while men’s fours and women’s quadruple sculls both captured bronze.
The women’s eights out-dueled Canada (silver medal) and the Netherlands (bronze medal). The U.S. team was comprised of nine OTC resident-athletes: Mary Whipple, Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Erin Cafaro, Esther Lofgren and Susan Francia.
The men’s fours team of Scott Gault, Charlie Cole, Henrik Rummel and Glenn Ochal finished behind gold medalist Great Britain and silver medalist Australia.
The women’s quadruple sculls team of Kara Kohler, Natalie Dell, Megan Kalmoe and Adrienne Martelli finished third behind gold medalist Ukraine and silver medalist Germany.
Great Britain won the most rowing medals (nine), followed by New Zealand (five). The United States, Germany and Denmark each won three Olympic medals.
As the track and field competition got under way last weekend, 21-year-old Will Claye was the first CV-OTC athlete to earn a medal by finishing third in the men’s long jump; he closed out the 2012 London Games with a silver medal in Thursday’s triple jump finals.
Claye, a native of Arizona and a former Florida Gator, captured the bronze medal in the long jump with a mark of 8.12 meters (26 feet, 7.75 inches). He finished behind gold medalist Greg Rutherford of Great Britain (8.31m) and silver medalist Mitchell Watt of Australia (8.16m) in finals competition last Saturday.
In the triple jump, his best event, Claye finished behind American teammate Christian Taylor’s gold medal winning jump of 17.81m (58-5) with a mark of 17.62m (57-9.75). Italy’s Fabrizio Donato was third (17.48m).
The medal count by local Olympians, which is expected to climb further before the close of competition, obviously presents a boost to the images of both the CV-OTC and the city of Chula Vista.
“During the Olympics we are reminded that the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center is an outstanding asset for our community that plays a vital role in the success of American athletes,” Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said. “On behalf of all Chula Vistans, our city is proud to be the home for athletes who trained for the U.S. Olympic team and won medals for our country at the London Olympic Games. Under the direction of Tracy Lamb the training center is more accessible to the public. I encourage people to learn more about the beautiful campus that sits in our backyard.”
The CV-OTC obviously remains proud of its own.
“Everyone here at the training center could not be more excited for our athletes over in London,” CV-OTC director Tracy Lamb said. “Their performances so far and the way they have represented their country make us all proud, and we applaud every athlete in their efforts from archery to rowing and beyond. We congratulate every single one of them on a job well done.”
A total of 11 full-time or part-time CV-OTC resident-athletes qualified to compete for Team USA in the track and field competition.
•At age 35, Jamie Nieto was the oldest American man ever to compete in the Olympic high jump competition. He advanced to Tuesday’s medal round where he was among six jumpers who tied at 2.29 meters (7 feet, 6 inches) following the lead of gold medalist Ivan Ukhov (2.38m) of Russia and silver medalist Erik Kynard (2.33m) of Team USA.
When clears and misses were tallied in the tie-breaker, three jumpers were awarded the bronze medal, leaving Nieto in sixth place. The third American in the finals, Jesse Williams, tied for ninth at 2.25m (7-4.5).
•Brad Walker will complete in Friday’s men’s pole vault final after qualifying with a mark of 5.6m (18- 4.5) on Wednesday.
•Morgan Uceny advanced to Wednesday’s semifinals of the women’s 800-meter run by finishing second in her heat on Monday with a time of 4:06.87. She advanced to Friday’s finals in 4:05.34.
•Alice Schmidt advanced to Thursday’s semifinals of the women’s 800-meter run with a qualifying time of 2:01.65 but did not advance with a 2:01.63.
•Amy Hastings got things rolling for CV-OTC Olympic qualifiers by placing 11th in the women’s 10,000-meter run last Friday with a personal best time of 31:10.69.
•In Monday’s women’s pole vault final, Becky Holliday placed ninth by clearing 4.45m (14-7.25).
•Kara Patterson did not advance past Tuesday’s qualifying round for the women’s javelin throw with a mark of 56.23m (184-5.75). Battling a torn ACL, she finished 15th in her group.
•Jarred Rome also did not advance past Monday’s qualifying rounds of the men’s discus throw. He finished 17th in his group with a throw of 59.57m (195-5.25).
•Jessica Cosby failed to advance past Wednesday’s qualifying round of the women’s hammer throw with a mark of 69.65m 228-6) to finish seventh in her group.
•Also on Wednesday, Sean Furey did not advance in the men’s javelin throw after recording a mark of 72.81m (238-10.5).
Say it isn’t so
The U.S. women’s field hockey team will play Belgium on Friday to decide 11th and 12 places in the 12-team Olympic field. The 10th-ranked Americans had seemingly scored the upset of the tournament by defeating second-ranked Argentina in their second round-robin game, but could not keep up the momentum with subsequent setbacks to seventh-ranked Australia (1-0), sixth-ranked New Zealand (3-2) and 12th-ranked South Africa (7-0).
The U.S. women ended group play 1-4 following an opening 2-1 loss to third-ranked Germany. With three one-goal losses to ranked powers, close just didn’t count as far as advancement was concerned. However, it will likely will boost international respect for the American program.
Hilltop High School grad Desiree Davila produced a lot of hometown pride by qualifying to represent Team USA in the women’s marathon. However, a hip injury suffered a month ago ultimately took its toll when it forced the 29-year-old to drop out just 2.2 miles into the 26-mile race, which was contested amid a downpour.
Davila was among seven of the 118 entrants who did not finish Sunday’s race. Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana won in an Olympic record 2:23:07 while Kenya’s Prisca Jeptoo finished second in 2:23:12 and Russia’s Tatyanna Petrova Arkhipova was third in a personal best 2:23:29.
The top four women finished within 49 seconds of one another.
In kayak, two CV-OTC qualifiers included Carrie Johnson and Tim Hornsby. Johnson finished sixth in Tuesday’s K-1 500m semifinals and did not advance to Thursday’s finals. Both she and Hornsby remain on deck for K-1 200m heats on Friday.
Also on tap for Friday will be the second Olympic BMX finals. Connor Fields and David Herman of the U.S. both advanced to the men’s semifinal round.