By Karen Feng
Thirty-seven Stanford-affiliated athletes, including five current student-athletes, are competing at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Women’s beach volleyball:
On July 27, women’s beach volleyball No. 1 seeds Kerri Walsh Jennings ’00 and her partner, Misty May-Treanor, took a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) victory over Australia’s Nat Cook and Tamsin Hinchley. Walsh Jennings recorded 12 kills, four blocks and 12 digs.
Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor swept Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova of the Czech Republic in their second match of preliminary round play on July 30. Walsh Jennings had seven kills and three blocks and served three aces.
On July 29, rising freshman Nina Ligon representing Thailand scored 53.90 to take 48th in the dressage portion of the individual event finals. Ligon is now in 37th place with a score of 69.90 after July 30’s cross-country portion.
On July 29, rising sophomore Kristina Vaculik represented the Canadian team that qualified for the final in eighth place with a score of 167.696. This marked the first time that Canada advanced to the gymnastics finals in a non-boycotted Olympics. Vaculik scored 14.366 on the uneven bars, 14.11 on the vault, 13.800 on the floor exercise and 11.300 on the balance beam for a total score of 53.566 in the all-around, good enough for a 32nd-place finish. She was unable to advance in the individual event competitions.
On July 28, David Banks ’05 and Jake Cornelius ’05 competed with the U.S. eight in the preliminary heat, holding a strong lead throughout to win in 5:30.72, two seconds ahead of Australia.
Alex Osborne ’09 and the U.S. quadruple sculls boat placed fourth on July 28, missing a semifinal berth by one spot, six seconds behind third-place France with a time of 5:50.25. They again missed the semifinal berth on July 30, when a stuck blade brought the Americans’ lead to a dead stop and placed them well behind the rest of the pack. Although the quartet brought up their pace to 40 strokes a minute to try to make the berth, they came in seven-tenths of a second behind third-place Switzerland.
Silas Stafford ’08 and partner Tom Peszek finished fourth in the men’s pair competition on July 28 with a time of 6:26.59, 0.69 seconds behind the Netherlands, barely missing the semifinal berth. On July 30, their Olympic dreams came back to life with a third-place finish in the men’s pair repechage, earning them the final berth in the semifinals. They led early in the race but fell behind Germany and Serbia by the 1,500-meter mark. The pair, however, still managed to fight off Hungary in the final 500 meters to win by less than half a second.
On July 29, Elle Logan ’11 helped the U.S. eight win their heat with a time of 6:14.68 over Australia, Great Britain and Germany to qualify for Thursday’s final.
On July 26, the New Zealand men’s soccer team, captained by Ryan Nelsen ’01, took on Belarus in its opening match but lost 1-0 at Old Trafford. Nelsen led the tight defense that allowed only one goal, but the offense was unable to find the back of the net.
On July 29, Nelsen led his team to a 1-1 draw with Egypt, as Egypt came back to equalize the score in the 40th minute.
On July 25, women’s soccer Group G opened play as the U.S. team, including members Nicole Barnhart ’04, Rachel Buehler ’07 and Kelley O’Hara ’10, secured a 4-2 win over France in Glasgow, Scotland. Buehler and O’Hara started, helping the U.S. back line recover from two early French goals and keep France from scoring for the final 76 minutes. Barnhart, the backup for starter Hope Solo, did not play.
The team continued play on July 27, when Buehler and O’Hara played the full 90 minutes against Colombia to help them win 3-0 at Hampden Park in Glasgow. Buehler solidified the central defense while O’Hara had a steady presence on the left flank.
New Zealander Ali Riley ’10 started and played the full 90 minutes on July 25. Although the defense held firm, Great Britain prevailed 1-0 when it capitalized on a free kick in the 64th minute.
On July 27, Riley played at the outside left back position, but the New Zealand team fell 1-0 to Brazil on a surprising free kick goal in the 86th minute.
On July 28, top seeds Bob Bryan ’00 and Mike Bryan ’00, who competed for Stanford for two seasons, won 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-3 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. They took bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, have captured 78 career doubles titles and have been ranked No. 1 in the world for a record 297 weeks.
On July 28, Foluke Akinradewo ’09, Logan Tom ’03 and Team USA prevailed over South Korea 3-1 (25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 25-21) in London. Akinradewo delivered nine kills and six blocks for 15 points, while Tom added eight kills. Efforts by Akinradewo and Tom contributed to the United States’ 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21) win against defending champion Brazil on July 30, as they combined for 21 kills, nine from Akinradewo and 12 from Tom.
Men’s water polo:
On July 29, captain Tony Azevedo ’04, Layne Beaubien ’99, Peter Hudnut ’03 and Peter Varellas ’06 of Team USA opened their tournament with an 8-7 win over Montenegro. Varellas led them with a hat trick while Beaubien and Azevedo each scored once, as the quartet accounted for five of the eight U.S. goals.
Women’s water polo:
Incoming freshman Maggie Steffens scored a game-high seven goals to help the U.S. team defeat Hungary 14-13 in the team’s first match. Fellow Cardinal players Annika Dries ’14, Melissa Seidemann ’13 and Jessica Steffens ’10 also participated, with Seidemann attempting five shots.