Two golds for Pac-12 athletes in London
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - USA's Rebecca Soni did it again. For the second-straight night, she broke a world record, this time, to claim a gold medal. The USA women's eight, with three former Pac-12 rowers, also claimed a medal, its second-straight Olympic gold.
Rebecca Soni (USC) set a world record in the semifinal of the 200-meter breaststroke, then did it again in the final, claiming her first gold medal of the London Games. She beat her time in the semifinal by .01 seconds, clocking in at 2:19.59 to claim her second Olympic medal. She won silver earlier this week in the 100-meter breaststroke.
Mary Whipple (WASH), Elle Logan (STAN) and Erin Cafaro (CAL) helped the USA women's eight to a second-straight Olympic gold, finishing the race in a time of 6:10.59, beating second-place Canada by just over a second.
In six days of competition, the Pac-12's medal count stands at 16 - 6 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze. If the Conference was a nation, it would rank tied for sixth with France Japan (17) in total medals. The United States leads all nations in the medal count with 37.
Pac-12 Guide to Day 7 of the Olympics (Friday, August 3, 2012)
Track & Field (Athletics, M/W)
The other marquee Olympic sport begins on Friday with qualifying and preliminary rounds of several running and field events, as well as the start of the women's heptathlon. Medals will also be awarded in the men's shot put and the women's 10,000-meter run. The Pac-12 sent 61 track & field representatives to the Olympics, including athletes, coaches and supporting staff.
• The men's shot put qualifying round kicks off the track & field events. Iran's Amin Nikfar (CAL) and USA's Ryan Whiting (ASU) are both competing in the Group B qualifier, looking to advance to the finals that evening.
• Going for a medal tomorrow night is USA's Amy Hastings (ASU). She will be competing against 21 other runners in the 10,000-meter final.
• Fresh off winning her third NCAA title, Canada's Brianne Theisen (ORE) begins her first Olympics with the 100-meter hurdles on the first day of the women's heptathlon. It is the first of four events for the day.
• Great Britain faces its toughest challenge yet as they take on Group B-leader France in its fourth game of match play. Great Britain features Oregon standout Kim Butler.
• The Canadian team, with the Utah trio of Michelle Plouffe, Kim Smith and Shona Thorburn, faces Brazil. With a win, Canada will be tied for first place in Group B.
• Americans Jennifer Kessy (USC) and April Ross (USC) face Switzerland's Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr in their first elimination match. Kessy and Ross finished pool play with a perfect record, while Kuhn and Zumkehr won two matches.
• Americans Jake Gibb (UTAH) and partner Sean Rosenthal advanced to the round of 16 after finishing in a tie for first in Group D. They take on Russia's duo of Sergey Prokopyev and Konstantin Semenov.
• The U.S., with Jennie Reed (WASH) representing the Pac-12, takes to the track for the first time in London. The trio compete in the qualifying round of the women's team pursuit.
• At the Aquatics Centre, USA's Cassidy Krug (STAN) takes to the 3-meter springboard for the preliminary round. She will be guided by current Cardinal head coach and USA assistant coach Rick Schavone.
• All Pac-12 representatives in still playing in women's soccer competition will be featured in one game when the U.S. faces New Zealand in the quarterfinals. The United States posted a 3-0 record in the group play, while New Zealand advanced with a 1-2 record. The Kiwis' win came on the final day of group play, a 3-1 win over Cameroon to stay alive in the tournament.
• The eight-day rowing competition begins to wind down. With just two days remaining, the final eight races will result in medals. On Friday, Canada's Dave Calder (WASH) and Scott Frandsen (CAL) will be competing for a medal in the men's pair A final. USA's Silas Stafford (STAN/UCLA), with partner Thomas Peszek row in the B final
• The swimming competition also begins to wind down. On the second-to-last day, four heats will be contested in the women's 50-meter freestyle, men's 1500-meter freestyle, and the men's and women's 4x100-meter medley relay. Advancing swimmers compete in Saturday's races.
• Three of the four finals scheduled for Friday include Pac-12 athletes, including three Golden Bears. Serbia's Milorad Cavic will swim in the 100-meter butterfly, Lauren Boyle of New Zealand goes for a medal in the 800-meter free, and USA's Anthony Ervin looks to sprint to the medal stand in the 50-meter final. Ervin will have former Wildcat Roland Schoeman of South Africa to contend with in the 50-meter freestyle race.
• USA doubles partners and siblings Bob and Mike Bryan (STAN) look to advance to the gold-medal match when they take on France's Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet in the semifinals.
• Mike Bryan, with Lisa Raymond, also takes on mixed double's opponents Gisela Dulko and Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina in the quarterfinals.
• The U.S., with five Pac-12 players and two assistant coaches, take on Serbia in the fourth game of group play. The U.S. is sitting in first place, three points ahead of Korea and China who are tied for second.
• Washington alum Janine Sandell and the Great Britain women face Italy in group play. Sandell is third on the team in kills with nine total.
Women's Water Polo
With 18 women's water players from Pac-12 institutions competing for seven countries, every women's water polo match boasts at least one Conference representative.
• A pair from USC go head-to-head when Flora Bolonyai and Hungary take on Anna Espar and the team from Spain.
• The U.S., with 11 players representing four Pac-12 institutions, go up against Arizona State Sun Devil Gao Ao and China in the final round of group play. Currently the United States is tied with Spain for first place.
• Russia battles Australia in the final game in Group B. Sofia Konukh (USC) has scored one goal for the Russian's thus far.
• Aniko Pelle (USC) and the Italians will challenge Great Britain in the pool to try to win their first game of the Olympics. In 44 minutes of play Pelle has scored one goal and had seven shot attempts.
Olympic action will be televised on the NBC family of networks and will also be live streamed at nbcolympics.com. For more information on TV listings and times, visit nbcolympics.com. For official results, schedules and medal counts, visit london2012.com.
Today's Tweets from London
Rebecca Soni (USC), USA Swimming // @rebsoni
"So excited!! That was the race I've working towards since I was a little girl. Thank you everyone for the support. Dreams do come true!"
Jessica Hardy (CAL), USA Swimming // @swimhardy
"I worked too hard for that result. Bummed w my less than best performance in the final but VERY excited to have another opp in 50fr tom! #fb"
Brad Walker (WASH), USA Track & Field // @SkyWalkerPV?
"100-54 USA over Nigeria with 5 min left in the 3rd. Awesome!!!"
Natalie Coughlin (CAL), USA Swimming // @NatalieCoughlin
"Another great night at the pool. Three more sessions to finish off Olympic (pool) swimming! #goTeamUSA #London2012"
Matthew Centrowitz (ORE), USA Track & Field // @MattCentrowitz
"Just got back from a great pre-race dinner w/ my Dad & Uncle. Nothing like 2 New Yorkers ragging on British taxi drivers. Just what I needed."