Checking in with Michigan Olympians: Week Two

By Colleen Thomas, Daily Sports Editor
and Maryam Squillace, Daily Sports Writer
and Alexa Dettelbach, Daily Sports Writer
Published August 5, 2012

Sam Mikulak: Mikulak contributed to Team USA’s efforts in the men’s team all-around final, competing in the floor exercise, vault, pommel horse and parallel bars, but the U.S. couldn’t continue its qualifying efforts, placing fifth in the final. Mikulak will compete in today’s vault final.

Sarah Trowbridge: Trowbridge and her partner competed in the women’s double sculls preliminaries last Monday for the United States, placing third in their heat, good enough for a spot in the finals. But in the finals, the duo took last in a time of 7:10.54, about 15 seconds behind the British team that took gold.

Janine Hanson: Hanson and seven other rowers took the silver medal for Canada in the women’s eight finals, just two seconds behind the United States. The Canadian boat finished in a time of 6:12.06 for the 2,000m race. It was her first Olympic medal and third international medal overall, winning silver medals in both the 2010 and 2011 World Championships.

Tom Peszek: Peszek and his parter competed in the men’s pair rowing repechage on Monday for the United States, placing third for a spot in the Final B — not competing for a medal — on Friday. They took second in the Final B in a time of 6:53.30.

Tyler Clary: Clary qualified for the 200m backstroke final with a time of 1:54.71. He has the fourth-best qualifying time, with Team USA teammate Ryan Lochte right behind him in fifth. And in the final, Clary finally came in first. In the 200m backstroke, he received his first gold medal in a global competition, he beat Ryan Lochte in one of Lochte’s best events, and he beat Lochte’s old Olympic record, coming in at 1:53.41.

Charlie Houchin: As a part of the USA men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team, Houchin swam the first leg of the qualifying race on Tuesday, helping the U.S. men to a first-place finish in the first heat. Though the relay qualified for the finals, Houchin did not compete in the finals, as he watched his teammates take the gold medal in that event.

Connor Jaeger: Jaeger took third in his heat for the men’s 1,500m freestyle race, qualifying for the finals in a time of 14:57.56 on Friday. On Saturday in the finals, Jaeger took sixth in a time of 14:52.99.

Davis Tarwater: Tarwater also competed on the U.S. men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team, swimming the third leg in the qualifying race on Tuesday along with Houchin. As with Houchin, Tarwater also did not compete in the finals, despite helping the relay team qualify for the finals.

Nick Willis: In his second Olympic appearance, Willis shined in the 1,500m preliminary heats. Willis won the final heat in a time of 3:40.92 on Friday and qualified for the finals with a 3:34.70 in the semifinals on Sunday. He will race to defend his silver medal from Beijing in 2008.

Nate Brannen: Brannen also competed in the 1,500m preliminaries, placing fifth in the second heat with a time of 3:39.95, which was good enough to qualify for the semifinals. But in the semifinals, Brannen appeared to be spiked and took a fall, and failed to qualify for the finals.

Krista Phillips: After coming close to upsetting the Russians on the first day of play, Canada’s women’s basketball team kept its lead this time and came away with a 73-65 victory over Great Britain on Monday. Phillips struggled again on offense scoring six points on 2-of-8 shooting while adding four rebounds. But Canada could not close out against France on Wednesday, losing a close game, 64-60. Phillips continued to struggle from the field scoring four points on 2-of-7 shooting. She added seven rebounds, one assist, and one block. They then beat out Brazil, 79-73, with Phillips scoring eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, while adding three rebounds, four assists, and a steal, but had six turnovers. And Canada’s medal hopes survived a 63-72 loss to Australia. Krista Phillips’ offensive struggle during the games hit a low when she failed to score a point, despite adding one rebound and an assist. Canada placed in fourth in Group B, which is good enough to make the elimination tournament.

Betsey Armstrong: Team USA women’s water polo had success in its three games in pool play. On Monday, U.S. beat Hungary, 14-13, behind six saves from Armstrong. On Wednesday, they drew with Spain, 9-9, and Armstrong tallied 10 saves on 19 shots. And in the final game of group play on Friday, Armstrong had a .500 save percentage as the U.S. beat China, 7-6. In the quarterfinals on Sunday, the U.S. beat Italy, 9-6, behind nine saves from Armstrong.

THIS WEEK’S OLYMPIC EVENTS: Krista Phillips takes the court with Team Canada on Tuesday when they play the U.S. in the women’s quarterfinal. Sam Mikulak will look for an individual medal as he competes in the men’s vault final on Monday, after Mikulak and Team USA came up short in the team all-around finals. Nick Willis will look to get back on the medal stand for New Zealand after his stellar performance in Beijing in 2008, where he won silver. The men’s 1,500m final is on Tuesday. Tiffany (Ofili) Porter gets her first look at the track in Monday’s preliminary heats of the women’s 100m hurdles. Porter will compete for Great Britain. Jeff Porter, husband of Tiffany, will also run the hurdles. The men’s 110m hurdles qualification rounds begin on Tuesday, when Porter will don the red, white and blue for the U.S. Nicole (Edwards) Sifuentes will represent Canada as she runs the women’s 1,500m. The qualification heats begin Monday. Geena Gall will run the women’s 800m for the U.S., as the preliminary heats begin on Wednesday. Betsey Armstrong and the U.S. women’s water polo team have made it to the semifinals. Team USA will play Australia on Tuesday for a spot in the gold-medal match.