A number of Big Ten names nailed down spots on national teams this weekend to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In this post, we present a quick roundup from the official school websites. We’ll continue to track news of any updates with additional posts in our Olympics section at www.BTN.com/2012olympics.
Illinois: Former Illinois men’s track and field hurdler Andrew Riley earned his way to his first Olympic Games in London after qualifying in the 110m hurdles for Jamaica. Riley won his heat with the fastest mark overall and recorded a time of 13.36 to move into the finals, then finished second with a new personal-best time of 13.19 to qualify. Read more about it at FightingIllini.com. Also, former Illinois women’s track and field athlete Nikkita Holder (2005-09) qualified in the 100m hurdles for Team Canada. The former Illini will be one of three Canadians who qualified in the event for the Games which begin Aug. 6with the preliminary rounds.
Indiana: Sophomore Dorina Szekeres will represent her native Hungary in the London Olympics in the 200-meter backstroke. Szekeres recently completed her freshman year at IU, where she placed 11th in the 200-yard backstroke at the 2012 Big Ten Championships and fifth in the 400-yard individual medley and 15th in the 100-yard backstroke. Also, senior Nicholas Schwab will represent the Dominican Republic in the 200-meter freestyle at his first Olympic Games. He made the Olympics qualifying time with a 1:53.80 in the 200-meter freestyle at the Indianapolis Grand Prix in March. Szekeres and Schwab join recent IU graduate Margaux Farrell, who earned a spot on the French Olympic team in March, as Olympians.
Hoosier All-American and 2010 NCAA Champion Kate Fesenko has been named to the Ukrainian Olympic Team as a member of the 800 freestyle relay. This will be Fesenko’s third Olympic games as she represented Ukraine at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games. Read more at IUHoosiers.com.
Also, IU high jumper Derek Drouin punched his ticket to the Olympics by winning the Canadian Olympic Trials on Saturday. He is the 26th IU track and field athlete to earn a trip to the Olympics all-time, and his Olympic berth is the 32nd all-time by those 26 athletes. Drouin’s trip to London will mark the eighth consecutive Olympiad with a Hoosier track and field athlete competing. Read more here.
Michigan: Men’s gymnast Sam Mikulak earne an Olympic berth as he was selected for the 2012 United States Olympic squad Sunday. Mikulak made the five-man squad for his collective performance at the Visa Championships and at the 2012 United States Olympic Trials (June 28-30). Also, former Michigan men’s track and field hurdler Jeff Porter (2004-07) clinched a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team after finishing third in the 110-meter hurdles at the Olympic Trials on Saturdayat Oregon’s Hayward Field. Read more on Michigan’s Olympians at MGoBlue.com.
Nebraska: Former Husker Chelsea Aubry will be the first Nebraska women’s basketball player in history to compete in the Olympics, after Canada earned an Olympic berth. Aubry was a four-year letter winner who played in 123 games with 90 starts from 2004 through 2007 for the Huskers. She is native of Kitchener, Ontario. Read more at Huskers.com. Also, five-time All-American Chantae McMillan qualified for Team USA in the heptathlon by tallying a total of 6,188 points to finish third in the standings and secure her first Olympic bid. She is a four-time Big 12 Champion. Read more on McMillan at Huskers.com.
Penn State: Former Nittany Lion Bridget Franek captured a spot on the United States Olympic Team by finishing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the US Olympic Team Trials. Franek is the second member of the Nittany Lion track and field family to qualifying for the U.S. team, following volunteer assistant Ryan Whiting, who earned a bid in the shot put last week. Read more at GoPSUsports.com.
Purdue: Former Purdue track and field star Kara Patterson will once again be representing her country at the Olympic Games. Patterson finished as the runner-up in Sunday’s U.S. Olympic Trials in the javelin, earning her second straight trip to the Olympics. She also qualified in 2008. Read the full story at PurdueSports.com.