Olympic Lineup Boasts Many Bears

1996 Atlanta Games Will Continue a History of Cal Participation

by Fernando Quintero

When the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta begin July 19, Berkeley's long-held Olympic tradition will continue.

Eight former Cal athletes are already set to participate. Still awaiting word on whether they compete either for the U.S. or their home countries are a dozen current athletes and many more former Cal athletes.

In addition, three of Cal's coaches have been selected as Olympic coaches.

Fred Honebein will represent Cal on the U.S. men's eight crew team and Laurel Korholz on the women's eight crew team.

Cal's former softball standouts, Michele Granger and Gillian Boxx, made the final roster for the U.S. women's softball team.

Holly McPeak will compete in beach volleyball. And former Cal swimmers Mark Henderson and Akiko Thompson will represent the United States and the Philippines, respectively. Swimmer Anna Simcic, who took last semester off to train, will swim for New Zealand.

Head track coach Erv Hunt, who was selected assistant coach for the U.S. track and field team in the 1992 Olympics, is head coach this time.

Peter Wright, head men's tennis coach and an alumnus, is head men's tennis coach for Ireland. And Pete Cipollone will be coaching men's single crew for the United States.

The games begin July 19 with the opening ceremony, parade of nations and lighting of the Olympic flame. Sporting events will commence the following day, with the closing ceremony Aug. 4.

Wright, who completed his third season as Cal's head tennis coach, said his selection along with Hunt reflects Berkeley's tradition of athletic as well as academic excellence.

"We have a tremendous coaching staff on our campus," said Wright. "Whenever you have coaches on national teams, it helps our reputation. It is a testament to the quality and caliber of both athletes and coaches Cal attracts."

Hunt agreed, saying the Olympics provided an "exciting opportunity" for both himself and the campus.

Wright, whose parents were born and raised in Ireland, has represented that country in all major international tennis competition since 1988. The Irish team competes with several other nations this month for final selection of Olympic tennis teams.

A dozen current and many former Cal athletes are contenders for spots on teams that will be decided over the next few weeks. They are:

In baseball, Ryan Drese and Brian Oliver; crew, Djordge Visacki (Yugoslavia) and Danko Djunic (Yugoslavia); women's soccer, Mary Harvey, Joy Biefeld Fawcett and Brandi Chastain; swimming, George-John Tsianos (Greece), Fabian Hieronimus (Germany), Marcus Dicke (Germany), Gordan Kozulj (Croatia) and Dominik Galic (Croatia).

Contenders for the water polo team are Gavin Arroyo, Troy Barnhart, Kirk Everist, Chris Humbert, Sean Nolan and Chris Oeding.

U.S. track and field trials are June 14-23 in Atlanta. Among Cal athletes in contention are Sheila Hudson, triple jump; Chris Huffins, decathlon; Richie Boulet, 5,000 meters; Magdalena Lewy, 5,000 meters; Amy Littlepage, triple jump; Brent Burns, pole vault; John Wirtz, discus; Rod Jett, 110m hurdles; Pat Duffy, 110m hurdles; Lee Adkins, long jump; Ray Stiger Henderson, 5,000 meters and steeplechase.

Seeking spots on foreign teams are triple jumper Lenards Ozolinsh (Latvia), discus thrower Ramon Jimenez-Gaona (Paraguay), 200 meter runner Atlee Mahorn (Canada), 400 meter hurdler Thomas McGuirk (Ireland) and high jumper Kevin Keane (Ireland).


Copyright 1996, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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