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Olympic Update, Day #6: Lind Earns Gold; Morin, Wilkinson Claim Silver

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 08/02/2012
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
Princeton picked up three medals on Thursday morning.
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DAY 1: Hendershot, Loch, Matheson, Prendes, Stone
DAY 2: Lind, Morin, Prendes, J Reinprecht, K Reinprecht, Wilkinson
DAY 3: Lawrence, Loch, Ochal, Scanlan
DAY 4: Matheson, Prendes, J Reinprecht, K Reinprecht, Stone
DAY 5: Hendershot, Loch, Thompson
DAY 6: Lind, Morin, Ochal, Prendes, J Reinprecht, K Reinprecht, Stone, Wilkinson

In one swift 2,000-meter showdown, Princeton moved past the likes of Mexico, Denmark and Norway in the medal count at the 2012 London Games. Three former NCAA champions, all coached by Lori Dauphiny, earned medals in the women's eights 'A' final Thursday morning, including a repeat gold medal for Caroline Lind '06.

That was the major highlight of a full Day 6 of the Olympic Games (if not the entire first week), though it was not the lone success story of the morning.

Lind, who stroked the 2006 NCAA champion varsity eight to gold, and the U.S.A. crew had been undefeated for six years and won the 2008 gold medal in Beijing. The boat was the clear favorite heading into the 7:30 a.m. final, though Team Canada showed its potential in nearly knocking off the U.S.A. in May.

Canada was stroked by 2006 NCAA champion Andréanne Morin, a three-time Olympian, and had Lauren Wilkinson '11, a 2011 NCAA champion, in the 4-seat.

While Dauphiny watched from the Eton Dorney course, the U.S.A. broke out early and led at every split. The Americans led Canada by more than one second after 500, and by more than two seconds at the midway point.

Canada, which hadn't medaled in the event since 2000, moved from third to second at the 1000-meter mark, and it pushed ahead of the Netherlands for the rest of the way. The Canadians did their best to chase down the U.S.A. with a late sprint, but the Americans were too strong and took the gold in 6:10.59. Canada placed second in 6:12.06, earning Morin her first medal in three Olympiads, while the Netherlands finished third in 6:13.12.

It was also a very strong morning for Glenn Ochal '08, who led the U.S.A. men's four to the 'A' final Aug. 4 with a victory in the second semifinal. After trailing Germany at the 500-meter mark, the Americans took a lead by the midway point of the race and never let it go. Great Britain got within one second at the end, but the Americans had easily qualified for the 'A' final by that point.

Ochal and company will race for gold at 6:30 am EDT on Saturday; the Americans will be in lane 3 (Germany, Australia, U.S.A., Great Britain, Greece, Netherlands).

Gevvie Stone '07 will compete in the 'B' final after placing fourth in her semifinal. She finished in 7:52.98, more than six seconds behind the trio of Denmark, China and New Zealand.

Robin Prendes '11 and the U.S.A. men's lights moved up three spots from their Beijing finish by taking eighth in their event. The Americans placed second in their 'B' final in 6:09.23.

Two days following Julia Reinprecht '14, Katie Reinprecht '13 and the U.S.A. field hockey team's shutout victory over perennial power Argentina, the U.S. was unable to carry its momentum into Thursday's game as the squad suffered a 1-0 loss to Australia. With 2:55 remaining in the first half, Australia capitalized on a penalty corner to head into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

The Australians continued to pepper in shots throughout the second half, but the U.S. defense managed to deflect Australia's advances. The U.S. saw one of its best opportunities in the 30th minute of the second half, when the Americans were awarded a penalty corner. The shot looked to be on target, but an Australian player was there in time to deflect it before it crossed the goal line.

The U.S. currently is 1-2 in the tournament and is in fifth place in its six-team group B. The U.S. next plays New Zealand on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports.

Two Princetonians compete on Friday, including the debut for 2012 NCAA steeplechase champion Donn Cabral '12. The Roper Trophy recipient will compete in the third heat; the steeplechase heats begin at 8 am EDT. The top four in each heat, as well as the next three fastest times, will all make the final.

Diana Matheson '08 will lead Team Canada into the knockout round with a quarterfinal game against Great Britain at 2:30 pm EDT. Canada rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie Sweden and qualify for the quarterfinals.

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