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Olympic Update, Day #5: Hendershot Rally Falls Just Short Of Medal Stand

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 08/01/2012
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
Sara Hendersot '10 placed fourth in the pairs final during Day 5 of the London Games.
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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

Less than seven weeks after a dramatic rally landed her a spot in the 2012 London Games, Sara Hendershot '10 almost did it again. Hendershot and her U.S. pairs teammate Sarah Zelenka rallied from sixth to within .2 of a second from reaching the medal stand.

Hendershot was one of three Princetonians to compete during Day 5 of the Olympics, and she nearly earned the first medal among the Tiger 16. Hendershot and Zelenka, who rallied from a five-second deficit to win the Olympic Trials final, found themselves in sixth at the 500-meter mark during Wednesday's A final.

At 1000, they were fifth, almost four seconds from third.

At 1500, they were fourth, almost two seconds from third.

Had the race been 2100 meters, and maybe even 2050, then who knows. But at the 2000-meter mark, New Zealand held on for bronze in 7:30.19, while the U.S.A. finished fourth in 7:30.39. The margin was razor-thin, as seen in this tweet by @PrinceSports.

Sam Loch '06 also raced for a medal Wednesday morning, as he was in the bow seat for the Australian men's eights. Like the U.S. pairs, the Australian boat made a furious rally over the final 500 to push for the medal stand. Unfortunately, so did the rest of the crews, and the Australians remained in sixth despite getting within one second of third-place Great Britain.

Soren Thompson '05 lost his Olympic debut in the épeé competition, falling in his opening-round match to Germany's Joerg Fiedler.

Thursday promises to be a big day for Princeton, which could pick up as many as three medals in one event. The women's eights finals are at 7:30 am EDT, and both the U.S.A. and Canada are favored to reach the medal stand. The Americans have Caroline Lind '06 in the 7-seat, while the Canadians are stroked by Andréanne Morin '06 and have Lauren Wilkinson '11 in the 4-seat.

The last time these teams met was in a World Cup final in May; the U.S. topped Canada by .03 of a second to win.

Both Gevvie Stone '07 and Glenn Ochal '08 will be looking for spots in their respective gold medal finals. Ochal (men's fours) races in lane three of the second semifinal at 5:20 am, while Stone (single sculls) races in lane 2 of the second semifinal at 6:20 am.

Robin Prendes '11 races in the B final of the men's lightweight fours at 5 a.m.

The U.S.A. field hockey team will look to build off the momentum of Tuesday's 1-0 win over Argentina when it takes on Australia at 5:45 am EDT. Both the U.S.A. and Australia are 1-1 so far in pool play.

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