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July 5, 2012
The London Olympics are just a few weeks away now and once again Indiana University will be well represented. We'll run down the Olympians as we know them today and provide you a profile of each to get you ready for their events.
Here's a quick rundown of the Olympians as we know them today:
Diving - Women
Christina Loukas (United States) - made her second straight Olympics in the 3-meter springboard last month by finishing runner-up to Cassidy Krug at the U.S. trials. At the 2008 Olympics she finished ninth. Her IU career finished in 2009 after becoming an eight-time NCAA All-American. One of only four Big Ten divers to win all three diving events at the conference championships. Two time national diving champion. Native of Riverwoods, Illinois. After taking some time off after the 2008 Olympics, Loukas trained for the team at The Woodlands near Houston, Texas. Recent feature on Loukas by Houston Chronicle.
Swimming - Men
Nicholas Schwab (Dominican Republic) - a senior-to-be at Indiana, he will compete in the 200-meter freestyle. Mother is from Dominican Republic and he was granted citizenship last year. Owns national record for DR in the 400-meter freestyle and finished 47th overall in the 200-meter freestyle at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China. From Miami, Florida and started his college career at Florida Atlantic, transferring to Indiana after two years. Owns his own company, Dynasty Athletic Wear, with fellow college student Davon Harding.
Swimming - Women
Dorina Szaekeres (Hungary) - the IU soph-to-be is a native Hungarian who will compete in the 200-meter backstroke. She placed 11th in the 200-yard backstroke this year at the 2012 Big Ten Championships and was fifth in the 200-yard individual medley.
Margaux Farrell (France) - named as an alternate for the 4 x 200 freestyle relay. Finished her Indiana career this past season but before that set a school record in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 55.69 at the World University Games in China last August. She previously broke the school record in the 200-yard free at the 2010 NCAA Championships, earning an 11th place finish and All-American Honors.? Originally from Woodbridge, Connecticut, she owns dual citizenship with France and United States.
Kate Fesenko (Ukraine) - the former IU All-American and 2010 NCAA Champion will compete in her third straight Olympics for her native Ukraine after being named to the 4x200 freestyle relay. In 2010 in her final season for Indiana she became the first women's swimmer from the school to win a NCAA title, taking home first in the 200 backstroke. She remains the only Big Ten swimmer to ever go under 1:50 in the event (1:49.92). When she left Indiana she had the five-fastest times in school history in the 100 back and 200 back and has four of the top five times in school history in the 100 butterfly. Named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year in 2009. Both her parents competed in the Olympics. Father Mykhail earned a fourth place finish in the 200 IM at the 1988 games in Seoul and mother Natalia was a member of the first Ukrainian team at the 1992 games in Barcelona. Married to former IU swimming star Sergiy Fesenko.
Track and Field - Men
Derek Drouin (Canada) - just last week the IU junior won the Canadian trials in the high jump, clearing 2.31 meters (7'7"). He's only the second person in the world to clear that height three times this season. First high jumper from IU to make the Olympics and his appearance in London will make eight straight Olympics that a Hoosier track and field athlete has competed. A native of Corunna, Ontario, Druin has earned three NCAA titles in the high jump, most recently taking the NCAA indoors with a leap of 2.33 meters (7'7 3/4"). Not just a high jumper as he owns the second-best score in IU history in the heptathlon and the 110m hurdles and high jump at the Big Ten vs. SEC Challenge.
Field Hockey - Women
Kayla Bashore-Smedley (United States) - will be the only Big Ten representative on the USA team that was announced last month. This will be her second Olympics. Competed for Indiana from 2001-05, leading the Hoosiers to the 2005 NCAA tournament. Was a finalist for conference player of year her final season in Bloomington. Since graduating she's gone on to compete on several USA teams beyond the Olympics including World Cup, Pan-American Games, Champions Challenge as well as regular time with the U.S. National Team. Bashore-Smedley is a native of Shoemaker, Pennsylvania.
Basketball - Men
Eric Gordon (United States) - the NBA star is one of 15 finalists for the USA 12-man roster that will be announced after a team practice this Saturday, July 7th. Just two days ago Gordon signed a four-year, $58 million offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns. Because he's a restricted free agent, the New Orleans Hornets can keep Gordon by matching that contract and recent media reports indicate that is likely the case.? The USA team assembles later today in Las Vegas for its first team practice. The Indianapolis native played one year in Bloomington, becoming the first every Hoosier freshman to averaged more than 20 points per game.
A couple Hoosiers came oh-so close to making the Olympic team for the United States. Andy Bayer was one place off the U.S. Olympic team with a fourth place finish last weekend in the 1,500 meter run. He recently won the NCAA Championship in the event and with another year of eligibility, he has a great opportunity for a huge senior season and making future Olympic teams.
The same fate was the case for Ben Hesen, an Indiana graduate that finished fourth last week in the USA men's swimming trials in the 100-meter backstroke. Like Bayer, Hesen is a former NCAA champion and currently works as an IU student coach.
The opening ceremonies for the Olympics will be on Friday, July 27th.