Cal Athletes Shine in Sydney





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Sydney has seen a lot of Cal athletes compete over the past couple of weeks. All in all, 30 current and former Cal athletes have competed or will soon battle for the gold at the 2000 Olympics.

The most notable performance for the Bears was that of sophomore Anthony Ervin, who swam his way to a tie for the gold (21.98) with fellow U.S. athlete Gary Hall, Jr. in the 50-meter freestyle. Ervin also snagged a silver in the 400 freestyle relay.

In other swimming news, Cal senior Waen Minpraphal competed for Thailand in the 100 butterfly (1:02.99), sophomore Staciana Stitts raced in the 100 breastroke (1:10.54) and former Cal team captain Elli Overton made it to the semifinals in the 200 individual medley (2:15.74).

Recent graduate Bart Kizierowski captured fifth place in the 50 free for Poland (22.22) and Croatian Cal alumnus Gordan Kozulj placed eighth in the 200 backstroke (1:59.38).

Also competing in Sydney's waters are several water polo players attached to the Cal program.

Under the helm of former Cal coach Maureen O'Toole, students Ericka Lorenz and Heather Petri and former Bears standout Courtney Johnson helped carry the U.S. national team to a silver medal at the Olympic Games.

The U.S. team took on and defeated the Netherlands, Canada, Russia, Australia and Kazakhstan before falling to Australia in the medal round.

Cal's male water polo athletes were also represented in Sydney. Former standouts Gavin Arroyo, Chris Humbert, Sean Nolan and Chris Oeding played for the U.S. team, which currently holds a disappointing 1-3-0 record. The U.S. played Greece early this morning but results were not available at press time.

At the beaches, former Cal volleyball player Holly McPeak made it all the way to the women's quarterfinals with partner Misty May before being eliminated by a pair from Brazil.

Sand wasn't the only court the Bears played on. Cal alum Patrycja Czepiec helped the Polish women's basketball team advance to the quarterfinal round with 16 points and 16 rebounds in competition against New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, Cuba, and the U.S. Today, Poland will play Australia in the quarterfinal round.

Former men's basketball superstars Jason Kidd and Shareef Abdur-Rahim signed on for Dream Team 2000 and have been busy steamrolling opponents on their way to the quarterfinal game against Russia, scheduled for tomorrow.

Abdur-Rahim has amassed 48 points over the course of four games (results from the U.S. vs. New Zealand game were not available) as well as 19 rebounds. Kidd has recorded 26 points, 19 rebounds and 18 assists.

Another basketball Cal alum, Sean Marks, was a consistent powerhouse on the New Zealand team averaging 13 points and seven rebounds over the course of four of his five games. The New Zealand squad went 0-5 and was eliminated from quarterfinal competition.

The Bears' crew program turned out six Olympic athletes for the 2000 Games competing for four different countries.

Yugoslavian nationals Mladen Stegic, Ivan Smiljanic and Filip Filipic rowed their way to an eighth-place overall finish in the men's coxless four event (6:01.54) finishing just ahead of the Norway squad, staffed by Cal's Nito Simonsen (6:04.28).

In the men's coxless pair, Cal grad Sebastian Bea and teammate Ted Murphy took the silver for the U.S. with a time of 6:33.80.

Fellow alumnus Djordje Visacki and teammate Nikola Stojic took fifth place in the event for Yugoslavia (6:38.70).

Another former Cal student, Lauren Korholz, competed for the U.S. in the women's quadruple sculls. The U.S. team finished fifth with a 6:30.26.

In the men's quadruple sculls, Cal junior Jake Wetzel helped the U.S. take seventh overall with a 5:49.76.

Peter Cipollone, another former Bear, went after the big boats and helped stroke the U.S. men's eight squad to the fifth-place spot (5:39.16).

Cal junior Nicole DiSalvio turned out a good performance as the Italian softball team's go-to pitcher. Pitching in five of Italy's six games, DiSalvio racked up 11 strikeouts and one save while giving up five hits, six runs to go along with one loss.

Italy competed against China, Australia, Cuba, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the gold-medal winning U.S. team.

In other ball-related sports, two former Cal players are representing the U.S. on the women's soccer team. So far, former Bears players Joy Fawcett and Brandi Chastain, who transferred to Santa Clara after her freshman year with the Bears, have helped the U.S. team earn their spot in the final round with victories over teams from Norway, Nigeria, Japan, Brazil and a tie with China.

Tomorrow's game is a rematch for the gold between the U.S. and Norway.

Former Bears track star Chris Huffins began his first day of the decathlon for the U.S. this morning. Day One will see him competing in the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump and the 400 with the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500 held tomorrow.

Cal's Bolota Asmerom also competes today for Eritrea in the grueling 5000-meter.

Bears athlete Cara-Heads-Lane competed in the 75 kilogram (165 pound) weightlifting division and placed seventh in the finals.

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