Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Our local Olympic hopefuls

Lance Bade, Vancouver, age 33, Trap shooting

A bronze medalist at the 1996 Atlanta Games, Bade also made the U.S. team for the Sydney Games but did not medal. Bade won his fifth straight national trap-shooting championship last month to reach Athens. He won the title by hitting 25 straight targets in the final round. Bade, who began shooting in 1987 in Vancouver, today lives and trains in Colorado Springs.

Chris Belz, Switzerland, UW grad, age 29, 5,000 meters, track and field

Belz, a Washington grad, is the Swiss national record-holder in both the 3,000-meter steeplechase (8 minutes, 28.72 seconds, 2002) and 5,000 meters (13:12.16, 2003) and will compete in Athens in the 5,000 for Switzerland. In 2003, he finished 18th at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Belz, a two-time Pac-10 steeplechase runner-up, ran for the Swiss national team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Sue Bird, Seattle Storm, age 23, Women's basketball

Bird helped Connecticut win two NCAA tournament titles before being taken No. 1 overall by Seattle in the 2002 WNBA draft. She played on the U.S. squad in the 2002 world championships in China. The United States went undefeated (9-0) to win the gold medal as Bird averaged 4.3 points per game coming off the bench. While in college, she was named the 2002 Naismith and Associated Press player of the year.

Sarah Blakeslee, Vancouver, age 19, Small-bore rifle, shooting

Blakeslee has been shooting for five years and has been a member of the national team for three years. Her specialty is the three-position small-bore rifle, in which she made the U.S. team. She started shooting as a 4-H club member with her younger brother. Today Blakeslee lives and trains in Colorado Springs. On the final day of competition at the U.S. trials, she recorded her best score to move from third to first place.

Sandy Brondello, Storm last season, age 35, Australia, women's basketball

Brondello, who will play for her native Australia in Athens, joined Seattle as a free agent for the 2003 season. She opted to stay home this season to heal a foot injury and try out for the Australian team. During her one season with the Storm, Brondello averaged 8.2 points and 2.0 assists per game. She also shot 43.8 percent from three-point range, second-best in the WNBA. Brondello was selected to the WNBA's inaugural All-Star Game in 1999. She is playing on her fourth Olympic team.

David Calder, Seattle, age 26, Canada, men's pair, rowing

A native of Victoria, B.C., Calder will represent Canada in the men's pair. He rowed at UW from 1998-2001, and has been on the Canadian national team for eight years. It is his second Olympics, having rowed on the men's eight in Sydney. He was also on Canada's world champion men's eight last year but for Athens he teams with Chris Jarvis in men's pair. He hopes to enter law school after the Olympics.

Kathy Colin, UW grad, age 30, K-2 500, K-4 500, kayak

Colin, making her second Olympic appearance in flatwater kayaking, is a native of Kailua, Hawaii. A state champion in gymnastics during high school, she took up kayaking in 1991 while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. She began rowing after joining the Huskies. As a sophomore, her junior varsity boat won the national championship in Cincinnati. Colin, a 1997 UW grad, posted two sixth-place finishes in doubles kayak semifinal races in Sydney.

Matt Deakin, UW grad, age 24, Men's eights, rowing

Deakin, a 2003 graduate of Washington, finished fourth in the eights at the 2004 BearingPoint World Cup stop in Lucerne, Switzerland, and won a gold medal in the men's four with coxswain at the '03 FISA World Championships. He also was a member of the championship eight at the 2003 Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Mass. A first-time Olympian, competing in the men's eights, Deakin is a two-time senior national team member.

Gail Devers, Seattle native, age 31, 100-meter hurdles, track and field

Devers, who will compete in the 100-meter hurdles, was born in Seattle. She fought life-threatening Graves' Disease from 1988-91, which required chemotherapy and radiation. She won Olympic gold in the 100 meters in 1992 and '96 and was also on the gold-medal 400 relay team in '96. At the 1992 Games, she led the hurdles until the final barrier, when she fell, then stumbled across the finish line in fifth place.

Jennifer Devine, Seattle, age 35, Single sculls, rowing

Devine has earned a medical degree and an undergraduate degree in molecular biology from UW but delayed the start of her residency in physical medicine/rehabilitation to train for Athens. Devine, a 1996 Olympian who finished ninth in double sculls, never competed in sports in high school. She is a five-time U.S. national team member and will compete in the single sculls in Athens.

J. Sloan DuRoss, Pocock Rowing, age 27, Quadruple sculls, rowing

A former Seattle resident, DuRoss also is a former member of Seattle's Pocock Rowing Center. His quadruple sculls crew qualified for the Olympics at the last-chance regatta in Lucerne in June, finishing second. DuRoss and his U.S. teammates are trying to give America just its second medal in this event. DuRoss won back-to-back silver medals in the eights at the 1997 and '98 under-23 world championships.

Anson Henry, WSU grad, age 25, Canada, 400 relay, track and field

Henry, a native of Pickering, Ontario, became an All-American while at Washington State. He will compete on Canada's 400 relay team in Athens. The sprinter won Pac-10 titles in the 100 and 200 in 2002. He was named an NCAA track-and-field All-American in both indoors and outdoors. Henry also took bronze in the 100 at the 2002 Canadian championships.

Morgan Hicks, Roy, age 22, Small-bore rifle, shooting

Hicks, born in Tacoma, was accepted to Murray State on a shooting scholarship, where she won the NCAA air-rifle championship this year. Though her specialty is air rifle, Hicks qualified for the Games by placing second in the three-position small-bore rifle at the trials. An eight-time All-American, Hicks led Murray State to the Ohio Valley Conference championship this year. She became interested in shooting after going to her older brother's gun club.

Aretha Hill, UW grad, age 27, Discus, track and field

Hill, who attended Renton High School and graduated from Washington in 2003, now lives in Opelika, Ala. She won the discus at the U.S. trials with a throw of 208 feet, 6 inches. Hill, who also won last year's national title, threw a career-best 215-9 in April to move into third place on the all-time U.S. list. She posted nine of the top 11 throws by Americans in 2003.

Tiombe Hurd, Seattle native, age 30, Triple jump, track and field

Born in Seattle, Hurd, who is legally blind, won the triple jump at the U.S. trials with an American-record leap of 47-5 last month. She also won the indoor triple jump title this year. "Being an Olympian and knowing I'm going to Athens is all I've been waiting for four years," said Hurd, who moved to Virginia as a high-school sophomore. Hurd won a bronze medal at the 2001 world championships.

Lauren Jackson, Seattle Storm, age 23, Australia, women's basketball

The reigning MVP of the WNBA, Jackson, a native Australian, led the host team to a silver medal at the Sydney Games in 2000 — at the age of 19. She was taken No. 1 overall by the Storm in the 2001 WNBA draft. Jackson is the youngest player and first international player to win the league's MVP award. She joined Australian national team at age 17.

Nate Johnson, Seattle, age 27, 500, 1,000 sprint canoe doubles

Johnson will make his Olympic debut in Athens after ending up as an alternate in 1996 and 2000. He will compete in the 500- and 1,000-meter sprint canoe double with Jordan Malloch, also of Seattle. Johnson, a 1995 graduate of Nathan Hale High, began paddling in 1989 on Green Lake. He and Malloch were double bronze medalists at the 1999 Pan Am Games.

Sarah Jones, Stanwood, age 30, Women's eight, rowing

Jones, who qualified in the women's pair with Kate MacKenzie of Novi, Mich., was previously a member of the U.S. women's eight. That crew took silver at both the 1998 and '99 world championships. Jones and MacKenzie were also members of the sixth-place women's eight at the Sydney Games. Jones' spine was once punctured by an oncoming shell, and she had to undergo surgery to walk again.

Seth Kelsey, Brush Prairie, age 22, Epee, fencing

Kelsey, a two-time national champion, will compete in the men's team and individual epee events in his Olympic debut. He is attempting to become the first American to medal in the men's epee since 1928. In January, Kelsey won an event in Estonia, becoming the first American to record a victory in epee at a European World Cup. He also was a member of world-championship teams in 1998, 2002 and '03.

Dana Kirk, Bremerton, age 20, 100 butterfly, swimming

Kirk, who won the 200 butterfly at the U.S. trials, joins her older sister, Tara, as the first pair of sisters to qualify for the U.S. Olympic swim team in the same year. Dana, who will be a junior at Stanford in the fall, won her first U.S. title in 2001 in the 100 fly. She has also competed in the 2001 Goodwill Games, 2002 Pan Pacifics and 2003 Pan American Games. Kirk recorded 21 victories this past college season, the second-highest number on the team.

Tara Kirk, Bremerton, age 22, 100 breaststroke, swimming

Kirk, a Stanford product, qualified for the 100 breaststroke by finishing second at the U.S. trials. She received the Honda-Broderick Cup this year, given to the top collegiate woman athlete. Kirk this year also became the only woman in history to win the 100 breaststroke all four years of college at the NCAA championships. She also won three 200 breaststroke titles and never lost a collegiate 100 breaststroke race.

Bernard Lagat, WSU, age 29, Kenya, 1,500, track and field

Lagat, a former Washington State All-American, will run in the men's 1,500 for Kenya. He captured the bronze in the event at the Sydney Games. Lagat joined the Cougars track staff as a volunteer coach and is finishing his degree in management information systems. At the Gaz de France Golden League meet last month, Lagat won the 1,500 in 3:29.21, the fastest time in the world this year.

Walker Loseno, Renton, age 22, Greece, women's soccer

The 5-foot-5 midfielder, who begins her senior season in the fall at Gonzaga, will be playing for Greece in Athens. Loseno, a Kentridge High graduate, played with the Greek national team in the 2003 Nordic Cup in Denmark, helping it finish in sixth place. Her great-grandparents came to the United States from Greece, which, years later, has given her a chance to play for the Greek team.

Jordan Malloch, Seattle, age 23, 500, 1,000 sprint canoe doubles

Partnering with Seattle's Nate Johnson for Athens, Malloch finished 15th in the 1,000 single and 16th in 500 single in Sydney. He will compete in the solo and double sprint canoe events in Athens. Malloch is a 2003 UW graduate and is engaged to be married next September. Malloch and Johnson are being trained by Dave Fort of the Seattle Canoe Club. Malloch and Johnson have spent many years living and training at the U.S. Olympic Center in Chula Vista, Calif., but prefer to train where it all began — on Green Lake.

Brett McClure, Mill Creek, age 23, Men's gymnastics

McClure, a 2001 and 2003 world-championship team member, finished second in 2001 but was fifth last year. Known as a solid all-around athlete, he placed second at the U.S. trials in June. He is interested in business and likes to deejay. McClure was introduced to the sport of gymnastics in 1990, when the Goodwill Games were held in Seattle. McClure is engaged to 1996 Olympic gymnastic gold medalist Jaycie Phelps.

Anna Mickelson, Bellevue, age 24, Women's eight, rowing

A 2002 graduate of UW, Mickelson is a four-time national team member. She was a member of the Huskies eights that won NCAA titles in 2001 and 2002 and was also on the 2002 world-champion women's eight. Mickelson, who joins former Husky Mary Whipple and Seattle native Lianne Nelson on the Olympic eights, plans to begin pursuing her master's degree in 2006.

Aaron Myette, UW, age 26, Canada, baseball

Myette, who pitched for the University of Washington in 1996, is a member of the Canadian baseball team. He attended the UW for one year before transferring to a junior college (Central Arizona CC) to make himself eligible for the draft a year earlier. He is playing in the Reds organization at the AAA level this year, but has appeared in the majors for both the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians.

Sue Nattrass, Seattle, age 53, Canada, trap shooting

Nattrass, competing for Canada in Athens, is a pioneer for women trap-shooters around the world. At the 1976 Montreal Games, she became the first woman to enter the trap-shooting event. She also led the movement to make trap and double trap separate events for women, which came to fruition at the Sydney Games. The five-time Olympian and member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame holds a PhD and is the director of the osteoporosis research unit at the PacMed Clinic in Seattle. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

Lianne Nelson, Seattle, age 32, Women's eight, rowing

Nelson, competing in the women's eight, is participating in her second Olympics; her women's eight finished sixth in Sydney. A seven-time national team member, Nelson helped Princeton win three straight NCAA varsity eight titles from 1993-1995. She was named USRowing's female athlete of the year in 1998 and is a four-time national champion. She joins former Huskies Mary Whipple and Anna Mickelson on the Olympic eights.

Nathan O'Brien, Bellevue, age 21, Canada, 200 backstroke, swimming

O'Brien, competing for Canada, stunned Canadian record-holder Keith Beaver to win the 200 backstroke at the Olympic trials. The Eastlake High graduate also will swim in the 200 butterfly in Athens. O'Brien is a second-generation Olympian. His mother, Lisa, swam for Canada at the 1976 Montreal Games, finishing 10th in the 800 freestyle. Nathan's grandfather, James, played football for UW, and his father, Tom, swam for Stanford.

Vladimir Radmanovic, Seattle Sonic, age 23, Serbia-Montenegro, men's basketball

The Sonics' 6-foot-10 forward Radmanovic will be playing for the Serbia-Montenegro national team. He averaged 9.7 points and 5.3 rebounds as Serbia-Montenegro won the Diamond Ball pre-Olympic tournament. For the Sonics last season, he averaged 12 points and 5.3 rebounds

Jennie Reed, Kirkland, age 26, Sprint, 500 time trial, cycling

Reed, who learned to race at the Marymoor Velodrome and is a graduate of Issaquah High, qualified for the Games in the sprint and the 500-meter time trial. She leads the international World Cup keirin (small-group track sprint) rankings with a gold, silver and six fourth-place finishes. Reed attended UW, helping the Huskies win the 1996 collegiate track cycling championship. In 1998, she was named the USA Cycling elite female track athlete of the year.

Jarred Rome, Marysville, age 27, Discus, track and field

Rome, who graduated from Marysville-Pilchuck High in 1995, won his first national discus title at last month's trials with a throw of 215 feet, 9 inches to reach Athens. His throw of 221-6 earlier this month was the sixth-longest throw in the world this year. Rome has a master's degree in business education. He won six national titles at Boise State in the shot and discus.

Greg Ruckman, Camano Island, age 30, Lightweight double sculls, rowing

Ruckman, heading to his second Olympics, will pair with Steve Tucker in lightweight double sculls. A graduate of Harvard, Ruckman finished sixth in Sydney in the lightweight four. He won a gold at the 1999 world championships with the lightweight eight, a non-Olympic boat. Ruckman finished 13th in his current Olympic event at the 2003 world championships. The best U.S. Olympic finish in double sculls is ninth in 1996

Jennifer Spediacci, UW grad, age 26, Italy, softball

Spediacci, who will play for Italy at the Olympics, was named MVP of the 2000 Washington softball team, amassing 34 wins and 316 strikeouts while leading the team to its fifth straight College World Series appearance. The senior pitcher finished her career as the Huskies record-holder in more than 10 categories. She's considered the ace on the Italian team.

Sean Spencer, UW grad, age 29, Greece, baseball

Spencer is one of 22 players from either Canada or the United States who will be on the Greece Olympic baseball team. A left-handed pitcher, he began his major-league baseball career on May 6, 1999, with the Mariners. Spencer played for two seasons on two different teams (Mariners and Montreal Expos) and ended his big-league career in 2000. This season, Spencer returned to the Class AA Bowie (Md.) Bay Sox after starting the season with the Ottawa Lynx, Baltimore's Class AAA team in the International League.

Amy Tryon, Duvall, age 34, Three-day eventing, equestrian

Duvall, a firefighter with Eastside Fire and Rescue, made the Olympic team, her first, with Canadian-bred horse My Beau. Tryon will compete with Poggio II, a Washington-bred gelding that originally qualified as an alternate. Tryon is part of the eventing team, which competes in three disciplines: dressage, cross country and stadium jumping. She finished fourth at the 1999 Pan Am Games in the individual event and helped the U.S. team win the gold medal.

Ian Waltz, WSU grad, age 27, Discus, track and field

Waltz finished second in discus at the Olympic trials to Jarred Rome of Marysville, his best friend, to make the team. While at Washington State, Waltz became a seven-time All-American and set the school discus record. He won Pac-10 discus titles in 1997 and 2000 and also claimed a conference shot put title in 1997. He will enter WSU's pharmacy school next year.

Mary Whipple, UW grad, age 24,Women's eight, rowing

The coxswain for the U.S. women's eight helped her team win the world championship in 2002 in Seville, Spain. It was the U.S. eight's first world title since 1995. At Washington, she guided the Huskies eights to NCAA championships in 2001 and 2002 and helped win a national title in the fours in 1999. Whipple joins former Husky Anna Mickelson and Seattle native Lianne Nelson on the Olympic eights.

Alternates, coaches and officials

These are the coaches, officials or alternates on their respective Olympic teams:

Michael Callahan, 30, Seattle, rowing. A former UW rower who recently returned to his alma mater as the coach of the men's freshman team, Callahan is a spare on the Olympic team. Callahan rowed at Washington from 1993-96. On the varsity eight his final three years at UW, he won three straight conference titles. In international competition, Callahan represented the United States on 14 occasions.

Jaime Clark, 23, Seattle, softball. Clark, named as an alternate, was a three-time All-American at Washington. She was a gold medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games and won a silver medal in the softball junior women's world championship in 1999. A four-year starter for the Huskies, Clark led the nation with 176 total bases and was second with 23 home runs and 24 doubles in 2000. Her UW teams reached the College World Series in 2000 and '03.

Anne Donovan, 42, Seattle, women's basketball. The second-year coach of the Seattle Storm, Donovan is an assistant coach with the Olympic team. As a player she helped the United States to gold medals in 1984 and 1988. Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999, Donovan also helped Old Dominion to a 116-20 record during her college playing days, including a 1983 Final Four appearance.

Sarah Hirst, 27, Seattle, rowing. Hirst, an Olympic spare, has been affiliated with Pocock Rowing since 2001 and began rowing at Emory University in 1995. She won the lightweight women's single sculls at this year's U.S. world championship trials. In her first appearance on the U.S. national team in 2003, Hirst won a silver and a bronze medal at the Pan American Games.

Mary McCagg, 37, Seattle, USOC. A former Olympic rower, McCagg is now the assistant chef de mission for the U.S. delegation. She also has also been elected to the new streamlined 11-person board of the USOC, down from 125 members. McCagg, who grew up in Seattle, now lives in Cambridge, Mass., where she is an editor for Candlewick Press. Mary and sister Betsy made their first U.S. elite team in 1989, then were on the team together from 1991-97, including both the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics.

Chrissy Messick, Seattle, women's basketball. Messick is the athletic trainer for the USA women's basketball team. She is an assistant athletic trainer at UW.

Erik Miller, 30, Renton, rowing. The former UW rower is a seven-time national team member going to Athens as a spare. The Eastside Catholic High product was on the bronze-medal men's eight at the 2002 USRowing national championships.

Molly O'Rourke, 20, Oak Harbor, Judo. Attends San Francisco State. She is an alternate at 78 kilograms. Ranked first in the United States in her weight class, she placed fifth at the 2004 Pan American Judo Union Championship in Venezuela in June, part of the Olympic selection process.

Hope Solo, 23, UW grad, soccer. Solo is an alternate on the U.S. women's soccer team as the third goalkeeper. A native of Richland, she competed for UW from 1999-2002. She has been playing in Sweden, where she is the starting keeper for Kopparsbergs/Goteborg FC, where she tallied six shutouts this season as the league's best goalie.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company


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