Upper Midwest Olympic Update: Jager takes sixth in steeplechase
LONDON - Former University of Wisconsin runner Evan Jager took sixth yesterday in the finals of the Olympic men's steeple-chase in London.
Jager completed the three-thousand meters in eight-minutes, 23-point-87 seconds. That was more than five seconds behind the winner, Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya. Also in track-and-field, former UW trackster Egle Staisiunaite failed to qualify in the 400-meter hurdles. Running for her native Lithuania, she placed fifth in the first of five heats, with a time of :57.79.
The United States volleyball team finished pool play undefeated with a straight set victory over Turkey yesterday at the London Olympics. The team is coached by University of Minnesota head coach Hugh McCutcheon. Former University of Minnesota star Lindsey Berg suffered a leg injury in the victory, but told reporters after the match that she would be fine. She hinted that she likely would have kept playing had the match been more closely contested. The Americans enter the quarterfinals tomorrow to take on the Dominican Republic.
The U.S. women's basketball team crushed China 114-66 yesterday to close out group play with an undefeated record. The 114 points tied an Olympic record which was set by the Americans against Spain in the 1992 Barcelona Games. Hutchinson native Lindsay Whalen scored ten points in the victory. Minnesota Lynx player Maya Moore had 12 points and seven rebounds, while Seimone Augustus chipped in with eight points. Diana Taurasi scored a game-high 22 points. The United States also set an Olympic record with 30 assists in the game, including four by Whalen. The U.S. plays its first elimination game Tuesday against Canada.
The U.S. men's basketball team held off Lithuania 99-94 on Saturday at the London Olympics. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds in 12 minutes of action as Team USA improved to a perfect 4-0 in Group A play. The Americans wrap up group play today against Argentina.
St. Michael native Chas Betts will make his first appearance in the London Olympics today with a first-round Greco-Roman wrestling match. Betts will take on Keitoni Graham of Micronesia in the 84-kilogram classification. His match is scheduled to begin sometime after 7 a.m., Minnesota time this morning. Betts is a former Minnesota state high school champ, who won a national title at Northern Michigan.
Ben Provisor of Stevens Point was eliminated in the 74-kilogram Greco-Roman wrestling category. Provisor won his first match over Alexei Bel of Cuba. But he lost his second match to Zurabi Datunashvili of Georgia. He retired near the end of the second period with an elbow injury. And he lost his chance to wrestle back for third place, when Datunashvili lost his next match.
Milwaukee native Beezie Madden and her U.S. equestrian squad were almost eliminated from the team competition yesterday - but they're tied for seventh going into today's finals. Madden suffered four faults, and her horse Via Volo knocked down a rail. That was after she was eliminated from the individual competition on Saturday when Via Volo refused to jump twice.