Sports

Two alums will vie for Olympic medals in London

By
Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, July 1, 2012

This article has been updated to include the results of the Olympic trials for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.

Two alums will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London after making it through qualifying trials this month. Craig Kinsley ’11 will compete in javelin-throwing on the U.S. track and field team, and Nikola Stojic ’97 will compete in his fourth Olympic games as a member of Serbia’s men’s rowing team.                                              

Kinsley, the 2010 NCAA national champion in javelin-throwing, qualified June 25 for the U.S. national team with his third-place throw of 262 feet, 2 inches at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore.                                                           

“He’s worked really hard and has had a phenomenal career,” said Michelle Eisenreich, director of the men’s and women’s track and field program. “We’re really proud of him.” 

Kinsley, who re-joined the Brown program as an assistant coach after graduation, was a lauded college athlete. A three-time All American, Kinsley also won the Ivy League tournament competition four years in a row. Eisenreich said Kinsley stood out as a squad captain as a senior, a year he capped off by winning the school’s male athlete of the year award.  

“There was never any doubt in his mind or my mind that he was going to continue training after college,” Eisenreich said. “He shows that student-athletes at Brown can succeed at the highest levels of their sport.”
Bryan Powlen ’10, a thrower, and Dan Lowry ’12, a men’s distance runner, also competed in the track and field  trials, but neither qualified for a spot on the national team. 

Stojic, who rowed on the Bears men’s crew team, competed in the past three Summer Olympic games. He will represent his home country of Serbia once again in London.
“Nikola was an impressive oarsman and very successful during his time at Brown,” wrote Paul Cooke, head coach of the men’s crew team, in an email to The Herald. “He was very powerful and an aggressive racer.” 

Cooke added that Stojic competed at a high level as a Bear, helping the Bears secure a national championship in 1995.

Two current Bears – Briana Borgolini ’14 and Tommy Glenn ’14 – competed in the trials for the U.S. Olympic swimming team in Omaha, Neb. last week, but neither made it onto the team. 

“The Olympic trials have been a huge meet for me and unlike anything I’ve ever done before,” said Glenn, who swam in the 200 butterfly race. “There seems to be a lot less pressure bearing down on you because it’s just you trying to get the best time whether you’re there to qualify or not.”

Glenn said he felt he was able to “show off Brown” during the tryouts, highlighting the importance of the team to his career.

Alicia Sacramone – a former member of the Class of 2010 who was on the University’s gymnastics team before leaving in 2008 to concentrate on her professional career – competed in the trials for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.  Sacramone won a team silver medal in the 2008 Olympics and has won more World Championship medals than any other U.S. women gymnast in history.

Sacramone, who specializes in the vault and balance beam, did not make the team.

Gymnastics Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne wrote in an email to The Herald before the trials that she was not surprised to see Sacramone as a contender once again. “She is one of the toughest, most determined athletes and will do whatever it takes to be a viable candidate for the U.S. Olympic team,” Carver-Milne wrote.

Sacramone was the first gymnast in Ivy League history to win all four of the major artistic gymnastic events and the all-around competition at the Ivy championships. 

The news of alums competing in the Olympics reflects well on the University’s student-athletes, said Portia McGee ’01, a former member of the women’s crew team who competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics for the United States. 

“For the most part, coming from the Ivy League, you don’t necessarily get a huge number of people competing at that level,” McGee said. “Especially for a recent alum, it’s a real testament to the program because it shows it can be a place where an athlete can reach the absolute pinnacle of their athletic career.”

“It’s always great to have that representation,” said Becky Kellar-Duke ’97, who has won four Olympic medals as a member of Canada’s women’s ice hockey team.