For the record
The Olympics summary in our Sept. 14 print issue omitted a fourth Princeton medalist from the Rio Games: Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum ’92 earned bronze for Germany in the equestrian team-jumping event. Michaels-Beerbaum and her three teammates were flawless in a jump-off Aug. 17, breaking a third-place tie with Canada to win the medal. Michaels-Beerbaum also competed for Germany at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Goalie Ashleigh Johnson ’17’s quick, lunging saves have earned their share of oohs and aahs at DeNunzio Pool in her three seasons with the women’s water polo team.
On Aug. 19, she drew the same reactions from about 100 spectators on the DeNunzio pool deck — but there was little more than a ripple in the water.
Johnson was 4,800 miles away in Rio de Janeiro, playing for the United States in the Olympic final, which was projected on DeNunzio’s video screen. She stopped nine of 13 shots, including a penalty shot early in the third quarter, leading the Americans to the gold medal in a 12–5 rout of Italy. It was the last (and perhaps the most memorable) performance by the 13 Princetonians who competed in Rio.
The Tigers gave fans plenty to cheer about. At Glastonbury (Conn.) High School, about 200 people, many clad in “Team Donn” T-shirts, watched hometown favorite Donn Cabral ’12 leap, splash, and run his way to an eighth-place finish in the men’s steeplechase Aug. 17.
At a restaurant near the U.S. field hockey team’s training center in Manheim, Pa., supporters rooted for Julia Reinprecht ’14, Katie Reinprecht ’13, Kathleen Sharkey ’13, and their teammates as they opened the games 4-0, including wins over two of the world’s top three teams. (They eventually lost in the quarterfinals.)
And in Rio, on the shores of the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Princeton rowing coach Lori Dauphiny watched one of her program’s most accomplished graduates, Gevvie Stone ’07, cut through the waters to claim the silver medal in the single sculls Aug. 13.
Stone, a Massachusetts native who trains on the Charles River, felt right at home when she encountered a choppy stretch during her event final. “I thought, ‘Yes, this is Boston! This is what I want, rough water!’” she told USRowing.org.
Though she was unable to chase down world-champion Kimberley Brennan of Australia, Stone was happy to be on the podium in her final Olympic race. Between competing in London and Rio, she completed medical school at Tufts University, and next year, she’ll be moving on to her residency.
Stone, the only medalist among Princeton’s six Olympic rowers, had company in the gold-medal finals: Glenn Ochal ’08, a bronze medalist in 2012, finished fourth with the U.S. men’s eight, and Lauren Wilkinson ’11, a silver medalist in 2012, placed fifth with the Canadian women’s eight.
Another Canadian, veteran soccer midfielder Diana Matheson ’08, started four of her team’s six games, including a 2–1 win over host Brazil that earned Canada the bronze medal Aug. 19. Matheson and the Canadians also won bronze in London and were the only 2012 medalists to reach women’s soccer’s top three again in Rio.
Princeton has an Olympics history that dates back to the start of the modern games in 1896, and strictly by the medal tally — one gold, one silver, and one bronze — 2016 was not the most successful year for Princetonians. The London Games, in which 15 Tigers competed and six earned medals, proved to be a difficult standard to match. But this year’s competitors had their share of victories.
Women’s field hockey provided one of the best turnaround stories for Team USA, winning four of its five matches in pool play to earn a spot in the eight-team single-elimination bracket. The Reinprecht sisters, both national-team veterans, played key roles throughout the tournament, and Sharkey was a valuable part of a dynamic attack.
Sharkey was one of five first-time Olympians in the Princeton contingent, along with Johnson, fencer Kat Holmes ’17, and two rowers, Kate Bertko ’06 and Tyler Nase ’13. Nase rowed with former Princeton teammate Robin Prendes ’11 in the U.S. lightweight four, placing 10th overall.
For Prendes, a two-time Olympian, Rio was the culmination of his first four-year cycle on the national team, and he was grateful for the opportunity. “When you dedicate yourself completely to something for four additional years, it carries extra weight,” he told Row2k.com before the games. “It carries weight because you know of other athletes who worked just as hard as you did and didn’t make it.”