Giving Their All to Get to London This Summer

Even before the sun set on the Beijing Olympics in 2008, an elite group of UM athletes had their eyes and hearts set on this summer in London. On July 27, when the 2012 Olympic Games open, a number of them could be there, giving it their all. Here’s a rundown of some Hurricane hopefuls.

Diving Dreams
UM’s tradition of Olympic divers, exemplified by famous gold medalist Greg Louganis, ’81, is in full force this year. Representing USA Diving’s women are nine-time national champion Kelci Bryant, ’08, and Brittany Viola, B.S.C. ’11, who won NCAA platform titles for UM in 2008 and 2011, earned All-American honors, and is an NCAA 2012 Top VIII award recipient. Canadian diver Reuben Ross, B.S.C.E. ’10, who competed in the 10-meter platform and 3-meter springboard in Beijing, will get a second shot at fulfilling his Olympic dreams in London. Ross was a civil engineering major and the 2008 ACC Men’s Diver of the Year. Another engineering major hoping to dive his way into the Olympics on the 1-meter springboard is undergraduate Samuel Dorman, of Tempe, Arizona. And fighting for a spot in London from UM women’s swimming is student-athlete Kelsi Hall, whose event is the sprint freestyle.

Run Run Revolution
Olympic and World Championship medalist Lauryn Williams, B.B.A. ’05, aims to “inspire the next generation of athletic young women.”
London 2012 may serve as a reunion for UM women’s track and field. Though a serious ankle injury last year sidelined Tabia Charles, A.B. ’06, contenders T'Erea Brown, A.B. ’11, 12-time All-American Dominique Darden, B.B.A. ’06, Miami-based Lauryn Williams, B.B.A. ’05, and rising junior Thandi Stewart all hope to be Olympics-bound. Williams won a silver medal in the 100-meter at her first Olympic appearance in 2004. She won gold in 2005 and silver in 2007 at the World Championships. After competing in Beijing in 2008, Williams left the racing world for a couple of years. By 2010 she was back on the track, training at her alma mater, where she was a nine-time All-American and NCAA champion. Now placing in important national and international races, she hopes to go to her third Olympics. If these women make it, their coach will be none other than Amy Deem, Hurricanes director of track and field/cross country for men and women. USA Track and Field selected Deem, a personal coach to Williams and others during the 2004 and 2008 games, to lead its women’s team to victory this summer. Working to join the U.S. men’s team is All-American UM hurdler Devon Hill, A.B. ’12.

Siblings Who Sail
Another medalist seeking to regain Olympic glory is sailor Zach Railey. B.S.Ed. ’06. The 27-year-old Floridian who started sailing at age 8, won silver in the Finn class as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing team. This year he and his younger sister, Paige (an alternate in 2008), both scored U.S. team berths for the Olympic regatta in Weymouth.