Dartmouth alums. return from Olympics without medals
By Diana Ming, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The 2012 Summer Olympics came to an official end on Sunday for thousands of world-class athletes, including four Dartmouth alumni who represented the United States in the London Games.
Erik Storck ’07 and his crewman Trevor Moore finished 15th out of 20 in the overall standings in the men’s 49er, a sailing event that requires athletes to compete in 15 races.
Storck, the skipper, and Moore sailed their first two races on July 30, coming in sixth in their first race and 10th in their second. The team moved into 17th place in the overall race standings after the first weekend of competition, but failed to qualify for the medal race. In the final preliminary races on Aug. 6, the duo recorded their fourth top 10 finish, taking eighth place in race 14 with a time of 31:52, 59 seconds behind New Zealand, the leading team at the time.
Australia took the gold, netting 56 total points in the low scoring-based event, while New Zealand claimed silver with 76 points and Denmark earned bronze with 114 points. Storck and Moore earned 157 total points, making them the 15th overall after nine days of competition.
“The whole experience has been phenomenal,” Storck said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “Walking the opening ceremonies with the entire American team chanting ‘USA’ in the tunnel before we entered the stadium was amazing.”
Storck said he had never received such widespread attention in his sport. He was particularly struck by the number of spectators that attended the races, he said.
“At most regattas you’re sailing for yourself, but at the Olympics you look up on your sail and see the American flag on it,” he said. “We didn’t quite perform to our ability but it was really special.”
While Storck finished competing on Aug. 8, he stayed through the closing ceremonies to support his teammates on the U.S. sailing team.
Phoebe Palmer ’14, a member of the Dartmouth sailing team, said the entire team closely followed Storck’s progress in London.
“It was great feeling personally connected to the Olympics like this,” Palmer said. “Erik is our coach’s brother, and he’s come to practice and sailed with us. It’s really an honor to see him compete on the highest level.”
Evelyn Stevens ’05 placed 24th in the women’s cycling road race on July 29 with a time of 3:33:57, 27 seconds behind gold medalist Marianne Vos from the Netherlands. Stevens, a former Big Green tennis player, defeated Vos in a race in Belgium just three months prior to the Games.
Head women’s tennis coach Robert Dallis, who coached Stevens for three years, said he is extremely proud of her accomplishments in London.
“Ev was a really hard worker and was always really fit,” Dallis said. “The strength of her game was her ability to stay on the court as long as necessary.”
Dallis also said Stevens’ athletic achievements are inspiring, given that she only took up cycling after graduating from Dartmouth.
“The fact she played tennis at a high level at Dartmouth and now is in the Olympics for cycling is really unique,” he said. “She’s clearly a world-class athlete.”
Stevens left a career in investment banking in 2009 to pursue professional cycling, Dallis said.
“The fact that she realized that banking wasn’t her passion and found cycling instead is really amazing,” he said.
Anthony Fahden ’08, and the other members of the U.S. lightweight four rowing team rebounded after a slow start in the team’s first Olympic heat on July 28 to take first place in the July 29 consolation heat, earning a spot in the semifinals.
The boat — which included Fahden, Harvard University graduate Will Newell, Princeton University graduate Robin Prendes and Columbia University graduate Nick LaCava — advanced to the “B” final after finishing fifth in the semifinals with a time of 6:05.06. Fahden and his crew earned a second-place finish in the “B” final on Aug. 2, with a time of 6:09.23. This time earned the U.S. boat an eighth-place overall finish in the competition. South Africa took gold in the event in the “A” final, finishing with a time of 6:02.84.
Former Big Green lightweight rowing coach Steve Perry, who coached at the College and now coaches at the U.S. Naval Academy, said he believes that Fahden had a “fantastic” showing in London.
“The Olympic team is really the big leagues, and for lightweight men, there are only six seats on the team so it’s very competitive,” Perry said.
Many of the boats competing in the lightweight four have been rowing together for many Olympic Games, but Fahden’s crew only began to compete together in June, according to Perry.
“It’s like putting the basketball dream team together,” Perry said. “If they’re great players individually people assume that you can just put them together. But rowing is more like dancing — everyone needs to be in sync.”
Perry said that Fahden’s team performed well, especially for a group that was only formed recently.
“I told Tony that the Olympics are an investment and that it’s very rare you go your first year and medal,” Perry said. “His accomplishments are already beyond amazing, and he is always shooting to win.”
Sean Furey ’04 Th’05, a former member of the Big Green track and field squad, competed in the javelin throw in the London Games, placing 17th in the group B event with a mark of 72.81 meters. While Furey did not qualify for the finals of the event, he was one of three Americans in the field to throw better than 70 meters. Keshorn Walcott from Trinidad and Tobago earned the gold in the event with a mark of 84.58 meters.
Big Green track and field head coach Carl Wallin said that Furey has the potential to have a long future in track and field.
“While he probably tried too hard [in London] and is probably going to be angry at himself, he’s going to be very good as he gets older,” Wallin said. “I think he will definitely make another Olympic team and can be world champion someday.”
While at Dartmouth, Furey had a great attitude and displayed a strong sense of commitment to the sport, Wallin said.
“He was a late bloomer at Dartmouth, and I just know his best is yet to come,” he said.