Cal Olympians show their colors in Athens
18 August 2004
Though Natalie Coughlin is undisputedly the best-known Golden Bear competing in the 2004 Summer Olympics, there are 42 other Cal athletes in a quest to bring home the gold from Athens. Ten current students and 32 alums are either competing for the United States or representing their ancestral or native countries. In terms of numbers, men’s swimming has the best showing at the games, with 12 Bears. Two Berkeley coaches are also lending a hand in Greece — most notably, head women’s swimming coach Teri McKeever, the first woman named to the coaching staff of the U.S. Olympic swimming team.
The Berkeleyan has assembled an album of just some of the Cal athletes who are competing in basketball, crew, women’s soccer, softball, swimming, synchronized swimming, track and field, women’s volleyball, and women’s water polo. For information on other Cal Olympians, or to check the latest results from Athens, visit calbears.collegesports.com/trads/2004
Cavic, a junior, will be competing for his parents’ homeland, Serbia-Montenegro, in this year’s Olympic Games. Born in Anaheim, Cavic participated in the 2000 Games in Sydney, where he represented Yugoslavia in the 50-meter freestyle. At Berkeley, Cavic set a new school and Pac-10 record in the 100-meter butterfly (45.44). In Athens, Cavic will be competing against Cal teammates Alex Lim and Duje Draganja, who will be swimming for Malaysia and Croatia, respectively.
Born in Saskatchewan to American parents, Jake Wetzel ’02, who has dual citizenship, competed for both Canada and the U.S. in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, respectively. In Athens, Wetzel (at left in photo) is competing once again for Canada, after winning a gold with his four-man team (Cameron Baerg, Thomas Herschmiller, and Barney Williams) in the 2003 World Championships in Milan, Italy. At Berkeley, Wetzel rowed under coach Steve Gladstone, winning four national titles with the Cal team. And this year at the Olympics? Jake's boat was first in its heat and went on to win a silver medal in one of the closest rowing races in Olympic rowing history.
Ranked fifth in the world by Track and Field News, 28-year-old long jumper Grace Upshaw ’97 hails from a Cal family: her father, Monte, competed in the long jump at Berkeley; her sister, Joy, worked as a hurdles coach and the team’s alumni and community relations director. Fifty years ago, as an 18-year-old high school student, Monte Upshaw bested Jesse Owens’ 1933 long jump record in a California state meet. Fast-forward to the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials in Sacramento, where daughter Grace finished second to Marion Jones in the women’s long jump with a jump of 22 feet, 5 inches. In Athens, Upshaw hopes to be the first American woman since Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1988) to win a gold medal in the long jump, as her father watches from the stands.
Joy (Biefeld) Fawcett
Joy Fawcett ’89 is known in soccer circles as one of the game’s best defensive players. Along with Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and Kristine Lilly, she has played in four women’s World Cups (1991, 1995, 1999, and 2003). The mother of three daughters (ages 3, 7, and 10), Fawcett has been given the nickname “Mama Joy” by her teammates. A member of the 2003 World Cup all-star team, she is competing in the Olympics for the U.S. team for the fourth time. The 2004 American team’s first two preliminaries in Athens have yielded excellent results: defeats of both Greece (3-0) and Brazil (2-0).
Heather Petri ’02 represented the U.S. water polo team in the 2000 Sydney Games, where the team earned the first-ever American silver medal in that sport. Petri has established herself as a quick, strong offensive and defensive player. She scored four goals in the Pan American Games, where the American team won a gold medal in a final against Canada and qualified for the Athens games. Petri earned All-American and All-MPSF honors at Cal in 1998 and 1999. In its first 2004 Olympic preliminary, her American team edged out Hungary, 7-6.
Senior Alex Lim is competing for his native country, Malaysia. The swimmer made his Olympic debut at the 2000 Games in Sydney, where he competed in the 100-meter backstroke. Lim broke several records as a Cal senior last year, including a 200-meter back against Stanford (1:41.27), and set both a school and conference record in the 200-meter medley relay (1:25.16) with Milorad Cavic, Caleb Rowe, and Duje Draganja.
Cal head women’s swimming coach Teri McKeever earned a noteworthy distinction at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad even before the Olympic torches were lit: She is the first woman to be named to a coaching position for a U.S. Olympic swimming team. McKeever has been coaching women’s swimming at Berkeley for 12 years; her teams have finished in the top 10 nationally for the past eight years. In 2003-04 the Golden Bears had a 9-0 dual-meet season, finishing sixth nationally. As an undergraduate at USC, McKeever was an All-American swimmer. She earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from USC in 1987.
All photos courtesy of Cal Athletics Media Relations