Duke Ticker: Olympics, Baseball, Women's Soccer

October 2, 2012

OLYMPICS: Nick McCrory and Abby Johnston weren’t the only Duke athletes at the Olympics. Here’s a rundown of Duke’s ties to the games:

The U.S. men’s basketball team, coached by Mike Krzyzewski, went undefeated in the Olympics, surviving a close game against Spain to win a gold medal. Krzyzewski became the first person to coach the U.S. men’s team to back-to-back gold medals since Henry Iba in 1964 and 1968...Also in men’s basketball, former Duke players Luol Deng ’07 and Martynas Pocius ’09 played for Great Britain and Lithuania, respectively. Great Britain’s team was eliminated in group play; Lithuania reached the quarterfinals of the medal round...Shannon Rowbury ’07 advanced to the finals of the women’s 1,500 meters, where she finished sixth and was the top U.S. performer in the event. It was the second Olympics for Rowbury, who finished seventh in the 1,500 in the 2008 games...Jillian Schwartz ’01 represented Israel in the pole vault, but did not advance to the event finals...Rebecca Smith ’03 played as part of New Zealand’s women’s soccer team, which was eliminated in group play...Hiroshi Hoketsu A.M. ’68 represented Japan in the equestrian sport dressage. The seventy-one-year-old rider, whose last Olympic appearance was forty-eight years ago, is the oldest person to compete in the Olympics in nearly a century. Hoketsu, who finished in the middle of the pack, told reporters he would not compete in the 2016 games because his horse was too old.

BASEBALL: Chris Pollard, former head coach at Appalachian State University, was named to lead Duke’s baseball program. Considered a top recruiter, Pollard guided Appalachian State to six consecutive thirty-win seasons and was selected as the 2012 Southern Conference Coach of the Year. He replaces Sean McNally ’94, who resigned after seven seasons with the Blue Devils.

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Duke’s Kelly Cobb and Mollie Pathman were selected to join the U.S. Under-20 national team that competed at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. Cobb and Pathman are among eleven starters returning from last year’s Blue Devil team, which advanced to the College Cup championship game.