Aggies In The Olympics: Day 7

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BASEBALL – CUBA 5, USA 4 (11 INNINGS)

The United States baseball team, managed by former Aggie baseball player Davey Johnson, dropped a 5-4 extra inning affair with defending gold medalist Cuba at Wukesong Main Field on Friday.

Cuba took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 11th and the U.S. responded with a run of its own in the bottom half but still fell one run short.

Cuba had the Americans playing catch-up most of the day. The U.S. rallied from a 2-0 first inning deficit to tie the game in the fourth then battled back from a 3-2 hole in the top of eighth to tie the game again in the bottom half of the frame.

In the 11th inning, a new Olympic rule was put in effect putting runners at first and second base with no outs and the base runners could come from any part of the lineup.

Cuba improves to 3-0 while the U.S. drops to 1-2, though both losses have come to the only two undefeated teams in the tournament.

MEN’S ARCHERY – Wunderle Falls to No. 1 Seed in Quarterfinals

Former Texas A&M archer Vic Wunderle ended a strong run through the individual tournament by falling to top-seeded Juan Rene Serrano of Mexico on Friday afternoon.

Wunderle, the No. 41 seed, won his first match on Friday, upsetting No. 8 seed Dong-Hyun Im of team gold medalist South Korea, 113-111. The two were tied after the first end (or round of three arrows) at 28, however Wunderle grabbed the lead, 56-54, at the midpoint of the match. The archers shot to a draw over the last two ends, giving Wunderle his third straight upset victory.

In the quarterfinals, Wunderle gave top-seed Serrano all he could handle during the first half of the match as the two were tied at 54 apiece. However, Wunderle could not withstand Serrano hitting 10’s on five of his last six shots, eventually dropping the match, 113-106.

Wunderle ended the individual tournament ranked in a tie for sixth place with Japan’s Ryuichi Moriya. Viktor Ruban of Ukraine took home the gold medal.

MEN’S TRACK & FIELD – Edgar Qualifies for Semifinals in 100-Meter Dash

Former Texas A&M sprinter Tyrone Edgar qualified for the semifinals in the 100-meter dash at National Stadium on Friday evening.

Edgar, who had the top qualifying time in the qualifying rounds at 10.13, improved to 10.10 in the quarterfinals. He finished third in the third of five quarterfinal heats behind Trinidad and Tobago’s Marc Burns (10.05) and St. Kitts and Nevis’s Kim Collins (10.07).

WOMEN’S SWIMMING – Wilkinson Pushes Canada to 400 Medley Relay Final, National Record

Texas A&M senior-to-be Julia Wilkinson helped Canada to its second Olympic relay final and third Canadian relay record of these Games on Friday evening.

Wilkinson, the Canadian record holder in the 100-meter backstroke, led off the 400-meter medley relay in a time of 1:00.90. Wilkinson teamed with Annamay Pierse, Audrey Lacroix, and Erica Morningstar to grab the eighth and final qualifying spot for the final in a national record time of 4:02.13.

Wilkinson now has her name on the Canadian national records in the 50 and 100-meter backstroke, the 200-meter individual medley, the 400 and 800-meter freestyle relays and the 400-meter medley relay. Of the seven national records set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by the Canadian women’s team, Wilkinson has been a part of five of them.

The final of the 400-meter medley relay will take place on Saturday at 9:40 p.m. on NBC and will mark the end of the indoor swimming competition at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Another soon-to-be Aggie senior, Triin Aljand of Estonia, turned her best finish of the Games as well as the best finish of any swimmer in her country in the entire meet on Friday evening. Aljand clocked a personal best time of 25.29 in the 50-meter freestyle to finish first in the ninth of 12 heats. She took 21st overall, five spots shy of Saturday morning’s semifinal, but five spots higher than her 2004 finish in Athens.

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL – USA 3, CHINA 2

The United States women’s volleyball team won a marathon match (23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11) against defending Olympic gold medalist and host China in front of Chinese President Hu Jintao and former IOC head Juan Antonio Samaranch on Friday evening.

The American team, of which former Aggie volleyball player Stacy Sykora is a member, is coached by Chinese athletic icon Jenny Lang Ping. Lang Ping led China to the gold medal in 1984 in the country’s return to the Olympic Games after a decades-long absence. She was met by thunderous applause prior to the match.

The U.S. dropped two of the first three sets but capitalized on several Chinese errors toward the beginning of the fifth and deciding set in one of the true highlight match-ups of the Games for the Chinese people.

Sykora got considerable playing time as a defensive specialist at the end of the first set and was in the match for the deciding point during the second set as well.

With the win, the U.S moves to second place in Pool A with a 3-1 record and clinches a spot in the quarterfinals. China dropped to 2-2 and ranks in a tie for third with Japan in Pool A.