Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared on TexasSports.com on July 17, the official Web site of Texas Athletics. To read the full article and learn more about Texas sports visit the Web site.
Eighteen current or former Longhorn student-athletes have earned spots on the 2008 United States Olympic teams and a total of 22 athletes and coaches will represent America Aug. 8-24 in Beijing, China.
The 18 athletes eclipses the most-ever qualifiers for Team U.S.A. that The University of Texas at Austin has provided, one more than the 17 Horns that participated in 2000 (Sydney). Texas also had 16 representatives in 1988 (Seoul).
“It’s always a thrill watching our student-athletes competing at the various Olympic Trials and to see so many of them making the team,” said UT Men’s Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds. “It’s a tribute to all of our great coaches and staffers as well as the hard work and dedication of the student-athletes to achieve such a life-long dream. We’re looking forward to following all of them in Beijing.”
The four coaches representing UT in Beijing are Eddie Reese (head coach, men’s swimming), Bubba Thornton (head coach, men’s track and field), Gail Goestenkors (assistant coach, women’s basketball) and Matt Scoggin (assistant coach, men’s swimming and diving). It marks the third time Reese has served as head coach of the U.S. team, having previously led the squad in 1992 (Barcelona) and 2004 (Athens). He also served as an assistant coach three times: 1988 (Seoul), 1996 (Atlanta) and 2000 (Sydney). Thornton previously served as an assistant coach in 2000, while Goestenkors was an assistant coach for the American team that won the gold medal in 2004.
“What a thrilling Olympic Trials week for the Texas Longhorns!” said UT Women’s Athletics Director Chris Plonsky. “Few things compare to witnessing the grit and sheer competitiveness of future, current and former student-athletes in these pressure-packed settings. To represent our country during the Games in Beijing is the ultimate experience. And for those who fell short of that goal, they also did us proud. We salute their efforts and know they will be cheering their teammates in August.”
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN OLYMPIANS ON TEAM USA
- Baseball (1): Taylor Teagarden
- Men’s Diving (1): Troy Dumais (3-meter springboard)
- Women’s Diving (1): Laura Wilkinson (platform)
- Softball (1): Cat Osterman
- Men’s Swimming (7): Ricky Berens (800-meter relay pool), Ian Crocker (100-meter butterfly), Brendan Hansen (100-meter breaststroke), Dave Walters (800-meter relay pool), Scott Spann (200-meter breaststroke), Aaron Peirsol (100 and 200-meter backstroke), Garrett Weber-Gale (50 and 100-meter freestyle)
- Women’s Swimming (1): Kathleen Hersey (200-meter butterfly)
- Men’s Track and Field (3): Trey Hardee (decathlon), Andra Manson (high jump), Leo Manzano (1,500 meters)
- Women’s Track and Field (3): Michelle Carter (shot put), Marshevet Hooker (200 meters), Sanya Richards (400 meters)
- Coaches (4): Gail Goestenkors (assistant coach, women’s basketball), Eddie Reese (head coach, men’s swimming), Bubba Thornton (head coach, men’s track and field), Matt Scoggin (assistant coach, men’s and women’s diving)