July 21, 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Former Gaucho Todd Rogers and beach volleyball partner Phil Dalhausser will be nominated as two of the eight athletes that will represent the United States in the sport at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Joining Rogers and Dalhausser on the men's side will be Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal. The teams of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh and Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs will comprise the U.S. women's contingent.
Beach volleyball teams qualify for the Olympic Games based on points gained at FIVB international tournaments starting on Jan. 1, 2007 and ending July 20, 2008.
Rogers and Dalhausser are currently the No. 1 U.S. team and they lead all other squads in qualifying points due to four-straight podium finishes, including three gold medals, at Swatch FIVB World Tour Grand Slam events in June and July.
Joining Rogers and Dalhausser in China in a coaching capacity will be Bob Alejo, the strength and conditioning director at UCSB since 2005.
Five of the eight U.S. athletes will be competing in their first Olympics, while three are heading to their third Games. Youngs played on the indoor team in 1996 and won a bronze in beach in 2004. Walsh played on the 2000 indoor team and won a gold medal on the beach with May-Treanor in 2004. In addition, May-Treanor competed in beach volleyball with Holly McPeak at the 2000 Games.
Beach volleyball has been an Olympic sport since its debut at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The U.S. won the inaugural men's gold medal as Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes beat fellow countrymen Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh. The U.S. men struck again at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney as Dain Blanton and former Gaucho Eric Fonoimoana took gold. The U.S. women picked up their first medals in 2004 in Athens as May-Treanor and Walsh won gold and McPeak and Youngs took bronze.
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games kick off on August 8.
-- UCSBGauchos.com --