Local athletes to watch in 2016 Olympics

 

Gymnastics

Monica Rokhman Age: 19

Discipline: Rhythmic

Birthplace: Northbrook

Hometown: Northbrook

High school: Glenbrook North 2015

Notable: Twin sister of Jenny Rokhman. Attended Glenbrook North with sister Jenny and teammate Natalie McGiffert. Trains with teammates Jenny Rokhman, Kiana Eide, Laura Zeng, Alisa Kano, Kristen Shaldybin and Natalie McGiffert at the North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Highland Park.

Career highlights: 2015 Thiais Grand Prix, 5th (group 6 clubs, 2 hoops), 6th (5 ribbons), 7th (all-around); 2014 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, 14th (group all-around); 2014 Pan American Championships, 1st (team), 2nd (group all-around, 5 clubs), 6th (group 3 balls, 2 ropes); 2012 USA Gymnastics Championships: Junior division, 2nd (hoop), 5th (all-around, clubs, ribbon), 7th (ball)

Date of competitions: Team USA Rhythmic Gymnastics: Aug. 19: Individual Rhythmic gymnastics all-around qualifications rotations 1&2 and rotations 3&4: Aug. 20: Individual all-around final

Kristen Shaldybin Age: 19

Discipline: Rhythmic

Birthplace: Woonsocket, R.I.

Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

High school: Highland Park 2016

Career highlights: World Championships: 2015 -- 11th (5 ribbons); 13th (all-around); 15th (3 clubs, 2 hoops); Member of the six-person team that gave the U.S. its first earned Olympic spot in rhythmic group competition with a 13th-place all-around finish at the 2015 world championships; 2015 Pan American Games: gold (6 clubs, 2 hoops); silver (all-around, 5 ribbons)

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Natalie McGiffertAge: 19

Discipline: Rhythmic

Birthplace: Los Angeles, Calif.

Hometown: Topanga, Calif.

High school: Glenbrook North 2015

Career highlights: World Championships: 2015 -- 11th (5 ribbons); 13th (all-around); 15th (3 clubs, 2 hoops); Years of participation: 2013-15. Member of the six-person team that gave the U.S. its first earned Olympic spot in rhythmic group competition with a 13th-place all-around finish at the 2015 world championships; 2015 Pan American Games: gold (6 clubs, 2 hoops); silver (all-around, 5 ribbons)

Jenny Rokhman Age: 19

Discipline: Rhythmic

Birthplace: Northbrook

Hometown: Northbrook

High school: Glenbrook North 2015

Career highlights: 2015 Thiais Grand Prix, 5th (group 6 clubs, 2 hoops), 6th (5 ribbons), 7th (all-around); 2014 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships: 14th (group all-around); 2014 Pan American Championships: 1st (team), 2nd (group all-around, 5 clubs), 6th (3 balls, 2 ropes); 2012 Pacific Rim Championships -- junior division, 1st (team), 3rd (clubs).

Alisa Kano Age: 21

Discipline: Rhythmic

Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Hometown: New York, N.Y.

High school: Gramercy Arts High School (New York) 2013

College: Oakton Community College

Notable: Trains with teammates at the North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Highland Park,

Career highlights: World Championships: 2015 -- 11th (5 ribbons); 13th (all-around); 15th (3 clubs, 2 hoops); Top finish: 11th -- 2015 (5 ribbons); 2015 Pan American Games: gold (6 clubs, 2 hoops); silver (all-around, 5 ribbons)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Kiana EideAge: 17

Discipline: Rhythmic

Birthplace: Fridley, Minn.

Hometown: St. Francis, Minn.

High school: Glenbrook North 2017

Notable: Trains with teammates at the North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Highland Park.

Career highlights: World Championships: 2015 -- 11th (5 ribbons); 13th (all-around); 15th (3 clubs, 2 hoops); Top finish: 11th -- 2015 (5 ribbons); 2015 Pan American Games: gold (6 clubs, 2 hoops); silver (all-around, 5 ribbons).

Laura Zeng Age: 16

Born: Libertyville

Hometown: Libertyville

Discipline: Rhythmic

High school: Libertyville 2018

Notable: One of the youngest members of Team USA.

Career highlights: 2015 USA Gymnastics Championships: 1st (hoop, ribbon, clubs, all-around), 5th (ball); 2015 International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament: 2nd (clubs), 3rd (all-around, ball), 4th (ribbon); 2015 Rhythmic Challenge: 1st (all-around, ball), 2nd (hoop, clubs), 3rd (ribbon); Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games: bronze (all-around); 2014 USA Gymnastics Championships -- junior division: 1st (all-around, hoop, ball), 2nd (clubs), 3rd (ribbon); 2014 Rhythmic Challenge -- junior division, 1st (all-around, hoop, ball, clubs, ribbon); 2014 Junior Pan American Championships: 1st (all-around, team, hoop, ball, clubs, ribbon; 2014 Pesaro International Junior Tournament: 2nd (hoop), 3rd (team, clubs, ribbon), 4th (ball)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Road to Rio: On June 12, 2016, Zeng won the all-around USA Gymnastics Championship to earn the sole U.S. Olympic berth.

Track and Field

Evan Jager Event: 3,000m steeplechase

Age: 27

Born: Algonquin

Size: 6-2, 146 pounds

Career highlights: Competed in his first steeplechase where he won in 8:17.4; broke the American record two weeks later recording an 8:06.81 mark; finished sixth in Olympic Games in 2012; Four straight steeplechase US titles; 5th in World Championships in 2013 and sixth in 2015; Broke the American record again in Paris in July of 2015 finishing in 8:00.45.

Road to Rio: Won the U.S. Olympic Trials on July 8 with a time of 8:22:48.

Date of competitions: Aug. 15 prelims, Aug. 17 finals

Zack Ziemek Event: Decathlon

Age: 23

Born: Elmhurst

Hometown: Itasca

Size: 6-4, 195 pounds

Career highlights: World Championship: Most recent: 2015 -- 15th.

Road to Rio: Placed third in the decathlon at the 2016 USA Track and Field Olympic Trials to qualify for Rio Olympics.

Date of competitions: Aug. 19-20

Morolake AkinosunAge: 22

Born: Los Angeles, Calif.

Hometown: Aurora

High school: Waubonsie V. 2012

College: Texas 2016

Size: 5-4

Event: 4x100 Relay

Career highlights: 1 of 2 women in history to score in 4 events at NCAA Outdoor meet back-to-back years (Jackie Joyner-Kersee); 10-time USTFCCCA First-Team all-American (8 at Texas; 2 at Illinois); 2-time 4x400 Relay NCAA Champion: 2016 Indoor & 2014 Outdoor; 13-time Big 12 Champion (100m, 200m, 4x100 relay: 2016 outdoor; 60m: 2014 & 2015 indoor; 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay: 2014 & 2015 outdoor; 4x400m relay 2015 indoor & outdoor); Two-time Big Ten Champion (60m, 4x400m relay: 2013 indoor); 2015 Pan American Games Gold Medal: 4x100m Relay

Road to Rio: Akinson finished fourth in the 100 meter final at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Date of competitions: Aug. 18-20

Kelsey CardEvent: Discus Throw

Age: 24

Born: Springfield

Hometown: Carlinville

High school: Carlinville

College: Wisconsin 2016

Size: 6-2, 146 pounds

Career highlights: 2015 Pan American Games, 7th (discus throw); 2015 NCAA Outdoor Championships: 2nd (shot put, discus throw); 2015 Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year.

Road to Rio: Card finished third in the discus throw at the U.S. Olympic Trials to earn a spot on Team USA.

Date of competitions: Aug. 15-16

Triathlon

Ben KanuteAge: 23

Size: 6-foot

Hometown: Geneva

High school: Marmion Academy

College: Arizona 2014

Career highlights: 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team Member; USA Triathlon National Team Member; 2015 USA Triathlon Elite National Champion; Won both draft-legal sprint-distance and Olympic-distance titles at the 2013 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships; 2010 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Champion

Date of competitions: Aug. 18

Road to Rio: Qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team with a 17th-place finish at World Triathlon Yokohama.

Volleyball

Tom Jaeschke Age: 22

Position: Outside hitter

Birthplace: Hinsdale

Hometown: Wheaton

High school: Wheaton Warrenville South 2012

College: Loyola (left in 2015)

Career highlights: 2012 Chicago Area Player of the Year; Led Wheaton Warrenville South to a National Championship and 42-0 record to finish his senior year. Helped Loyola win the 2014 and 2015 NCAA Men's National Championships; 2015 AVCA Player of the Year

Date of competitions: Aug. 20-21

Road to Rio: Jaeschke is competing in his first year with the U.S. National Team. He began his Team USA career in Poland after playing in the Olympic-qualifying World Cup in Japan from Sept. 8-23, 2015.

Kelly Murphy Age: 26

Birthplace: Joliet

Hometown: Wilmington

Height: 6-2

Position: Opposite hitter

High school: Joliet Catholic

College: Florida

Career highlights: 2016: FIVB World Grand Prix (Silver); 2015: USA Volleyball Cup vs China ... FIVB World Grand Prix (Gold); 2014: USA Volleyball Cup vs. Brazil ... FIVB World Grand Prix (5th Preliminary Round) ... FIVB World Championship (Gold).

Road to Rio: Named to U.S., Women's Indoor Volleyball team on July 12.

Date of competitions: Aug. 6, 8, 10, 12, 14: Quarters: Aug. 16: Semi: Aug. 18: Medal round: Aug. 20.

Kelsey Robinson Age: 24

Birthplace: Elmhurst

Hometown: Bartlett

Height: 6-2

Position: Outside hitter

High School: St. Francis

College: Nebraska 2013

Career highlights: 2016: NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament (Gold) ... FIVB World Grand Prix (Silver); 2015: USA Volleyball Cup vs China ... FIVB World Grand Prix (Gold) ... FIVB World Cup (Bronze) ... NORCECA Championship (Gold).

Road to Rio: Named to U.S., Women's Indoor Volleyball team on July 12.

Wrestling

Haley AugelloHometown: Lockport

Age: 21

Size: 105.5 lbs

High school: Lockport Township

College: King University 2017

Career highlights: Ranked No. 1 in the Team USA at 105.5 pounds; second in 1st World Olympic Qualifier (Mongolia); second in 2013 and 2016 U.S. Open; 2016 University Nationals champion.

Date of competitions: Aug. 17

Road to Rio: On April 23rd, Augello finished second in the last-chance qualifying tournament in Mongolia to secure one of two available spots for Rio's competitions.

Daniel DennisHometown: Ingleside

Age: 29

Size: 125.5 pounds

High school: Grant Community

College: University of Iowa

Career highlights: Ranked No. 1 in the Team USA at 125.5 pounds; 2016 U.S. Open champion; second in 2015 World Team Trials; Two-time All-American at Iowa

Date of competitions: Aug. 19

Road to Rio: Dennis defeated three-time All-American Tony Ramos at the U.S. wrestling trials on April 10.

Swimming

Kevin CordesAge: 22

Born: Naperville

Size: 6-5

High school: Neuqua Valley

College: University of Arizona

Career highlights: 100m Breaststroke NCAA National Champion 2012-2015; NCAA Swimmer of the Year 2013 and 2014; 200m Breaststroke NCAA Champion 2014; Gold at the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in 4x100-medley.

Road to Rio: Cordes finished first in the 2016 US Olympics Swimming trials on June 27 with a time of 59.18 to punch ticket to Rio.

Date of competitions: Aug. 6,7,9,10,12,13

Ryan Held Age: 21

Event: 4x100 meter relay

Born: Springfield

Size: 6-2

Education: North Carolina State

Career highlights: 2016 NCAA Championships, 1st (4x100-yard free); 4th (100-yard free); 7th (50-yard free); 9th (200-yard free); 2015 NCAA Championships, 2nd (4x100-yard free; 4x200-yard free)

Road to Rio: Held finished third in the 100 meter freestyle at the 2016 US Olympic Swimming trials.

Date of competitions: Aug. 7

Conor DwyerAge: 27

Event: 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle

Born: Evanston

Hometown: Winnetka

Size: 6-5

High school: Loyola Academy

College: Iowa and Florida

Olympic experience: 2012 London

Career highlights: Won Gold at London 2012 Olympic Games (4x200m free); 5th (400m free); World Championships: Most recent: 2015 -- silver (4x200m free)

Road to Rio: Dwyer finished second in the 200 and 400 meter freestyle at the 2016 U.S. trials.

Date of competitions: Aug. 6 400 meter freestyle, Aug. 7 200 meter freestyle, Aug. 9 4 x 200 freestyle.

Olivia SmoligaAge: 21

Hometown: Glenview

Size: 6-2

Event: 100 meter backstroke

High school: Glenbrook South

College: University of Georgia

Career highlights: 2015 Pan American Games, silver (100m back); 2015 U.S. National Championships, 5th (100m back); 7th (50m free))

Road to Rio: Smoliga finished first in 2016 U.S. swimming trials.

Date of competitions: Aug. 7-8

Rugby

Lauren Doyle Age: 25

Birthplace: Springfield

Hometown: Boody

Size: 5-6

Position: wing

High school: Meridian

College: Eastern Illinois 2014

Career highlights: 2015 Pan American Games, silver; 2015 NACRA Sevens Championship, 1st; 2015-16 Women's Sevens World Series, 6th.

Road to Rio: Named to the 2016 U.S. team after U.S. defeated Canada in qualifier in June.

Date of competitions: Aug. 6-11

Tennis

Madison Keys Event: singles

Age: 21

Born: Rock Island, IL

Hometown: Boca Raton, FL

Size: 5-10

High school: Home schooled

Career highlights: 2016 French Open, fourth round (singles); 2016 Birmingham Open, 1st (singles); 2016 Rome Open, 2nd (singles); 2015 Australian Open, semifinals (singles); 2015 Wimbledon, quarterfinals (singles)

Road to Rio: Keys qualified by winning her first round match against Laura Siegemund at Wimbledon.

Date of competitions: Aug. 6 and 14

Olympians from colleges in Illinois

Valerie Gruest Slowing Age: 17

Event: 200 Free, 400 Free, 800 Free in swimming

Born: Guatemala

Notable: Currently committed to go to Northwestern in fall 2016

Career highlights: Broke Guatemala Open Records in the 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter and 800 meter freestyle at the RBC Bahamas National Championships; qualified in the 800 meter freestyle with a time of 8:33.28. 200 and 400 meter races qualified for the Olympic "B" cutoffs.

Date of competitions: Aug. 7, 11-12

Jordan WilimovskyEvents: 1500 meter and 10K Open Water swimming

Age: 22

Born: Malibu, Calif.

Hometown: Malibu

College: Northwestern

Size: 5-10, 150 pounds

Career highlights: Won the 10-kilometer race at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia to qualify for Rio; finished the race in 1 hour, 49 minutes, 48.2 seconds; holds four Northwestern records; Last season won the Big Ten title and finished third nationally in the 1,650-meter freestyle.

Road to Rio: Qualified in the 1500 meter and the 10K open water event by finishing second and first, respectively, at the U.S. trials

Date of competitions: Aug. 12-13; Aug. 15-16.

Pedyra Seymour Events: Hurdles

Age: 20

Born: Nassau, Bahamas

Hometown: Nassau, Bahamas

College: Illinois

Career highlights: 2016 Outdoor All-American in the 100m hurdles; 2016 Indoor All-American in the 60m hurdles; Bahamian national record holder in the 100m hurdles (12.83); 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships qualifier in the 100m hurdles; 2016 Big Ten runner-up in the 100m hurdles

Road to Rio: Qualified for Bahamian National Team by running a 12.92 to break a Bahamian national record.

Date of competitions: Aug. 16: 17

Olympians from pro teams in Illinois

Jimmy Butler, Bulls Age: 27

Born: Houston

Hometown: Tomball, Texas

Representing: United States

Size: 6-7

Position: Guard/Forward

Career highlights: Won NBA Most Improved Player Award following the 2014-2015 season; Named to NBA All-Defensive Second Team for past three seasons.

Date of competitions: Aug. 5-21

Nikola Mirotic, Bulls Age: 25

Born: Podgorica, Montenegro

Representing: Spain

Size: 6-10

Position: Forward

Career highlights: Named to NBA All-Rookie First Team following the 2014-2015 season

Cristiano Felicio, Bulls Age: 24

Born: Pouso Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Representing: Brazil

Size: 6-10

Position: Forward/Center

Elena Delle Donne, SkyAge: 27

Born: Wilmington, Del.

Hometown: Wilmington, Del.

Representing: United States

Size: 6-5

Position: Guard/Forward

Career highlights: 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year; WNBA First Team following the 2014-2015 season; won 2014-2015 WNBA MVP Award.

Alyssa Naeher, Red StarsAge: 28

Position: Goalie

Born: Bridgeport, Conn.

Hometown: Bridgeport, Conn.

College: Penn State

Representing: United States

Size: 5-9

Career highlights: World Championship: Most recent: 2015 -- gold

Date of competitions: Aug. 3, 6, 9: Group Stage: Aug. 12. Quarters, Aug. 16, semis and final Aug. 19.

Julie Johnston, Red StarsAge: 24

Position: Defender

Born: Mesa, Ariz.

Hometown: Mesa

College: Santa Clara

Representing: United States

Size: 5-7

Career highlights: World Championships: Most Recent: 2015 -- gold; Selected to the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team

Christen Press, Red StarsAge: 28

Position: Forward

Born: Los Angeles, Calif.

Hometown: Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

College: Stanford

Representing: United States

Size: 5-6

Career highlights: London 2012 Olympic Games, alternate; World Championship: Most recent: 2015 -- gold.

Olympians with Illinois connections representing other countries

Regina George Events: 400 meter, 4x400 relay

Age: 25

Born: Chicago

Hometown: Chicago

Representing: Nigeria

College: Arkansas

Career highlights: Bronze in 2014 Nassau 4x400; Silver in 2012 Porto Novo African Championships in 400m, 2016 Durban 4x400m and 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 4x400m

Date of competitions: 400 meter Aug. 13-15, 4x400 Aug. 19-20

Reiko Takedo Sport: Equestrian

Events: Show Jumping

Age: 31

Born: Chicago

Hometown: Chicago

Representing: Japan

Career highlights: Represented Japan at 2012 London Olympics

Road to Rio: Named to the Japan's Equestrian Team by the Japanese Equestrian Federation

Date of competitions: Aug. 6-12, Aug. 14-19

• Complied by Russell Dorsey and Manny DeJesus

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