Local Olympians to Watch Friday

Aggressive day ahead with a Team Pursuit cycling local and San Diego Water Polo players

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 13: Cyclist, Sarah Hammer poses for a portrait during the 2012 Team USA Media Summit on May 13, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

    A week has passed since the London Games began. Here’s what’s ahead for San Diego’s Olympians as the competition heats up.

    The Women’s Water Polo team held on for a win against China after their tie with Spain on Wednesday. The women are slated to take gold at the Games, but have only barely kept ahead throughout the preliminary rounds.

    On Friday the women of Team USA beat China 7-6. At the second quarter, U.S. was up five points. But China came back in the second half, giving the Americans the challenge they've become familiar with during the games.

    The veteran team with a hefty representation of Southern California talent includes Point Loma native Kelly Rulon and San Diego native Annika Dries. Both Rulon and Annika have put in points in their previous matches against Hungary and Spain. Dries was responsible for bringing the team up in the second half after China picked up.

    The Americans will play Italy next.

    Track and Field gets started on Friday. San Diego resident Will Claye will compete in the qualifying rounds of Men's Long Jump.

    WHEN TO WATCH: The event will be streamed live at 11:50 a,m. and televised on NBC 7 starting at 9 a.m.

    Sarah Hammer of Temecula competed and got second in Cycling during Friday’s qualification for Women’s Team pursuit. She and teammates Dotsie Bausch and Jennie Reed pulled ahead of Australia at an average speed of about 33.6 MPH.

    In a previous interview with NBC 7, she spoke about the game, raced in a velodrome on bikes with no breaks.

    “It’s fast and it’s close,” Hammer said before leaving for the Olympics. “And you know there is contact. It’s an exciting race.”

    WHEN TO WATCH: The race will be streamed live at 8:56 a.m.

    The U.S. Women’s Soccer team beat New Zealand Friday. The team has yet to lose going into the Quarterfinals.

    Rachel “Buehldozer” Buehler aided in an assist that helped the team gain the advantage over New Zealand.

    The team’s coach Pia Sundhage was reluctant to let the wins in the previous games go to her players’ heads, hoping instead they will continue attacking.

    "If you start to talk too much about extra time, then I show them that, well, 'I don't really have faith in you.' ... I'd rather do the opposite," Sundhage told the Associated Press.

    WHEN TO WATCH: The game will be streamed live at 6:30 a.m. and will air on NBC Sports at 6:30 a.m.

    In Sailing, Point Loma’s Graham Biehl, 25, joined longtime teammate Stu McNay again on Friday for the Men’s 470 Race 3.

    The pair lost on Thursday, coming in 22nd at Weymouth and Portland on the south coast of England.

    The team jumped to an overall rank of 11th Friday after placing third in Friday's Race 4. See full replay here

    “We had a much better idea of the wind today than we did yesterday and we were able to execute throughout the race,” Biehl was quoted in the daily update from U.S. Sailing. “The fleet is really challenging in the Men’s 470. We had a bit of a rough day yesterday. Just getting back into the swing and making sure our consistency is back up there is the key to getting the medals.”

    When the pair competed in Beijing, they placed 13th overall. Biehl, a San Diego Yacht Club member had his sights on improving those results with a medal win.

    In dressage, four-time Olympian Steffen Peters of Carmel Valley put himself in medal contention with his ride on Ravel Friday.

    Peters looked very pleased and waved to the stands after scoring 77.705, good for sixth place. See full replay here

    The Americans, seeking their first equestrian medal of the Games, are fifth as a team.

    "It’s just exciting, even at 50 years old I still feel very fit like I was in my 20's and I feel we're ready to go again," Peters told NBC 7 before leaving for London.

    In U.S. Rowing, disappointment for several teams that trained at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. 

    Tom Peszek and Silas Stafford competed in the pairs race and Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge competed in double sculls. However the Americans didn't place in the top three in either event.  See results here

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