San Diego Olympic Athletes Complete in Rio Games: Aug. 13, 2016

Team USA athletes with ties to San Diego will compete in rowing, sailing, cycling and track and field from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday

We're one week into the 2016 Rio Games and the competition is fierce. On Saturday, San Diego will once again make its mark in Brazil as several local athletes go for gold.

Team USA athletes with ties to San Diego will compete in rowing, sailing, cycling and track and field from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Today’s local contenders are:

Rower Kerry Simmonds, who grew up in the Carmel Valley and played sports for Torrey Pines High School, competed with the women's coxed eight finals at 7:06 a.m. for their chance to medal. This marked her Olympic debut.

San Diego's Athletes Going to 2016 Rio Olympics

Simmonds' team, who trained at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center (OTC), took lane three against The Netherlands, Romania and Great Britain at Lagoa Stadium. The rowing team has been on top of the competition for a decade and is considered one of the strongest team's in Rio representing the U.S.

NBC 7's Steven Luke spoke with Simmonds' mother and brother in Rio and they admitted they were nervous but confident the women's eight would come out on top once more.

They were right. Get the results of the women's eight event here.

By the way, last week, Luke caught up with Simmonds in Rio and she shared her Olympic journey with NBC 7 through these photos.

Also in the water -- but over at Marina de Glória in Guanabra Bay in Copacabana -- Coronado High School graduate Paris Henken will sail in three preliminary races in women's 49er FX skiff. Henken ranked 5th in her first race Saturday. The U.S. Sailing Team's Twitter called her 10:20 a.m. race "flawless."

Henken finished the day in 4th place with a scoreline of 5-1-4, the U.S. Sailing Team tweeted.

Henken sails again at 12:20 p.m. PT. She'll rest Sunday and be back in the Guanabra Bay on Monday.

San Diego native Caleb Paine competed in sailing as well, in men's finn preliminary races seven and eight. In his first race Saturday, he ranked 17th. n his second race, he worked his way up to a 7th ranking.

On Thursday, Paine was disqualified from a second place finish in the preliminary race six of men's finn when a Croatian competitor claimed that, although he had right of way at a crucial moment in the race, he had to avoid Paine’s boat. Paine disagreed but the jury ruled in favor of Croatia. Paine's disqualification set him back from 4th to 15th place out of 23 sailors as he went into Saturday's races.

Paine has deep local roots: he attended Murray Manor Elementary School and Parkway Middle School in La Mesa and is a graduate of Point Loma High School. He grew up at San Diego's Southwestern Yacht Club.

Paine is set to sail again Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, Temecula native Sarah Hammer, who spent most of her life living there but now resides in Colorado, took the cycling track at the Rio Olympic Velodrome in the women’s team pursuit for a chance to win gold.

At their race Saturday morning, the USA women's cycling team set a world record pace of 4:12:282. Great Britain broke the record in the very next race.

Hammer won two silver medals at the 2012 London Games, adding to the power behind her cycling team.

Jennifer Valente, also a San Diego native, competed alongside Hammer in women's team pursuit track cycling Saturday. Growing up, Valente rode BMX and mountain bikes around her San Diego neighborhood. At age 13, she took up track cycling.

Chuck Westerheide/NBC 7 San Diego
The U.S. women's track pursuit cycling team competes for their chance to medal in the 2016 Rio Games on Aug. 13 at 1:14 p.m. PT.

Hammer, Valente and their women's pursuit track cycling team won a silver medal in their race. Great Britain took the gold.

Men's indoor volleyball athlete and Alpine native David Lee and his team faced off against France on Saturday, coming out on top with a much-needed win. This keeps their momentum going for another match on Monday.

At Olympic Stadium in Maracaña, Chula Vista OTC resident athlete Jeff Henderson won gold after competing in the men’s long jump Saturday. His winning jump was 8.38m. Henderson qualified in second place in the event Friday with a distance of 8.20m.

Getty Images
Jeff Henderson competes in the Men's Long Jump Qualifying Round on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Heather Miller-Koch, also a resident athlete of the Chula Vista OTC, competed in women’s heptathlon, in the women's long jump and javelin throw Saturday. She competed in several track and field events on Friday.

In the long jump, with a distance of 6.16m, she ranked 16th Saturday in that event. After a javelin throw of 40.25m Saturday, she now ranks 22nd. 

For updates from the 2016 Rio Games, including profiles of San Diego athletes, visit our Olympics section here.

NBC 7’s Steven Luke is reporting from Rio during the 2016 Olympic Summer Games; follow him on Twitter and Facebook for exciting updates from Brazil through the end of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

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