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A Silver Summer

A Silver SummerTufts coaches and graduates help win silver medals in three international sporting competitions this summer.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [08.27.01] For a collection of Tufts coaches and alumni, this past summer was anything but relaxing. Competing and coaching all over the world, the Tufts athletes helped win silver medals in three international sporting events, including the World Games, the World Rowing Championships and the 16th Maccabiah Games.

On Sunday, Marney Jaastad -- a 1991 Tufts graduate and former captain of the University's rowing team -- won a silver medal at the World Rowing Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland.

According to USA Today, Jaastad and three teammates were just one length behind the Australian team, which set a new world record for senior women's lightweight quadruple sculls at the competition.

Five days earlier in Akita, Japan, another Tufts grad secured a silver medal in international competition.

Johanna Neumann -- a 2001 Tufts grad -- helped the United States team win five matches against four countries during the World Games Ultimate Frisbee competition. Beating Japan, Germany, Sweden and Finland, Neumann and her teammates lost just once on their way to the finals against Canada.

"The U.S. Ultimate Team came within a point of striking gold [in the finals]," reported U.S. Ultimate Players Association officials. "In a timed match, down by three points with only eight minutes remaining, the U.S. team came back to tie the game with only one minute left in regulation."

The finals went into double overtime, before the Canadian team scored the winning goal, giving the U.S. team silver medals in the international games. [Read Related E-News Story]

A month earlier, Tufts' women's basketball coach Janice Savitz coached the U.S. women's basketball team to a silver medal at the 16th Maccabiah Games in Israel.

The third-largest international sporting event in the world, the Games attracted thousands of athletes from around the world.

While several players dropped out of the competition following several terrorist threats and a bombing at the start of the event, Savitz's remaining team played on, capturing second place at the Games. [Read Related E-News Story]

On the national level, Tufts' sailing coach Ken Legler was part of the first-place team at the 2001 Blind National Sailing Championships this week.

Led by skipper Sengil "Inky" Inkiala, "each boat had a blind skipper, a blind crew and two members with sight [including Legler]," reported the Providence Journal.

The Tufts coach is a veteran member of Inkiala's crew, sailing with the skipper for the last four years. That experience paid off, as Inkiala's boat captured the national championship for the second time in three years.

"Every year that we sail together, I'm adjusting more and more to Ken's commands," Inkiala told the Journal. "He's a good teacher. Whenever I sail with someone else, I feel I'm losing something."

The experience of another Tufts coach was crucial this summer as well.

Tufts' Kris Talon, the coach of the women's softball and volleyball teams, was at the helm of the Croatian National Softball Team at this years' European Softball Championships in Vienna.

Just two years ago, under Talon's coaching, the Croatian team won its first-ever international softball game. This year, the team won three games, placing seventh in the competition.

But Talon said she was optimistic about the team's progress.

"Softball is still new throughout Europe and especially in the Balkans," she said. "There are a lot of obstacles in that part of the world, namely money and political insecurity, but the players are continuing to work hard."

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