Two Terps Earn Places on Podium
Bronze-Medal Winners Highlight Group of Six Alum Athletes at Olympics
By Terp Staff
Photos courtesy of Maryland Athletics
Two of six who headed to Tokyo for the pandemic-delayed Olympics this summer returned home with new hardware around their necks.
Field hockey player Grace Balsdon (left), competing in her first Games, won bronze with Team Great Britain. The Terp, who in 2016 established herself as one of the best defenders in UMD history, scored three goals along the way, including the difference-maker in the final victory over India.
“We are extremely happy,” Balsdon told The Mirror. “We have worked incredibly hard, and you can see how much we wanted it for each other.”
Diandra Tchatchouang (right), who was named to the 2009-10 All-ACC freshman women’s basketball team during her first of two seasons with the Terps, appeared in three games with Team France; it also took bronze when it defeated Serbia for the nation’s first Olympic medal in the sport since 2012.
Other Terps at the Games were:
Abby Gustaitis ’13 | RUGBY, TEAM USA
After taking up rugby on UMD’s club team and earning All-American honors, Gustaitis worked her way up to co-captain of Team USA. The sevens squad placed sixth in Tokyo.
Thea LaFond ’15 | TRIPLE JUMP, TEAM DOMINICA
LaFond, who excelled in multiple field events as a Terp, entered this summer’s Games with a new approach after a disappointing showing in Rio. Now one of the world’s only female double-armed jumpers, she finished 12th in Tokyo.
Nike Lorenz | FIELD HOCKEY, TEAM GERMANY
Lorenz, who was a key part of UMD’s 2018 Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles, played in her second Games with Germany after earning bronze in 2016. This summer, the team made it to the quarterfinals before falling to Argentina.
Chioma Onyekwere ’16 | DISCUS, TEAM NIGERIA
Between working as an engineer and planning two wedding ceremonies, Onyekwere kept up her training to qualify for Tokyo. She and nine teammates were disqualified, however, because Nigerian athletic officials hadn’t conducted enough drug tests in recent months.
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