Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Quicker start pays dividends
Cincinnatian earns semifinal spot
By Ann Green
Gannett News Service
SCHINIAS, Greece - If you were to reduce Steve Tucker's rowing biography to a single paragraph, it might read something like this: From a row-'til-you-blow party in a college frat house to an Olympic semifinal in Greece in 14 short years.
Tucker, 35, from Mooresville, Ind., and teammate Greg Ruckman of Cincinnati advanced to the semifinal in lightweight men's double sculls Tuesday with a time of 6:19.35. Tucker and Ruckman finished second to Japan. They will race again Thursday.
Tucker and Ruckman were part of a perfect five-for-five day for U.S. crews in the second-chance races under much calmer conditions than earlier in the week.
"We had a helpful tailwind," Tucker said of the 2,000-meter race. "We wanted to make a push 300 meters into the race, then step it up again at 750 meters. We were trying to get going hard early in the race. We just weren't aggressive enough in Sunday's heat. Technically, it wasn't as clean, but we wanted to get a hard race under our belts."
Tucker took up the sport at age 21 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology after trying out an ergometer at a frat house during a party.
A physicist by training and a two-time Olympian, Tucker likes to invent devices to help him analyze and improve his rowing stroke.
Now Tucker and Ruckman are trying to join the U.S. men's eight and U.S. women's eight in Sunday's Olympic finals.
"Looking at the heats and the races Tuesday, I don't see an unbeatable boat," Tucker said. "Everyone is in the mix this time. In previous workups, the Italians and Poles have stood out. But now, anyone has a chance for any of the medals."
U.S. boats also advanced to semis in women's single sculls, men's four, lightweight women's double sculls and men's quadruple sculls.
2004 Prep football preview section
Colerain outpolls Elder for top spot
Prep sports results, schedules
OLYMPICS [Special section]
Ketchum earns swim relay gold
Daugherty: Success comes in all colors
U.S. team gets another boost as Siler wins
Quicker start pays dividends
U.S. men's basketball team bounces back to beat Greece
Roddick is hoping to avoid a smooch from Aussie girls
Local athletes' blog
Paul Daugherty's Athens blog
Latest photos from Athens
It's a Russian revolution
Frazier reverses ranking decline
All-U.S. match highlights schedule
Osterloh excited about next foe
BENGALS / NFL
Curnutte: Defense Bengals' biggest issue
Dillon returns with new team, new outlook
Photos of Monday's game
Bucs fans like what QB Simms is selling
Deion Sanders mulls return with Ravens
Eagles end Kalu out for season
Dantonio makes play for his staff
Grieving husband thanks UC family
Buckeyes optimistic but have lots to replace
Will Purdue return to 'basketball on grass'?
Colorado appeals NCAA ruling against Bloom
REDS / BASEBALL
Cardinals 7, Reds 2: Eighth-inning debacle
Reds' setup men fail to get opponents out
Adversity surrounds Riedling
Suppan's bat strangely silent (0-for-41) this year
Cook leaves hospital, relieved
NL: Slumping Phillies shut out by Astros
AL: Cabrera's double wins it for Red Sox
AAA: Columbus 13, Louisville 7
Still no movement in NHL labor talks
MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Sports today on TV, radio
THIS WEEK'S SPORTS POLL
What should the Reds do with Ken Griffey Jr.?