Photo courtesy of John Crispin, Amherst, Mass.
Amanda Clark, Connecticut College Class of 2005 and former Intercollegiate Association All-America, has qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Clark and her teammate Sarah Mergenthaler, a 2001 graduate of the University of Richmond, make up "Team Go Sail" and will represent the United States in the 470 class this coming summer.
Amanda Clark (Conn. College, ’05) and teammate Sarah Mergenthaler will represent the United States in the 470 Class at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
After nine days and 16 grueling races at the Olympic Trials in Long Beach, Calif., Clark and Mergenthaler clinched their berth with a victory in the 15th race. This was the first time that men and women were competing together in the 470 class. The winning duo topped the entire fleet of men´s and women´s competitors in impressive fashion.
Clark received her degree in studio art and minored in art history. She was a member of the varsity coed and women's sailing teams at Connecticut College. In 2001, Clark won the Single-handed North American Championship.
A two-time ICSA All-America and a two-time New England Singlehanded Champion for the Camels, Clarke was honored as co-recipient of the Anita L. DeFrantz ´74 Award, given annually to the outstanding senior athlete for outstanding athletic achievement, leadership and sportsmanship. Clark was ecstatic over the achievement of her team and is looking forward to an exciting year.
"I´m really excited," Clark stated. "We´re just overwhelmed. It still hasn´t sunk in yet."
Clark maintains a close relationship with Connecticut College coach Jeff Bresnahan. When the Olympic bid was clinched, Clark contacted Bresnahan immediately to celebrate the honor.
"Jeff has been an inspiration," Clark stated. "He´s a great person. He´s helped me so much in so many ways. He knows so much about sailing and campaigning. He´s a true asset for me any time."
Bresnahan was very proud that he could share the achievement and the celebration on a special day with a close friend.
"Amanda is the hardest working person that I know," Bresnahan stated. "She is dedicated to every part of her life. I am honored that she still seeks my opinion from time to time. On Saturday, I was following the scores on the internet and all of a sudden her name popped up on my cell phone and she told me she won. It was a great moment as a past coach to be included in her victory."
Clark and Mergenthaler will take a short break from competition this month. They will train in Australia from November until the end of January in preparation for the World Championships.
Clark is the third women to qualify for the Olympic Sailing Team from the Camel athletic program. In 2004, Carol Cronin ´86 (Yngling) and Meg Gaillard ´95 (Europe) competed in Athens, Greece.
For more information about "Team Go Sail" and their drive to the 2008 Olympic Games, visit the website www.teamgosail.org.