May 2, 2016
Women’s Eagles Sevens Selected for USA Olympic Training Center
Richie Walker, Head Coach of the Women’s Eagles Sevens, has selected 20 resident athletes for the United States Olympic Committee’s Olympic Training Center.
The Olympics less than 100 days away and the last leg of the HSBC World Rugby Seven’s Series is May 28-29, 2016 in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
New to the program is Lilly Durbin, a Junior from Fallbrook High School. She is the only athlete in the program without Series cap, but has played internationally with the USA Rugby Girls High School All-Americans powered by ATAVUS and the AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans.
Veteran Bui Baravilala has made an impact in this year’s World Women’s Sevens Series.
Kelly Griffin has been a key member of the team and was on the pitch when the USA Women’s Eagles won the NACRA Sevens in June, where they qualified for the Olympics. Also members of the team that were at the NACRA Sevens include, Megan Bonny, Alev Kelter, Joanne Fa’avesi, Carmen Farmer, Alev Kelter, Hannah Lopez, Richelle Stephens, and Kristen Thomas.
Kathryn Johnson also returns to the OTC. She has nine Series caps and most recently played under Walker with ATAVUS’ all-star team at the Las Vegas Invitational tournament in March.Walker said “having her back – you can really see the rugby knowledge that she has. I feel that she’s going to increase the level here; she’s already showing that she’s been training hard not being here.”
Rugby is a contact sport and there are injuries to contend with. Some are related to rugby, while others are part of life. Veterans Lauren Doyle, Victoria Folayan, and Jillion Potter are now healthy and are part of the 20-player residency.
Meya, Bizer, Ryan Carlyle, Cheta Emba, Nicole Heavirland, Jessica Javalet, and Jane Paar also have played an important role in the success of the program. They, and the other resident athletes hope that their names will emerge as the 12 members of the USA Women’s Eagles Sevens Olympic team. The other will know that they were a significant part of this process.
Walker also added about this resident group that “I’m excited and I hope they are, too. Today is their first day where it’s just them.The others are still in the player pool and they may be called upon if something happens.”
The Eagles are currently in seventh-place in the Series standings and are just 2 points out of sixth place. The team is building towards the Rio Olympics when the Rugby Sevens begins on Aug. 6th at Deodoro Stadium.
Women’s Eagles Sevens: Residency Program at Olympic Training Center
Bui Baravilala, Meya Bizer, Megan Bonny, Ryan Carlyle, Lauren Doyle, Lilly Durbin, Cheta Emba, Joanne Fa’avesi, Carmen Farmer, Victoria Folayan, Kelly Griffin, Nicole Heavirland, Jessica Javelet, Kathryn Johnson, Alev Kelter, Hannah Lopez, Jane Paar, Jillion Potter, Richelle Stephens, Kristen Thomas