LUCERNE, Switzerland - Columbia alumnus Nick LaCava '09CC completed his dream of qualifying for the Olympics on Tuesday morning by helping secure a spot in the 2012 Summer Olympics for the United States lightweight men's four without coxswain (4-).
Needing a top-two finish in the race, the U.S. team of LaCava (Weston, Conn.), Robin Prendes (Miami, Fla.), Will Newell (Weston, Mass.) and Anthony Fahden (Lafayette, Calif.) defeated The Netherlands by 0.14 seconds to clinch its bid to London.
The U.S. was in third behind The Netherlands and Serbia crossing the 500-meter mark, and moved into second by the halfway point. The Americans took the lead in the third quarter of the race, and held on to win with a time of 6:01.85. The Netherlands clocked a 6:01.99 to grab the second qualifying spot.
Former lightweight rower Milos Tomic '06CC was a member of the Serbian boat that was edged out in its bid to qualify for London.
"Their race showcases Columbia's international alumni population," head coach Scott Alwin said. "It is great that Columbia will have representation at this Olympic regatta, but it is unfortunate that one Lion had to beat another to get to the Olympics. I'm thrilled for Nick and the other rowers that earned their Olympic seats today."
LaCava is one of seven Columbians who will compete at the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics. He joins track and field athletes Lisa Stublic '06CC and Erison Hurtault '07CC and fencers Nzingha Prescod '15CC, Nicole Ross '11CC, James Williams '07CC and Jeff Spear '10CC.