If someone asked if you were following Sacramento-area athletes who qualified for the upcoming Summer Olympics, your answer likely would be: "Like who?"
Would you be surprised to learn 15 athletes with local ties are going to London?
That number, boosted by a few surprising performances during trials, isn't overwhelming, but it provides a chance to follow the competition through people we care a little more about, if for no other reason than they're from here.
The list includes track and field stars Jill Camarena-Williams and Stephanie Brown Trafton; stalwarts such as high jumper Jamie Nieto and pole vaulter Derek Miles; swimming notables Haley Anderson (and her sister Alyssa) and Chloe Sutton; and surprise qualifiers Kim Conley (track) and Scott Weltz (swimming). Paralympic judo qualifiers Christella Garcia and Katie Davis, Sacramentans both, are included.
We have some athletes who stretch local ties: Redding soccer great Megan Rapinoe and two-time California high school wrestling champ Jake Varner from Bakersfield, for example. Others, such as boxers Michael Hunter and Marlen Esparza, represent a sport that has a fervent north state following.
To give them their due and to entice you to take a closer look in addition to our print coverage, we are creating individual pages on sacbee.com that will focus on each of the local and sort-of-local athletes as a focal point of our Olympic coverage.
Stay tuned for our rollout.
What to watch
Baseball, Triple-A All-Star Game, 4 p.m., MLBN: The River Cats' Graham Godfrey starts for the Pacific Coast League.
Do local athletes make the Olympic Games more interesting?
Yes, they do.
They make no difference.
I won't watch the Olympics.
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
What should the Giants do with Tim Lincecum?
Send him to the bullpen: 21%
Send him to Fresno: 40%
Start him Saturday: 39%
Total votes: 352
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Read more articles by Brian Blomster
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