Fifteen Bears qualified for Olympics, more to come

Though the 2012 London Olympics don’t start until July 27, 15 Cal athletes, coaches, ex-players and athletic personnel have already punched their tickets to London.

After 47 Bears qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, there’s a good chance even more will represent Cal in London. Of the 15 representatives who have already qualified for the games, five will be participating for the first time.

Among Cal athletes who will be playing in their first Olympics this year, former women’s soccer star Alex Morgan might be the biggest name. The third-highest all-time scorer in Cal history, Morgan has rocketed to national fame after a key performance for Team USA in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, as well as appearing in the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

At least three coaches will be participating in the Olympics, including women’s swim coach Teri McKeever, who will be the head women’s swimming coach for Team USA. McKeever has established herself as one of the top coaches in college swimming, leading the Cal women’s swim team to its third NCAA championship in the last four years.

USA Rowing is well-represented by Cal, including two coaches. Cal men’s crew head coach Mike Teti will coach the USA rowing’s men’s eight, and former Cal rower Lauren Korholz will be an assistant coach for USA Rowing. Three rowers — Zach Vlahos, Julie Nichols and Erin Cafaro — will row for Team USA.