Go USA! Let’s cheer on these NJ athletes headed to Olympics in Rio
As Olympic fever sets in across the globe, there's a new crop of New Jersey athletes to root for in Rio. Their talents range from central Jersey teen phenoms in track and gymnastics to a defending Gold medal wrestler from south Jersey.
There's almost three dozen sources of NJ pride all over these summer games- I've rounded them up for you!
Track and Field
Sydney McLaughlin: Women's 400-meter hurdles
Sydney McLaughlin of Dunellen has rocketed to stardom as one of the youngest U.S. Olympic athletes in almost 40 years! The elite teen runner will turn 17 while in Brazil, after qualifying in the women's 400m hurdles.
Ajee Wilson: Women's 800-meter
Ajee Wilson has been making her Monmouth County hometown proud since her standout days as a high school track star in Neptune. Wilson is competing in the women's 800m.
Robby Andrews: Men's 1500-meter
Monmouth County's own Robby Andrews has made his first Olympic team. The 2009 graduate of Manalapan High School competes in the men's 1,500m.
English Gardner: Women's 100-meter
English Gardner is a Vorhees native headed to her first Olympic games. The 2009 grad of Eastern Senior High School got her start in Carl Lewis’ NJ track club when she was 12. Gardner competes in the 100m.
Jeff Porter: Men's 110-meter hurdles
Jeff Porter is a Somerset native, headed to his 2nd Olympic games. The 2003 graduate of Franklin High School is hoping for a strong showing in the men's 100m hurdles.
Ronnie Ash: Men's 110-meter hurdles
Ronnie Ash grew up in Passaic, before moving as a high school senior to North Carolina, and trying out hurdles for the first time.
Nia Ali: Women's 100-meter hurdles
Nia Ali has roots in both Atlantic County as well as in Philadelphia. The 2006 Pleasantville High School grad competes in her first Olympics in Rio, in the 100-meter hurdles.
Marielle Hall: Women's 10,000-meter
Marielle Hall is a Camden County native looking for long distance glory in Rio. The 2010 graduate of Haddonfield High School competes in the 10,000-meter — which is 25 laps around an Olympic-sized track.
Christina Epps: Women's triple jump
Christina Epps is a Morristown High School grad (class of 2009) competing in the triple jump in Rio.
Keturah Orji: Women's triple jump
Keturah Orji set a NJ record as a Mount Olive High School senior in 2014. She's also looking to Triple Jump to a medal in Rio.
Middlesex County's own Laurie Hernandez is among the new “Fierce Five” on the U.S. Gymnastics team.
The 16-year-old Old Bridge resident is a 'first-year senior' — the only on this Olympic team.
"Pride of Delran" Carli Lloyd is ready to get fierce on the field, for her 3rd summer Olympics. She and fellow Jersey Girl midfielder, Tobin Heath of Basking Ridge are counting down the team's road to Rio. ( As of Wednesday, East Brunswick native Heather O'Reilly is not on the Olympic roster.)
Connor Jaeger: 400-meter free, 1500-meter free
Monmouth County native Connor Jaeger has lapped his way into a second summer games. The 2010 grad of Rumson-Fair Haven High School is competing in the 400-meter free and the 1500-meter free at Rio.
Kelsi Worrell: 100-meter fly
Kelsi Worrell is a Westampton native and a 2012 grad of Rancocas Valley Regional High School. She's swimming in the 100-meter butterfly in Rio.
Jordan Burroughs is among those looking for an Olympic repeat. The 28-year-old Sicklerville native won a Gold Medal four years ago in London.
Aother Rio-bound U.S. wrestler is Frank Molinaro of Barnegat. He was a three-time State Champion at Southern Regional High School.
Shakur Stevenson wants to bring something positive to Newark, the "city that built him." Stevenson is the oldest of nine siblings and began boxing at age five, under his grandfather's watchful eye.
Colton Brown is a Piscataway native going to his first Olympic games. The 24-year-old has won world cup or continental open medals on five continents.
West Orange native Kyrie Irving is having a banner year, as he just clinched the NBA championship with his team, the Cleveland Cavs.
Joe Maloy is a south Jersey guy through and through- born in Somers Point, a resident of Wildwood Crest. The Wildwood Catholic High School grad says his favorite competition is still "Tri the Wildwoods", as it's home and has a great post-race buffet.
Ibtihaj Muhammad of Maplewood and Dagmara Wozniak of Avenel represent New JErsey and Team USA in the summer games, four years after they both fenced in London.
Rachel Dawson is a Camden County native. This is the third Olympics for the 2003 grad of Eastern Regional High School.
Michelle Vittese of Cherry Hill is heading to her second Olympic games. She graduated Camden Catholic in 2008.
Sam Ojserkis grew up in Linwood and is a 2008 grad of Mainland Regional High School.
Steve Kasprzyk is a Cinnamonson native, who also rowed at the 2012 Olympics in London.
On the women's team, Tracy Eisser is a Fair Lawn native while Lauren Schmetterling is from Moorestown.
Burlington County native Matt Emmons is hoping for a fourth straight medal, after winning a Gold, Silver and Bronze in the past three Summer Games, respectively. Emmons is a 1999 grad of Pemberton Township High School.
Yue"Jennifer" Wu is a member of the women's Olympic Table Tennis team, and a Fort Lee resident.
Raymond Martin of Jersey City is looking for a repeat of London in Rio. The elite wheelchair racer won four gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games. That year, he was also nominated for an ESPY award. Millstone native Brian Siemann and Garfield's own Gianfranco Iannotta also are on the paralympic track roster in Rio.
Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee. A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.