While the U.S. women’s Eight grabbed headlines by blasting their way straight into the medal row, Flint’s Ellen Tomek and boatmate Meghan O’Leary were grinding their way through the field into the double sculls final.
Miscues left Tomek, 32, and O’Leary, from Baton Rouge, La., trailing the field in their heat by half a minute on Saturday and relegated them to the second-chance repêchage.
They powered into in the semifinals as repêchage runners-up on Monday, finishing 6/100ths of a second behind winner Germany.
Midway through their semifinal on Tuesday Tomek and O’Leary slid backwards into 5th, two spots out of the final, before a furious, all-out surge pushed them into 3rd by an invisible 5/100ths of a second ahead of New Zealand.
After finishing 5th in the double sculls in Beijing, Tomek missed the London Games. The Luke M. Powers High grad began rowing in 2002 while earning a degree in Economics at the University of Michigan. She pulled stroke oar for the U.S.’s double scull silver medalist boat at the 2015 World Rowing Cup II in Varese, Italy.
The women’s double scull medal row is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday. Cancellation of today’s events may delay the medal round.