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Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, September 23, 2000


USOC photo
Maureen O'Toole finished her water polo
career with a silver medal today.

Hawaii scores
a silver

O'Toole finishes with silver
medal in water polo

By Pat Bigold

Maureen O'Toole said she was enjoying a beer as she spoke over the phone amid the din of a post-medal ceremony bash from Sydney this morning.

Olympic Rings It's a pleasure the former University of Hawaii scholarship swimmer can once again indulge now that her underdog women's water polo team has earned an Olympic silver medal.

"I'm just pretty disappointed we couldn't have brought back the gold," said the 39-year-old O'Toole of the 4-3 loss to Australia.

Yvette Higgins scored with 1.3 seconds left to give the Aussies the first gold ever awarded in Olympic women's water polo.

Hawaii's Olympians

Competing today:

Bullet Women's basketball: New Zealand (Tania Brunton) vs. Russia.
Bullet Men's beach volleyball: U.S. (Kevin Wong/Rob Heidger), quarterfinals.
Bullet Women's volleyball: (Robyn Ah Mow, Heather Bown) vs. Brazil.
Bullet Men's water polo: U.S. (Sean Kern) at Yugoslavia.

When to watch


Bullet NBC (KHNL Channel 13/Cable 8):
4 p.m.-9 p.m.
Track & field, swimming, women's mountain biking, men's diving.
9:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
Men's volleyball (U.S. vs. South Korea), weightlifting.

Bullet MSNBC (OC 40/Dig. 117/AC 12):
9 p.m.-4 a.m. (repeat)
Baseball (U.S. vs. Cuba), Women's water polo gold medal, (U.S. vs. Australia), men's soccer, softball (U.S. vs. Italy), women's beach volleyball.

Bullet CNBC (OC16/Dig.116/AC 43):
1 p.m.-6 p.m.
Men's water polo (U.S. vs. Croatia), boxing, soccer, sailing.

"The crowd was incredible," said O'Toole of the capacity crowd at the Sydney International Aquatic Center . "There was 17,500 ... sold out. I never played in front of a crowd like that before." O'Toole's team, which has former Punahou star and three-time Olympian Chris Duplanty as an assistant coach, is the first with Hawaii ties to earn an Olympic medal since 1988.

Duplanty was a member of the men's water polo team that took silver in Seoul.

"I will definitely bring the medal to show people at the University of Hawaii first chance I get to take a vacation to the islands," said O'Toole.

She said there will be no stopover here for the team en route back from Australia.

"I'm proud to be an alumna of UH and I'll do whatever I can for the school. I love Hawaii, and it's always in my heart." She said that someone who ha d just returned to California from Honolulu gave her a tuberose lei before she boarded her flight for Sydney .

"I wore it on the plane ride," said O'Toole, who recorded two shots on goal in last night's game.

"Their goalie made two great blocks on me," she said.

O'Toole said that it's ironic that Duplanty was with her for this Olympic campaign because .

"When I was a swimmer at UH, I would go and work out with the Punahou and Iolani water polo teams, and Chris was with Punahou at the time," she said.

O'Toole then offered, "Guess who else is here at the party. Aaron Chaney."

Chaney was Iolani's long-time head varsity water polo coach who is officiating at the Games.

O'Toole, who along with her coach questioned the legality of Higgins's goal, said she is sure the U.S. could have won in overtime.

"Absolutely we would have," she said. 'We were the better conditioned team."

Associated Press
Hawaii's Mike Lambert, left, and Erik Sullivan go for a dig
during today's volleyball match against South Korea.
The U.S. was eliminated today.

Choices for Viloria

Brian Viloria said in a phone interview yesterday there's a "50-50" chance that he will enroll at the University of Hawaii at midterm or next fall.

But Viloria, the world amateur light flyweight champion whose pursuit of Olympic gold ended Thursday, said he wants to get some rest before he decides whether to continue his education or turn pro.

"All I want to do now is rest up," said Viloria. "But I do have to catch up with some of my credits. I just want to go back to school. I missed a whole year."

Viloria said he would probably major in communications at UH.

He had taken broadcasting courses at Northern Michigan and has 32 credits. He has developed a number of contacts in the broadcasting industry since his world championship last year.

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