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Olympics

Tokyo Olympics: Meet the New England athletes competing for Team USA

Rashida Ellis of Lynn, Mass., is a top contender in her division of women's boxing at the Tokyo Games.
Rashida Ellis of Lynn, Mass., is a top contender in her division of women's boxing at the Tokyo Games.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which have begun with preliminary action and the Opening Ceremony set for Friday, Team USA will feature many athletes and coaches with New England ties.

Here’s a closer look at athletes whose listed hometown is in New England, or have other connections to the region, and have been named to the 613-member US delegation.

Baseball

Triston Casas was taken in the first round of the 2018 draft.
Triston Casas was taken in the first round of the 2018 draft.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Triston Casas and Jack Lopez — The Red Sox took Casas, a third baseman, with the 26th pick in 2018. He’s assigned to the Double A Portland Sea Dogs and is hitting .271 with six home runs and 30 RBIs. Lopez, a second baseman, was a 16th-round selection by Kansas City in 2011 and is hitting .288 for the Triple A Worcester Red Sox.

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Basketball

Jayson Tatum — The Celtics star missed a recent scrimmage against Argentina because of right knee soreness, but he practiced later in the week and should be on track to compete in the Games. He’s represented the United States in the past but is a first-time Olympian. Tatum is wearing No. 10 to honor his idol and mentor, Kobe Bryant.

Boxing

Rashida Ellis — One of the nation’s most gifted amateur boxers, she’s the favorite to win gold in the lightweight division. She was named USA Boxing’s Elite Female Boxer of the Year in 2019 and is hoping to win for her family and the city of Lynn. “My parents’ 41st anniversary is this summer, and I won’t be home for it,” Ellis said. “My gift to them will be my gold medal.”

Crew

Gia Doonan — A Rochester, Mass., native and Fairhaven High School and Tabor Academy product, the 27-year-old will take part in the women’s eights. The 6-footer won gold in the four and eight at the 2016 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.

“We won two gold medals in the world championships, so I was like, ‘Wait a minute: If I’m winning gold in both events at the U23s, then the next step is the Olympic team,’ ” Doonan told radio station FUN 107 in a recent interview.

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Conor Harrity — Harrity finished fourth in the eight at the 2018 World Rowing Championships and fifth in 2019. The 6-foot-4-inch Weston native was a Boston College High School and Harvard University team captain.

Cicely Madden — Originally from Weston, the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School and Brown University graduate will compete in the women’s quadruple sculls.

She took second at the 2019 World Rowing Cup II in the double sculls. The 26-year-old, who trains in Cambridge, has been a part of several national teams and is set to compete in her first Olympics.

Andrew Reed — Reed, 29, is from Wayland, went to Belmont Hill and Harvard, and sharpened his skills at Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont. Reed, who is participating in the men’s fours, finished fifth at both the 2019 World Rowing Championships and the 2019 World Rowing Cup II.

Alexander Richards — He grew up in Watertown, attended Belmont Hill and Harvard University (like Reed), and is an aspiring comedian.

The 6-6 Richards, 25, will compete in the men’s eights. He finished fifth in the eight at the 2019 World Rowing Championships and won bronze at the 2019 World Rowing Indoor Championships.

Regina Salmons — The former All-Ivy selection at Penn is originally from Methuen. She attended Derryfield School in Manchester, N.H., and loves to write poetry in her spare time.

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In 2018, Salmons helped Penn earn its first medal at the Ivy League championships since 1980. She won gold in the intermediate four with coxswain at the 2015 US Rowing Club National Championships and in the four and eight at the 2016 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. She’ll compete in the women’s eights.

Gevvie Stone and Kristi Wagner — Newton’s Stone and Weston’s Wagner won the women’s double sculls at the trials in West Windsor, N.J.

Stone, a resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, took the silver medal in the single at the Rio Games and also competed in the event in 2012. Wagner is making her first trip to the Olympics. They finished second and third, respectively, in the women’s single sculls in February then elected to team up in doubles.

Fencing

Eli Dershwitz — Dershwitz was the youngest member of the US fencing team at the 2016 Olympics, and he’ll hope to improve upon his 19th-place finish.

A 2014 Dover-Sherborn High and 2019 Harvard graduate, the Boston resident has competed in sabre fencing on an international level since 2013. He’s ranked second in the world in men’s sabre.

Andrew Mackiewicz — The Westwood native was a two-time men’s sabre NCAA champion at Penn State. He began at Zeta Fencing in Natick at age 8.

“I just remember I liked ‘Star Wars,’ and I’m still a huge fan,” Mackiewicz said. “So instead of running around hitting my brother with light sabres, my parents signed me up for fencing, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.”

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Rugby

Madison Hughes — Hughes captained Team USA in Rio in 2016 and is back for a second go this summer. He was born in Epsom, Great Britain, raised in Lancaster, Mass., and attended Dartmouth College. According to the Team USA website, he grew up a Red Sox and Patriots fan even though he was born in England.

Madison Hughes is a Dartmouth product who loves the Red Sox and Patriots.
Madison Hughes is a Dartmouth product who loves the Red Sox and Patriots.Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Kristi Kirshe — Her Instagram bio reads, “Just a kid from Boston living the rugby dream.” A 2013 Franklin High and 2017 Williams College graduate, she didn’t pick up the sport until age 23. Now 26, she’s heading to her first Olympics. She played soccer at Williams, and her favorite movie is “Good Will Hunting.”

Soccer

Sam Mewis and Kristie Mewis — The former Whitman-Hanson stars are hoping to help the US capture gold among a loaded field. Kristie, 30, has four goals and four assists in 26 appearances for the national team. Sam, 28, has 23 goals and nine assists in 77 games and recently took home the ESPY for Best International Athlete, Women’s Soccer.

Swimming and diving

Michael Hixon — A 3-meter diving specialist, the 27-year-old Hixon grew up in Amherst, Mass. He took silver in the synchronized 3-meter and 10th in the individual 3-meter in Rio in 2016. His mother, Mandy, dived at Ohio State and was the diving coach at UMass. She coached him until he began his college career. His father, David, coached basketball at Amherst College for 42 years.

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Ruby Remati and Lindi Schroeder of United States compete during the Duet Free Routine Final of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final last month.
Ruby Remati and Lindi Schroeder of United States compete during the Duet Free Routine Final of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final last month.Eric Alonso/Getty

Ruby Remati and Lindi Schroeder — The 19-year-old artistic swimmer Schroeder, who grew up in Andover and attended Phillips Academy, is the first Massachusetts resident in her sport to compete in the Games since Plymouth resident Kate Hooven in 2008. Schroeder was a finalist at the 2019 worlds and the 2016 Junior World Championship. Remati, an alternate who replaced Rio veteran Anita Alvarez after Alvarez passed out briefly in the water in prelims, is also from Andover.

Track and field

Wadeline Jonathas — The sprinter, who went to high school in Worcester and once singlehandedly won a team indoor track national championship for UMass Boston, was third in the 400 meters at the US track trials to punch her ticket to Tokyo.

Heather MacLean — MacLean’s coach, Mark Coogan, describes her as “a blue-collar kid” who prefers Dunkin’ Donuts to Starbucks and would rather have a Sam Adams than a Tree House. The 25-year-old Peabody-raised UMass Amherst grad is the first UMass women’s track athlete to make the Olympics. MacLean, who didn’t start running competitively until her junior year of high school, said she questioned many times whether she should run full time, but now she’s heading to the Olympics to compete in the 1,500.

Elle Purrier St. Pierre — Purrier St. Pierre, a former University of New Hampshire star who grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont and lives in the state, won the 1,500 at the Olympic trials. The 26-year-old trains with teammate MacLean, and the Attleboro-raised Coogan is her coach.

Molly Seidel — Seidel, a 27-year-old Cambridge resident originally from Wisconsin, qualified in the marathon with a second-place finish at the Olympic trials. She was an NCAA champion in the 3,000, 5,000, and outdoor 10,000 while at Notre Dame.

“Ever since I was a little kid this was the only thing I dreamed about doing,” she said on “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” in March. “To be able to say, ‘Yes, I’m an American athlete,’ that’s the highest honor, I think, an athlete can have.”

Gabby Thomas — After winning the 200 at the trials with the second-fastest time in history, Thomas enters the Olympics as the favorite to capture gold. The 24-year-old, who is from Florence, Mass., attended Williston Northampton School in Easthampton. She’s also slated to compete in the 4 x 100-meter relay. This is her first time at the Olympics.

Support staff

Shalane Flanagan (Marblehead) is a running coach. Kara Lawson (former Celtics assistant) is an adviser for the USA Basketball women’s 3-on-3 team. Darren Fenster (Red Sox minor league coach) will be the third base coach for Team USA. Marc Gargaro (head coach of Nonantum Boxing Club in Newton) is a Team USA boxing coach. Ime Udoka (Celtics coach) is an assistant coach for the US men’s basketball team.

Other New England athletes

ConnecticutAustin Hack (Old Lyme, rowing), Liam Corrigan (Old Lyme, rowing), Alexis Sablone (Old Saybrook, skateboarding), Alyssa Naeher (Stratford, soccer), Kieran Smith (Ridgefield, swimming — 200 and 400 freestyle). Hack, who was born in Springfield, Mass., finished fourth in the men’s eight at Rio and will have a chance to medal this time. Naeher is on track to start in goal.

MaineRachel Schneider (Sanford, track — 5,000). Schneider, 30, attended St. Thomas Aquinas High in Dover, N.H. She earned her chance after missing out on a Team USA spot for the Rio Olympics by .01 seconds.

New HampshireJessica Parratto (Dover, diving). Parratto placed seventh in synchronized 10-meter diving and 10th in individual 10-meter diving in the 2016 Olympics.

Rhode IslandAnders Weiss (Barrington, rowing), Stuart McNay (Providence, sailing), Emily Sisson (Providence, track — 10,000). Weiss, 28, was born in Providence and graduated from Barrington High in 2011 and Brown University in 2016. Sisson, a multiple NCAA champion and All-American at Providence College, won the women’s 10,000 at the trials. McNay, who grew up in Brookline, Mass., is a rare four-time Olympian.

VermontIlona Maher (Burlington, rugby). Maher, a Burlington High and Quinnipiac University graduate, lettered in field hockey, basketball, and soccer before transitioning to rugby. She earned the MA Sorensen Award, given to the best women’s college rugby player, in 2017.


Trevor Hass can be reached at trevor.hass@globe.com.