Drive down Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury and you'll know where the town's loyalty stands during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Signs with the message "Good Luck Sara!" have popped up all over town in front of businesses and private homes alike.
Early Wednesday morning Simsbury native Sara Hendershot and rowing partner Sarah Zelenka will participate in the Women's Pair final race for a shot at earning an Olympic medal. The race will take place at 10:10 a.m. in Great Britain, or 5:10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
The pair's time of 6:59.29 earned them an automatic spot in the six-boat final on Wednesday. The British team of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning came in first with a time a 6:57:29, an Olympics best. The world record for the race is 6:53:80.
The pair will be competing in Wednesday's final event against British pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown of Australia, Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait of New Zealand, Kerstin Hartmann and Marlene Senig of Germany, and Georgeta Andrunache and Viorica Susanu of Romania.
The U.S. Olympic Rowing team left for London on July 16 and Hendershot and Zelenka have been practicing at Dorney Lake every day since.
Hendershot has been keeping friends, family, and supporters up to date by blogging about her Olympic experience.
Hendershot graduated from in 2006 and graduated from Princeton University, where she majored in psychology, in 2010.
The 24-year-old got her start in rowing on the Farmington River in Simsbury where she rowed for the Simsbury High School Crew team.