Esther Lofgren, a Newport Harbor High alum, won an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. women's eight in rowing. (DON LEACH, Daily Pilot / August 2, 2012)

Esther Lofgren, a Newport Harbor High product, earned an Olympic gold medal Thursday, contributing to the U.S. women's eight rowing triumph on Dorney Lake.

Lofgren, competing in her first Olympics, helped the Americans earn their second straight Olympic gold medal, as the favored boat finished the 2,000-meter course in six minutes, 10.59 seconds.

It was fulfillment of a long quest for Lofgren, 27, a Harvard graduate who was the last athlete cut from the 2008 Olympic team that won gold in Beijing.

Lofgren's mother, Christine, had been among the final rowers cut from the 1984 U.S. women's eight team that went on to win gold at the Los Angeles Olympics.

Christine Lofgren was on hand to witness her daughter's convincing victory Thursday. The Americans led from start to finish and were nearly 1.5 seconds ahead of runner-up Canada.

The Netherlands finished third.

Esther Lofgren, who developed her craft at Newport Aquatic Center, was one of three newcomers on the boat that has not lost in six years. The Americans added world championships in 2006 and 2010 to their conquests at the last two Olympics.

Esther Lofgren tweeted on Twitter after winning: "So proud of my girls today...Olympic gold, baby!!! Celebrating with my family and Kyle...thank you, everyone, for helping us make it her(e) ..."

— From staff reports