LAWRENCE, KANSAS – Coming back from Rio, four former Jayhawk track and field athletes spoke on Friday at Rock Chalk Park about competing in the 2016 Olympics. One of the four competitors, sprinter Kyle Clemons, left Rio with some extra weight around his neck.
Clemons won a gold medal for Team USA in the 4×400 meter relay. Clemons ran the third-leg in the preliminary round as the group placed second with a time of 2:58.38. Clemons did not run for the team in the Finals, where a time of 2:57.30 edged out second place Jamaica.
Clemons, a volunteer assistant for the KU track team, continues to accommodate fans that want to see his gold medal, though he does not always wear it.
“I’ve had it pretty much in my glove box in my car,” Clemons said. “Wherever I go somebody may want to see it and I don’t want to go all the way back home.”
“After it wears down, settles down, everything like that I’ll probably just put it in a case.”
Clemons, discus thrower Mason Finley and triple jumper Andrea Geubelle were all part of the same 2009 recruiting class.
“Six years ago were being recruited together to be here at the University and we kind of marked our ground here,” Geubelle said. “Now we’ve taken that next step.”
With Olympic experience under their belt, Geubelle and Finley still have aspirations to join Clemons as an Olympic medalist.
“It’s cool to see the success of my teammate,” Finley said. “It definitely lights a fire under my butt.”
Finley finished 11th in the discus with a mark of 62.05 meters. His performance was the best Olympic discus finish by an American since 2004.
Geubelle finished 21st in the triple jump with a mark of 13.93 meters, a tremendous feat after she left the sport in 2013 for over a year following a torn patellar tendon in the right knee.
The fourth former Jayhawk, Daina Levy, competed for the Jamaican national team. Levy was the first Jamaican female to compete in the Olympic hammer throw. Her mark of 60.35 meters landed her a 30th place finish.
Levy’s time with the Jamaican team has allowed her to interact with superstar sprinter Usain Bolt, but she is not starstruck by her interactions with him.
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