Olympians with Kansas ties

07/17/2012 5:00 AM

08/05/2014 8:23 PM

UNITED STATES

Diamond Dixon

Kansas

Track and field, 1600 relay

Age: 20

Begins competition: Aug. 10

Bio: Dixon finished fifth in the 400 (career-best 50.88 seconds) at the Olympic Trials, which makes her part of the six-member relay team. She recently completed her sophomore year at KU, where she won the Big 12 400 for a second time. She has finished third in the NCAA 400 both years. Originally from Houston’s Westside High. where she was a two-time state champ in the 400.

Results: Ran the third leg for the U.S. 1600 relay team, which finished with the fastest qualifying time (3:22.09). Did not run for the winning U.S. 1600 relay team in the final, but receives a gold medal because she ran a leg in Friday’s qualifying.

Hyleas Fountain

Barton County Community College

Track and field, heptathlon

Age: 31

Begins competition: Aug. 3

Bio: Originally from Enola, Pa., Fountain entered Barton in 2000 and was a two-time NJCAA heptathlon champion. She left Barton in 2002 with five national titles for Georgia, and was NCAA heptathlon champ as a junior and high jump champ as a senior. She’s a five-time U.S. outdoor champ in the heptathlon and won silver in Beijing in 2008. She made a successful return to the Olympic team at the Trials, returning from a neck injury.

Results: Fountain was in fifth place after the first day of the heptathlon with 3,900 points. Dropped out of the heptathlon before the final event.

Tyson Gay

Barton County Community College

Track and field, 100 meters

Age: 29

Begins competition: Aug. 4

Bio: Gay won the NJCAA 100 meters as a Barton freshman in 2002, then was third in the 100 and second in the 200 as a sophomore before moving on to Arkansas, where he won the 2004 NCAA 100. He missed out on the 2004 Olympic team and made the 2008 squad but a hamstring injury kept him from reaching the finals. He was second in last month’s Olympic Trials and holds the American record (9.69).

Results: Won his heat in the 100 (10.08) and advanced to the semifinals. Finished fourth in the 100-meter finals.

Amy Hastings

Leavenworth

Track and field, 10,000 meters

Age: 28

Begins competition: Aug. 3

Bio: A two-time 3200-meter winner in Class 6A for Leavenworth High, Hastings became the top distance runner in Arizona State history. She earned 10 All-America honors, including the 2006 NCAA indoor 5000-meter championship. She finished fourth in the Olympic marathon trials in January — one spot short of making the team — but won the 10,000 at the Olympic Trials by passing two competitors on the final turn for her first spot on the Olympic team.

Results: Hastings finished 11th in the 10,000 meters with a time of 31:10.69. She was the top American.

Chelsea Hayes

Butler Community College

Track and field, long jump

Age: 24

Begins competition: Aug. 7

Bio: See profile of Hayes

Results: Hayes jumped 20-10 3/4 in the opening round of the long jump, but did not advance to the finals of the competition.

Erik Kynard

Kansas State

Track and field, high jump

Age: 21

Begins competition: Aug. 5

Bio: Kynard came to K-State from Toledo, Ohio, where he was a two-time state high jump champion. He has won the past two NCAA high jump championships, including a personal-best 7 feet, 8 inches last month in Des Moines. See profile of Kynard.

Results: Kynard cleared 7-5 in the preliminary part of the high jump competition. Kynard won the silver medal in the high jump, clearing 7-7 3/4. He is the first K-State athlete to medal with eligibility remaining since 1952.

Darvis Patton

Garden City Community College

Track and field, 400 relay

Age: 34

Begins competition: Aug. 10

Bio: Patton grew up in Dallas and started college in Garden City, where he was an eight-time NJCAA All-American (winning the 1998 long jump). He earned 10 All-America honors at TCU and was a member of the silver-winning 400 relay team in the 2004 Olympics. He finished fifth in the 100 and 200 at last month’s Olympic Trials.

Ran the second leg for the U.S. 400-meter relay, which topped qualifying (37.38). Did not run in the U.S. 400-meter relay final, but receives a silver medal because he ran a leg in Friday’s qualifying.

Shannon Vreeland

Overland Park

Swimming, 800 meter relay

Age: 20

Begins competition: Aug. 1

Bio: Vreeland, a 2010 Blue Valley West graduate, was part of two NCAA-winning 800-meter relay teams in her first two years at Georgia. Her 1-minute, 57.9-second 200 freestyle at last month’s Olympic Trials in Omaha got her fifth place and a spot on the relay team.

Results: Vreeland swam the third leg in the final of the United States' gold-medal winning 800-meter free relay team on Aug. 1. Vreeland's team set an Olympic record in the race. Earlier in the day she swam the second leg in the preliminaries as the U.S. team won its heat.

Isiah Young

Junction City, Allen County Community College

Track and field, 200 meters

Age: 22

Begins competition: Aug. 7

Bio: See profile of Young beginning on page 1D.

Results: Young finished third in his heat (20.55) in the 200 meters and advanced to the semifinals. He was eighth in a the semis with a 20.89 time.

BAHAMAS

Leevan Sands

Barton County Community College

Track and field, triple jump

Age: 30 (31 on Aug. 16)

Begins competition: Aug. 7

Bio: A native of Nassau, Sands competed at Barton County for two years before transferring to Auburn. Sands won the bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The finish was a surprise since he entered the meet ranked eighth in the world. His leap of 57 feet, 8 1/2 inches set a Bahamian record.

Results: Sands jumped 56 feet, 4 inches to advance to Thursday's triple jump finals. In the finals he finished fifth with a mark of 56-4 3/4.

BARBADOS

Ryan Brathwaite

Barton County Community College

Track and field, 110 hurdles

Age: 24

Begins competition: Aug. 7

Bio: Brathwaite ran a person-best 13.14 seconds in winning the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. That came four months after he set the junior college hurdles record with a 13.32 at the Texas Relays. A year earlier, he qualified for the 2008 Beijing Games but finished seventh in his semifinal and did not advance to the final.

Results: He qualified for the 110-meter hurdles semifinals by finishing second in his heat (13.23 seconds). He finished fifth in the 110 hurdle finals with a time of 13.40.

BURUNDI

Diane Nukuri Johnson

Butler Community College

Track and field, marathon

Age: 27

Begins competition: Aug. 5

Bio: Nukuri Johnson competed for Burundi as a youth and stayed in Canada after a 2001 meet as a refugee because of her country’s civil war. She had already run the 5000 meters in the 2000 Games for Burundi at age 15, and was the flag bearer. She won nine NJCAA championships at Butler and set juco records in four events. She graduated from Iowa.

Results: Finished 31st overall in the women’s marathon.

CANADA

Akeem Haynes

Barton College

Track and field, 400 relay

Age: 20

Begins competition: Aug. 10

Bio: Haynes is the only Barton athlete currently attending the Great Bend school. His best 100 time of 10.25 came in the Canadian Olympic Trials in June. Haynes ran the third leg of Barton's 2012 NJCAA-winning 400 relay team. Aside from sprinting powers Jamaica and the United States, Canada is expected to compete for the bronze medal in the event.

Results: Did not run for Canada's 400-meter relay in qualifying. Canada qualified third.

COLOMBIA

Liana Salazar

Kansas

Women’s soccer

Age: 19

Begins competition: July 25

Bio: Salazar, a midfielder, has played in three World Cup competitions at various age levels (women’s, U-20, U-17). She started against the United States in last year’s Women’s World Cup match in Germany. She was a Big 12 newcomer team selection as a freshman in 2011, starting all 21 games and scoring five goals

Results: Colombia lost all three games at the Olympics. Salazar did not score.

Ingrid Vidal

Kansas

Women’s soccer

Age: 21

Begins competition: July 25

Bio: A sophomore this fall, Vidal led the Jayhawks with 11 goals in 2011, earning All-Big 12 and All-Big 12 newcomer honors. Her 28 points were a program record for freshmen. This is her third national appearance for Colombia, playing in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, the 2010 U-20 and 2008 U-17. Her goal was the only one in Colombia’s victory over Argentina in a 2011 Cup qualifying game.

Results: Colombia lost all three games at the Olympics. Vidal did not score.

HAITI

Jeffrey Julmis

Kansas State

Track and field, 110 hurdles

Age: 24

Begins competition: Aug. 7

Bio: Julmis was born in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but he’s able to compete for Haiti because his parents are Haitian citizens. He ran two years at Cloud County, then transferred to K-State. He qualified for the NCAA meet as a sophomore, then finished fourth in the hurdles in 2011. He is one of five Haitian athletes who are confirmed entrants in the Games.

Results: Julmis finished eighth in his heat of the hurdles and did not advance.

JAMAICA

Veronica Campbell-Brown

Barton County Community College

Track and field, 100 and 200 meters

Age: 30

Begins competition: Aug. 3

Bio: Ten years later, Campbell-Brown still owns the junior college 200 record. She won four NJCAA titles in two years before competing for Arkansas. She has four Olympic medals and will try for his third consecutive gold in the 200. She won silver as an 18-year-old in the 400 relay, then two golds in Athens (200, 400 relay) before repeating the 200 in Beijing. She try to be the first woman to win gold in three straight 200s.

Results: Campbell-Brown won her 100-meter qualifying heat in 10.94 seconds. Finished third in the 100-meter final for Jamaica with a time of 10.81 seconds. Finished third in her heat and qualified for the 200-meter semifinals with a time of 22.75 seconds. Finished first in her 200-meter heat (22.32) to advance to the final. In the final she finished fourth with a time of 22.38.

Korene Hinds

Kansas State

Track and field, 3000 steeplechase

Age: 35

Begins competition: Aug. 4

Bio: Hinds has competed in distance events internationally for more than 20 years. She had a best world championships steeplechase finish of third in the 2005 meet. She finished second in the NCAA 3000 meters in 2000. This is her second Olympics steeplechase after not placing in 2008.

Results: Was 10th in her heat (9:37.95).

LITHUANIA

Darius Draudvila

Kansas State

Track and field, decathlon

Age: 29

Begins competition:

Bio: Draudvila, a Wichita State volunteer assistant, competed at K-State from 2003-06. Originally from Kauno, Lithuania, Draudvila was a 2010 winner of the World Fair Play award, when he offered his spare pole to another athlete when his had snapped. Draudvila finished sixth in the 2010 European championships.

Results: He was in 18th place after the first day of the decathlon (4,090 points). He finished in 25th place. Antanas Kavaliauskas

Barton College

Basketball

Age: 27

Begins competition: July 29

Bio: Kavaliauskas played two seasons at Barton and may be a recognizable name for Big 12 fans as he went on to Texas A&M, earning second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2007 under coach Billy Gillispie. Kavaliauskas scored seven points in the Aggies' 69-66 win over KU in 2007, the Big 12 South's first victory at Allen Fieldhouse. He has been playing in Europe since college and was the last member to be added to the Lithuanian team following another player's injury.

Results: Lithuania lost its first game to Argentina 102-79. Kavaliauskas did not play. In Lithuania's second game, a 72-53 win over Nigeria, Kavaliauskas scored six points and had four rebounds. He scored five points in Lithuania's third game, a loss to France. He had six points in Lithuania’s game against the United States. Played against Tunisia, winning 76-63. In Lithuania's final game -- an 83-74 quarterfinal loss to Russia -- he did not score.

Austra Skujyte

Kansas State

Track and field, heptathlon

Age: 32 (33 on Aug. 12)

Begins competition: Aug. 3

Bio: Skujyte (6-foot-2) is an accomplished heptathlete. She was a two-time NCAA winner in the event (2001-02) at Kansas State, also finishing second in the shot put once. After graduation, she finished second in the 2004 Olympic heptathlon in Athens. She did not medal in the 2008 Games.

Results: Skujyte was in second place after Day 1 of the heptathlon with 3,974 points. Finished fifth in the heptathlon, missing bronze by 29 points. Her 6,599 points were a personal best.

NIGERIA

Dominic Okon

Wichita State

Basketball assistant coach

Age: 36

Begins competition: July 29

Bio: Okon is a former member of Nigeria’s national team and is now an assistant coach as the country plays in its first Olympic basketball tourney. Okon is WSU’s director of basketball operations who played at Loyola Marymount.

Results: Nigeria won its first game over Tunisia 60-56 and lost its second game to Lithuania 72-53.

PANAMA

Alonso Edward

Barton College

Track and field, 200m

Age: 22

Begins competition: Aug. 7

Bio: Edward ran at Barton in 2009 and owns the NJCAA national meet record of 20.34 in the 200 meters. He was also part of Barton's meet record 1600 relay team that year. He won the silver in the 200 at the 2009 Worlds and is making his Olympic debut.

Results: Edward false-started in his 200-meter heat.

PUERTO RICO

Beverly Ramos

Kansas State

Track and field, 3000 steeplechase

Age: 24

Begins competition: Aug. 4

Bio: Ramos was a three-time All-American at K-State in the 2000s. The honors came in three events: cross country, steeplechase and 5,000 meters. She ran a personal-best 9:39.33 in the steeplechase two weeks ago in France.

Results: Was 12th in her heat (9:55.26).

RUSSIA

Sasha Kaun

Kansas

Basketball

Age: 27

Begins competition: July 29

Bio: Kaun was a member of KU’s 2008 national championship team. He was taken with the 56th pick of the NBA Draft that year by Seattle, but had already announced his intention to play in his native Russia. He plays professionally for CSKA Moscow and was on the Russian team for the 2010 world championships.

Results: Kaun scored five points in Russia's 95-75 win over Great Britain. He scored 13 points in the Russians' 73-54 win over China. In Russia's one-point win over Brazil, Kaun scored three points. He scored one point in Russia's win over Spain. He led his team with 18 points against Australia. Kaun scored two points in quarterfinal win over Lithuania. Led Russia with 14 points in its semifinal loss to Spain.

TURKEY

Tugba Palazoglu

Barton College

Women's basketball

Age: 31

Begins competition: July 28

Bio: Palazoglu played at Barton from 1999 to 2001 before going to Western Illinois. Since then she's played professionally in Europe. The 5-foot-8 guard was a member of the Turkish national team that took second place in the 2011 EuroBasket competition.

Results: She led Turkey with 13 points in its 72-50 win over Angola. She also had a team-high 11 points in Turkey's 61-57 win over the Czech Republic. She was held to seven points in Turkey's 89-58 loss to the United States. She scored four points in Turkey's win over China. She scored three points in Turkey’s 66-63 loss to Russia in women’s basketball quarterfinals.

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

Tabarie Henry

Barton College

Track and field, 400m

Age: 24

Begins competition: Aug. 4

Bio: After running at Barton, Henry ran at Texas A&M, winning national championships at each level. A member of Barton's record-setting 1600 relay team in 2009, Henry holds eight records for the Virgin Islands. He ran at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, setting a personal best of 45.19, but did not reach the 400 final.

Results: Was fourth in his 400-meter heat (45.43) and qualified for the semis. Finished sixth in qualifying and did not make the men's 400-meter finals.

Laverne Jones-Ferrette

Barton College

Track and field, 100m & 200m

Age: 30

Begins competition: Aug. 3

Bio: Jones-Ferrette is in her third straight Olympics. She ran at Barton in the early 2000s before moving on to Oklahoma. The Virgin Islands' record holder in her events, Jones-Ferrette's best marks are 11.18 in the 100 and 22.49 in the 200.

Results: Jones-Ferrette was second in her 100 heat with a time of 11.07, qualifying for the semifinals. Was fourth in her 100-meter semifinal (11.22). Finished second in her heat and qualified for the 200-meter semifinals (22.64). She finished fourth (22.62) in the semifinal heat and did not advance to the finals.

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