Tallahassee, FL – From last week’s opening ceremony through 19 days of competition, a kaleidoscope of colors are captured in the prism of global significance, which are the Olympic Games.
Track & Field, more commonly known as Athletics on the world stage, has long held a prominent place in the Games. With the competition set to begin Friday, a dozen former, current or future Florida State athletes will lend a Garnet & Gold hue to the 2012 London Games.
According to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), Florida State is credited with having the most Olympians among the track & field entrants at 12; a distinction the Seminoles share with USC and Auburn.
“It’s fantastic that so many track & field Seminoles have made it to the pinnacle of our sport,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said Tuesday evening, as he prepared to board his flight for London. “To have the most representatives of any program in the country is truly and honor.”
Braman is making his second trek to the Olympics as Florida State’s head coach. He also attended the 2008 Games in Beijing, China, where the ‘Noles were also represented by 12 athletes.
With the XXX Olympiad underway, Florida State track & field has been represented by at least one athlete in nine of the last 10 summer Olympic Games; the lone exception coming at the 1980 Moscow Games, which were boycotted by the United States.
To add some perspective to FSU’s current representation, there are 2,236 confirmed entries for the track & field portion of the Olympic Games. Of those, 350 are current, former or committed student-athletes that have, or will, attend U.S. universities.
While FSU, USC and Auburn are each represented by 12 track & field athletes in London, Arkansas follows close behind with 11. The Razorbacks has a list-leading five athletes who were collegians in 2012. The Seminoles have three: decathlete Gonzalo Barroilhet (Chile), sprinters Maurice Mitchell (USA) and Kemar Hyman (Cayman Islands).
FSU’s list of track & field entrants actually grew to 12 when 2012 signee Anne Zagre earned a spot on Belgium’s national squad. Zagre, who will enroll at FSU in August, will compete in the 100-meter hurdles.
The competing Seminoles will represent six different countries – United States (2), Belgium (3), Great Britain (2), Jamaica (2), Cayman Islands (1) and Chile (1). Collectively, they are among 31 Atlantic Coast Conference track & field athletes competing in London; which does not include a pair of US coaches.
While Braman will attend the 2012 Games as an interested spectator, FSU assistant coaches Dennis Nobles and Ken Harnden are there in a working capacity. Nobles, who coaches FSU’s horizontal jumps, pole vault and multi events, will be working with Lacy Janson (USA/pole vault), Kimberly Williams (Jamaica/triple jump) and Barroilhet (decathlon). Harnden, FSU’s Director of Sprints, Hurdles & Relays, will be coaching Kemar Hyman (100/Cayman Islands).
Track & Field action gets underway Friday, August 3 and the Seminoles will have a presence right from the start. Jamaican shot putter Dorian Scott will compete in the qualification round (5 a.m., ET), with the finals set for 3:30 p.m. Fellow Jamaican Williams, the most decorated women’s track & field athlete in FSU, competes in the triple jump preliminary round (5:45 a.m.).
The first round of the men’s 1500-meter run, which will include Ciaran O’Lionaird, representing Ireland, gets underway at 3:05 p.m.
Florida State Track & Field Olympians
Gonzalo Barroilhet, Chile (decathlon)
Jonathon Borlee, Belgium (400m)
Kevin Borlee, Belgium (400m)
Hannah England, Great Britain (1500m)
Kemar Hyman, Cayman Islands (100m)
Lacy Janson, United States (pole vault)
Maurice Mitchell, United States (200m)
Ciaran O’Lionaird, Ireland (1500m)
Barbara Parker, Great Britain (3000m steeplechase, 5000m)
Dorian Scott, Jamaica (shot put)
Kimberly Williams, Jamaica (triple jump)
Anne Zagre, Belgium (100m hurdles)