Barton to be represented by 14 current or former athletes and coaches in 2012 London Olympics
July 23, 2012
The Olympic Games are usually dotted with the names of current or former Barton Community College track and field stars. The 2012 Olympics in London will have an exception to the traditional track and field representation as Barton will have its first former basketball player to join the list. Overall the Barton contingent will include one current track team member Akeem Haynes, eight former track team members, and one former men’s basketball player. The athletes will be joined by a list of four coaches who also have ties to Barton. Current Barton Track and Field Coach Nigel Bigbee joins three former Barton coaches who have various ties with athletes participating in the games. Headlining the former Barton athletes will be Tyson Gay and Veronica Campbell-Brown, who are among the favorites to medal in their respective events. Hyleas Fountain returns in the Heptathlon after earning silver medalist honors in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and will also be in contention. Haynes and his Canadian 4X100m relay team, Alonso Edward in the men’s 200m, and Leevan Sands in men’s triple jump will each give serious contention to a spot on the medal stand.
Current and former Barton Athletes participating in the 2012 Olympics: (alphabetical order)
Ryan Brathwaite (Barbados) – 110m hurdles
Brathwaite will compete in his second Olympics after competing in the 2008 Beijing games. Leading his semifinal heat with two hurdles to go, Brathwaite struck the remaining hurdles causing him to finish seventh and thus missed the finals. A three-time NJCAA Champion, Brathwaite has won numerous events in his young career including earning the youngest ever 110m hurdles champion at the 2009 World Championships. Brathwaite, who has been the Barbados national record holder in the event since 2008, is a contender to reach the Olympic finals this year. Brathwaite will open his Olympics on August 7 at 4:10 a.m. CDT in round one competition. Semifinal and final rounds will be the next day beginning with the semis at 1:15 p.m. CDT followed by the finals at 3:15 p.m. CDT.
Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica) – 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay
After winning three medals in the 2004 Olympics, Campbell-Brown defended her 200m title in the 2008 Olympics. Had the favored Jamaican 4X100 relay team not been disqualified in the finals for a dropped baton, Campbell-Brown most likely would have left Beijing with two gold medals to equal her 2004 feat. Team Jamaica is again one of the favorites in the 4X100m relay while Campbell-Brown also enters the 100m with the world’s third best time this year. Campbell-Brown will most likely need to run near 22.00 for a shot a medal in the 200m, a feat she hasn’t done since 2010. Campbell-Brown’s three event Olympics will begin with the 100m preliminary round on August 3 at 4:40 a.m. CDT. She will then compete in the 200m on August 6 with round one beginning at 1:20 p.m. CDT. Campbell-Brown will wrap up her competition in the 4X100m relay scheduled to begin at 2:20 p.m. on August 9.
Alonso Edward (Panama) – 200m
A four-time NJCAA National Champion, Edward is one of the rising stars in track and field and the 200m event. Edward owns the 200m NJCAA National Meet record, as well as, was a member of Barton’s 4X400m NJCAA National Meet record setting relay team. Edward ran the 2nd leg of that team consisting of Remuro Henry, Terry Charles, and fellow 2012 Olympian Tabarie Henry. Edward also owns Panama’s national record in the outdoor 100m and indoor 200m and earned a silver medal finish in the 2009 World Championships. Making his first appearance in Olympic competition, Edward’s 2011 season was cut short due to injury but is now fully recovered and expected to make a run at the medal stand. Edward will begin his quest on August 7 at 5:50 a.m. CDT in round one of the competition. Semifinals will be run on August 8 at 2:10 p.m. CDT with the finals being held the following day at 2:55 p.m.
Laverne Jones-Ferrette (U.S. Virgin Islands) – 100m and 200m
Jones-Ferrette will be making her third straight Olympic appearance after competing in both the 100m and 200m in 2004 and 2008. The U.S. Virgin Islands record holder in the 60m, 100m, 200m, and 400m, Jones-Ferrette will need personal best times to make the finals. Jones-Ferrette will race in the 100m preliminary round on August 3 at 4:40 a.m. CDT followed by round one at 1:05 p.m. CDT. Semifinals and finals are scheduled the following day. Wrapping up her competition at the 2012 event, Jones-Ferrette will run in the 200m on August 6 at 1:20 p.m. CDT with the semifinals and finals scheduled the following two days.
Hyleas Fountain (USA) – Heptathlon
Becoming only the second American to win an Olympic medal in the heptathlon, Fountain enters the 2012 London Olympics seeking another medal to go along with her silver medalist in Beijing. Suffering a neck injury in 2009, Fountain has remained a world leader in both the pentathlon and heptathlon despite having limited competition. Leading after the first two events of the 2011 World Championships, Fountain’s performances began to drop and she eventually withdrew from the event. The five-time USA Outdoor Heptathlon is the American pentathlon record holder and owns three heptathlon records. Fountain will start her medal quest with four events on the opening day of the track and field events. Her day will begin with the 100m Hurdles set to begin at 4:05 a.m. CDT August 3 as the first day of the Heptathlon competition will feature the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, and 200m. Day two will conclude the 7-event heptathlon starting with the long jump at 4:05 a.m. CDT followed by the javelin and 800m.
Tyson Gay (USA) – 100m, 4x100m relay
After being sidelined with hip surgery in July 2011, Gay returned to the track in 2012 running a 9.86 which ranks ninth in the world this year. If Gay’s last three races are any indication of his future fortune at the 2012 Olympics, Gay is destined to leave London with two medals in his second appearance at the summer Olympics. In the last three weeks the former world champion has won the 100m at both the France Areva and London Grand Prix, then on July 20 was part of the meet record breaking United States 4X100m Relay Team in Monaco. The team’s 37.61 time is also the best relay time in the world this year. Recovering from a hamstring injury suffered in the 200m in the 2008 US Olympic Trials, Gay’s previous Olympic appearance resulted in disappointments. Gay missed the 100m finals by one spot and was a member of the powerful 4X100m relay team that failed to make it out of the first round after a dropped baton resulted in the team’s disqualification. A triple World Champion, an American Record Holder, and second fastest man in history, Gay will represent the United States in both the 100m and 4X100m relay. Gay’s 2012 Olympic events will begin at 4:00 a.m. CDT on August 4 in the preliminary round of the men’s 100m, with first round competition scheduled to begin just a few hours later at 6:30 a.m. CDT. The sprinters will return to the track the following day for semifinal round at 1:45 p.m. CDT followed by the finals at 3:50 p.m. CDT. Gay will return to the track as a member of the 4X100m relay team on August 10 at 1:45 p.m. CDT in first round competition with the finals scheduled for 3:00 p.m. CDT the following day.
Akeem Haynes (Canada) – 4X100m Relay
The lone current Barton athlete at the Olympics, Haynes ran the third leg of Barton’s 2012 NJCAA National Meet 4X100m relay team this past spring. Haynes teamed with Travis Thornhill, Demetrius Lindo, and Aliaksandr Linnik to upset the nation’s top ranked team. Haynes also competed in 100m in Canada’s Olympic trials finishing in fourth place. Haynes and his Canadian relay team are expected to vie for the bronze medal behind the U.S. and Jamaican teams. First round competition will begin at 1:45 p.m. CDT on August 10 with the finals slated for 3:00 p.m. CDT the following day.
Tabarie Henry (U.S. Virgin Islands) – 400m
Henry returns to the 400m Olympic stage after competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In that meet Henry ran a personal best 45.19 however did not reach the final round of competition. He has since competed in numerous world championships earning a fourth place in 2009, seventh place in 2011, and more recently a fourth place finish in the World Indoor Championships. A four-time champion at each of the NJCAA and NCAA levels, Henry also holds eight U.S. Virgin Island records including both the indoor and outdoor 400m times. Needing to most likely break the 45.0 barrier to compete for a spot in the finals, Henry will run on August 4 at 4:35 a.m. CDT in first round 400m action. The semifinals of the event will take place at 2:40 p.m. CDT on August 5 with the finals to follow the next day at 3:30 p.m. CDT.
Antanas Kavaliauskas (Lithuania) – Men’s Basketball
Kavaliauskas is not only the first Barton men’s basketball player to compete in the Olympics, but the first former Texas A&M University player to represent his country at the games as well. After just missing the team’s cut, Kavaliauskas was a late roster addition resulting from an injury to another player. Kavaliauskas averaged double figures in points and rebounds his sophomore season, earning him 2004 1st Team All-Conference and All-Region VI honors. Moving on to Texas A&M, Kavaliauskas earned the 2006 Big 12 Conference All-Newcomer award followed by 2nd Team honors his senior year. Representing his country and earning awards at various levels throughout his playing career, Kavaliauskas has been playing at the professional level in Europe since college. Kavaliauskas will be the first of the Barton contingent to hit the Olympic stage in London as the Lithuanian team will open their pool play on July 29 at 4:15 p.m. CDT against Argentina. Lithuania will be participating in Group B, the same group as the U.S. team. Lithuanian should advance to quarterfinal round after most likely finishing fourth in pool behind the solid teams from France and Argentina.
Leevan Sands (Bahamas) – Triple Jump
The Bahamian triple jump record holder, Sands will compete in his 3rd Olympics. In the 2008 Beijing games, Sands set his national triple jump record in earning a bronze medal finish. In Sands’ first Olympic games in 2004 he was unable to get out of the qualifying round in the event. A four-time NJCAA and two-time NCAA Champion, Sands set the NJCAA National Meet triple jump record back in 2002 with a leap of 57-05.00. Sands will attempt to earn his second straight Olympic medal beginning with the qualifying round on August 7 at 4:45 a.m. CDT with the finals set for August 9 at 1:20 p.m. CDT.
Current and Former Coaches with ties to Barton Athletes participating in the 2012 Olympics: (alphabetical order)
Nigel Bigbee – Assistant Coach at Barton 2009-present. Coaching Akeem Haynes (Canada) and will possibly be making the trip to London to assist Haynes and Team Canada’s 4X100m relay team.
Lance Brauman – Assistant Coach at Barton 1995-1997; Head Coach at Barton 1997-2002; Assistant Coach (Sprints) at University of Arkansas 2002-2006; President of PURE Athletics 2007-Present. Coaching Tyson Gay (U.S), Keston Bledman (Trinidad & Tobago), and Kelly-Ann Baptiste (Trinidad & Tobago). Will be in London for the games.
Matt Kane – Assistant Coach at Barton 2006; Head Coach at Barton 2006-2009; Assistant Coach (Men’s Sprints) at University of Oklahoma 2009-2011 ; Assistant Coach (Sprints and Hurdles) at University of Alabama 2011-Present. Coaching Ryan Brathwaite (Barbados), Alonso Edward (Panama), and other athletes. Coach Kane will be in London for the games.
Dennis Shaver – Salina, Kansas native; Head Coach at Barton 1985-1991; Assistant Coach at Auburn University 1992-1995; Assistant Coach (Sprints and Hurdles) at Louisiana State University 1995-2004; Head Coach at Louisiana State University 2004-Present. Ties to numerous Olympic athletes; Unconfirmed if actively coaching any participating athletes and/or attending the London games.
Full coverage of current and former Barton athletes participating in the 2012 London Olympics can be found online at www.BartonSports.com
For full coverage of the 2012 Olympic Track and Field events, go to http://www.london2012.com/athletics/
Full coverage of the 2012 Olympic Men’s Basketball events, go to http://www.london2012.com/basketball/event/men/
Additional information regarding Barton Athletics can be found online at www.BartonSports.com