Eight current and former track athletes will represent South Plains College at 30th OlympiadJuly 23, 2012
LONDON, England - The 2012 London Olympic Games are right around the corner and South Plains College will be well represented with eight current and former track and field athletes representing their respective countries.
The track and field portion of the 30th Olympiad will begin August 3 and will then conclude August 12, the final day of the Games.
Associate Head Track and Field coach Blaine Wiley will travel to London in an attempt to help five of his athletes prepare to compete in their first Olympic Games and is very excited for the opportunity.
“It’s a great honor to be able to do it. It’s a lifelong dream, really,” said Wiley, who just finished his sixth season at SPC. “I am just riding along on their coat tails. They’ve done all the hard work, I’ve just tried to guide and lead them along the way.
“I am very excited to see our student-athletes go to London and represent themselves, their countries and South Plains College.”
Wiley will have a direct hand in working with Rondell Bartholomew (Grenada), Trevor Mackey (Bahamas), Sparkle McKnight (Trinidad & Tobago), Janelle Redhead (Grenada), and Janeil Bellille (Trinidad & Tobago), but he will also have the good fortune to watch other athletes with SPC ties compete including Sally Kipyego (Kenya), Renny Quow (Trinidad & Tobago), and Andrae Williams (Bahamas).
Bartholomew, whom Wiley helped guide to a school record time of 44.65 seconds in 2011, will look to improve upon his sixth place finish in the 400-meters from last year’s IAAF World Championships when he toes the line August 4.
Nagging injuries have kept Bartholomew from racing during the season, but Wiley said he is hopeful Bartholomew is ready to record a fast time based upon the workouts he has completed.
Bartholomew will be joined in the 400-meter dash by former SPC school record holder and training partner Renny Quow.
Quow has also seen international success, earning a bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.
“They have both been there before and know what it takes performance wise,” Wiley said of Bartholomew and Quow. “They are going to have to each bring their ‘A’ games. Each round really is the final. You can’t really save anything for the final, you have to get to the final and then give it all you have.”
Kipyego is a potential medal contender in two events and ran her way to a silver medal at last year’s IAAF World Championships in the 10,000 in Daegu, South Korea.
One should not allow Kipyego’s current world ranking of 62nd in the 10,000-meter run fool them as she has only run the race once this year which was during a third place finish at the Kenyan Olympic trials.
Kipyego will also compete in the heats of the women’s 5,000-meter run on Tuesday August 7. If all goes well she will compete in the final on August 10 and is currently ranked fifth in the world in the event with a best time of 14:43.11.
“Sally is definitely a threat to win an Olympic medal,” said SPC head track and field coach Chris Beene. “She has gained tremendous experience over the last few years racing internationally and having won a silver medal at last year’s world championships proves she is ready for the Olympic stage.”
While some may call Bellille a newcomer to the Olympic stage, Wiley feels she could surprise some people.
“She is really good and has been for a while. I think she is a young star in this event for the future. The key for her is going to be managing the pressure of her first Olympic Games.
“Athletically, I think she is gifted enough to make a run and do well.”
Mackey recently punched his ticket as a member of the Bahamian team when he ran an Olympic ‘A’ standard time of 20.52 seconds in the 200 meter dash at the NACAC under 23 Championships earlier this month.
Wiley will be living in the Olympic village where more than 22,000 Olympic athletes will be housed. However, it will make it easier for him to be accessible to his athletes and be there if any issues arise.
“The Olympics are something that is very special and something that inspires all types of emotions in all of us and I just hope that people can watch and see and appreciate what these young people have accomplished and that it is a huge feat for them.
“It’s great recognition for South Plains College,” Wiley added.
Schedule of Athletes with SPC ties competing in London Olympic Games
London Local CST
Saturday, August 4
Sunday, August 5
Monday, August 6
Tuesday, August 7
Wednesday, August 8
Thursday, August 9
Friday, August 10
*Denotes athlete must advance from previous round