GOLD, SILVER AND BRONZE: ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE'S FORMER TRACK STARS TAKE HOME MEDALS FROM THE 2012 SUMMER OLYMPICS
August 16, 2012
Newark – As the curtain falls on the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, three former Essex County College (ECC) athletes can add “Olympic Medalist” to their resumes. Demetrius Pinder (Class of 2009) earned a Gold Medal as a member of the Bahamas’ winning 4x400 relay team. Kerron Stewart (Class of 2005) anchored Jamaica’s 4x100 meter relay team and is taking home a Silver Medal. Novlene Williams-Mills (Class of 2002) won a Bronze Medal for anchoring Jamaica’s 4x400 meter relay.
“We are so proud of the accomplishments of these three Essex County College alumni,” said College President Edythe Abdullah. “Each of them, and our other 2012 Olympic athletes, received a world-class education at Essex County College, moved on to a 4-year college, and became the world’s best athletes. They are truly role models for our current students and an inspiration for our potential students.”
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) reported that 57 of the 2012 Summer Olympic athletes currently or previously attended a two-year college. With its count of 11 current and former students competing, Essex County College had the most athletes participating than any community college in the country.
“Essex County College is fortunate to recruit many of the world’s best athletes, who are looking for an affordable and quality option to fulfill their education goals as well as their athletic goals,” said ECC Track Coach Michael Smart. “As a coach, I have had the privilege of watching their continued progress over the years. It is so exciting and fulfilling to stay connected with them since their graduation from Essex, to the Olympics in London.”
Demetrius Pinder ran the second leg of the 4x400 meter relay. While at Essex, he was a National Champion and two time All-American track athlete. He recently graduated from Texas A & M University. Demetrius was a first-time Olympic athlete.
Kerron Stewart, a two-time Olympian and a three-time ECC All-American, went on to graduate from Auburn University in Alabama. She was a 2008 Olympics double-medalist on the Jamaican women’s team, earning a Silver Medal in the 100 meters and a Bronze Medal in the 200 meters.
Novlene Williams-Mills, a three time Olympian, was the 2012 captain of the Jamaican women’s Olympic track team. On August 11, she earned a Bronze Medal that matches the Bronze Medals she won at both the 2004 and 2008 games as a member of the 4x400 meter relay team.
There were eight additional former and present ECC students who were listed on the 2012 Olympic roster, including:
• Jamaica: Korine Hinds (Class of 1998); Riker Hylton (Class of 2010); Kenia Sinclair (Class of 2001); and Melaine Walker (Class of 2004)
• Grenada: Kanika Beckles (Class of 2011); Joel Redhead (Class of 2007)
• Puerto Rico: Enrique Llanos (Class of 2002)
• Senegal: Moussa Dembele (current ECC student)
Four years ago in China, Essex County College also had 11 participants, the highest of any junior college in the country at the 2008 Summer Olympics.