Sooner Olympians coming to London 2012

Posted on July 6, 2012

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With Olympic fever growing steadily throughout the country here, and with the Olympic Torch passing through my little town only a few days ago on its tour of Britain, its only right to start the first Sooner Olympics blog. The University of Oklahoma is going to be represented in 8 different events by current and former students, all looking to represent their country, but we all know they will be representing the Sooner’s also. There was really only one sport I could start off with to write about.

Gymnastics

It’s well-known to those in the Gymnastics circle that OU Gymnastics is the pinnacle for men’s gymnastics. If you want to win National Titles, you come to Oklahoma to do it. It is with no great surprise that the USA Olympic team is flushed with Sooners.

All in all, 5 Sooners will be going to London for Gymnastics, 2 made the team and 3 are travelling as alternatives. Jonathan Horton won an Individual Silver and a Team Bronze in Beijing and is the only member of the squad who has competed at the Olympics before. He is joined by reigning NCAA Champion Jake Dalton, who after the Olympics will be back to finish his Senior year.

They are joined by fellow Sooners Steven Legendre, Alex Naddour and Chris Brooks. However, one of those three  may play the most vital role in this team. Gymnastics is a sport where alternatives are more widely used due to the high impact nature of the sport and the chance for injury is just that much greater, so they have to be as ready, if not more to step out and compete at a minutes notice. This has to be one of the best chances for Sooner’s to come away with a medal. I would love to go down to watch, but with only the $300 tickets left, it’s a little out of my price range, but I hope to be in London in Sooner gear at the very least!

Athletics

There are always great stories for athletes making it to the games, some are simple and some are more like the ending to a Disney film. One such last-minute dream come true story was from OU Senior Brittany Borman in the Javelin. On her 23rd Birthday and her final throw to try to hit the ‘A’ standard to qualify, Borman found a throw that beat her career best by nearly 7 foot, throwing 201-9, beating the 200 feet, 1 inch needed to go to London. Talk about putting in a clutch performance when needed, lets hope Brittany can emulate throws like that at the Olympics!

OU Junior Tia Brooks managed to book her place in London in the shot put, coming third in the USA Olympic Trails. With a throw of 60 feet, 2 inches (18.34 meters) she beat off some stiff competition for that final spot in London. The hard work starts now for the OU athlete, to get ready to peak again for London.

Recent OU graduate Latoya Greaves will be representing Jamaica after placing second in the finals of the Olympic Trials in Jamaica Sunday night with a time of 12.77 seconds.  Laverne Jones-Ferrette will be representing the U.S Virgin Islands in both 100 and 200 metre sprints. She currently holds all USVI sprinting records with 11.18 in the 100m and 22.49 in the 200m.

Wrestling

Current OU assistant coach Jared Frayer will be competing in the Freestyle Wrestling in the 66kg class. Sam Hazewinkel will be competing in the Freestyle Wrestling in the 55kg class. Both wrestlers destroyed the competition at the trials, both defeating four of the nation’s top wrestlers to win their respective events. Both will be looking to take that form into London where they will face off against the best the rest of the world has to offer!

Olympic Staff Members

Not only do we have these wonderful athletes representing the Sooner faithful, we have 6 Staff members who will also be going.
Brian Blutreich, Team USA, Track & Field Personal Coach – Dr. Robert Hines, Team USA, Wrestling Team Doctor – Michael Lightner, Team USA, Wrestling Personal Coach – Bo Overton, Team China, Women’s Basketball Assistant –  Mark Williams, Team USA, Men’s Gymnastics Personal Coach – Keith Williams, Team USA, Women’s Wrestling Assistant.

The Olympics are the pinnacle of sports performance, so I don’t need to tell you how much it means just to get there for these athletes. We know they will all do us Sooners, and their Countries proud so let’s get behind them all and show them the same Sooner love and passion we give our Football team players. You can follow most of them on twitter, so give them a follow and let them know they are appreciated!

@Borman_Track – @TiaRashone – @Jake_Dalton – @AirFrayer – @SamTheHaze 

 @J_Horton11 – @CBrooks_wpr –  @Legendz50 – @Alex_Naddour

Boomer Sooner – a quite note, if any of you Sooner followers are getting over to London for the Olympics, let me know!

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