Former Jayhawk Now an American Gladiator

May 7, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Former track and field athlete at the University of Kansas, Jen Widerstrom, will join season two of NBC’s American Gladiators as the newest Gladiator, “Phoenix,” as announced by the network Wednesday.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

A native of Lisle, Ill., Widerstrom joined the Jayhawks track and field program after a brief stint with the Kansas rowing team. She excelled as a thrower, competing primarily in the weight and hammer throws. During her senior season in 2005, Widerstrom set the school record in the hammer throw at 58.50 meters (191 feet, 11 inches). The record has since been passed by current Jayhawk junior Zlata Tarasova.

While at Kansas, Widerstrom was also an active leader as part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as well as a Jayhawk Scholar.

Season two begins on May 12. More information on American Gladiators and “Phoenix” can be found at: