Diamond Dixon Competes for USA at Pan American Junior Games

July 25, 2011


Last weekend Kansas sprinter Diamond Dixon represented the United States by taking part in the Pan American Junior Games in Miramar, Fla.. The sophomore-to-be nabbed a silver medal in the 400 meter dash while also helping Team USA’s 4X400-meter relay team take home gold.

On Friday afternoon, Dixon competed in the 400-meter dash against eight of the best junior sprinters in the Pan American region. Countries as Jamaica, Canada and Puerto Rico were among those represented in the race. Dixon got out to a fast start, quickly making up the stagger and moving up the field. Down the back stretch she was overtaken by Jamaica’s Chrisann Gordon but held her second-place position, which is where she would eventually finish. Dixon crossed the finish line in 53.10, .5 second behind the winner.

In the 4X400-meter relay final on Sunday evening, Dixon led Team USA to its final gold of the weekend, winning the race in 3:34.71, more than four seconds better than the second-place team. Receiving the baton with only a slim lead over the Canadian team, Dixon ran the anchor leg in 52.2 seconds, assuring that none of the other runners would be able to catch her.

The weekend’s accomplishments added to an already outstanding debut season to Dixon’s collegiate career. Dixon, the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Champion in the 400 meters, notched the fastest time in the country this year among juniors (ages 14-19) at 51.55. She was named the Big 12 Female Outstanding Freshman of the Year as well as the Midwest Region Female Track Athlete of the Year. She was the third-place finisher in the 400 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and won the event at the USA Junior Championships in late June. Over the three-month 2011 outdoor season, Dixon amassed three first-place finishes in the 400 meters and was a regular in the top 25 of the national rankings. She was also a leader on the 4X400-meter relay team that broke both the indoor and outdoor school records at during the past season.

Dixon will be back in action when she runs in the 400 meters at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, taking place Aug. 12-23. There she will be joined by fellow Jayhawk Mason Finley, who will be competing in the shot put. For updates and results, log on to kuathletics.com.