Former Kansas Sprinter to Compete at Pan American Games
Oct. 21, 2011
Lawrence, Kan. – Former Kansas sprinter and Lawrence Free State alumnus Keron Toussaint will participate in the 2011 Pan American Games next week in Guadalajara, Mexico. Toussaint, who ran for the Jayhawks from 2008-2011, will represent his home country of Grenada in the 400 meters on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
“I’m excited but I’m kind of nervous because this is really my first competition since I’ve come back from an injury,” said Toussaint. “I feel ready though and can’t wait to get out there.”
Toussaint, who was one of the Jayhawks’ top sprint and middle distance runners over his four years in Lawrence, was born in Grenada before moving to New York City and eventually Lawrence when he was a teen, making him eligible to run for his home country in international track competitions. Toussaint says that the opportunity to represent his country is what all track and field athletes aspire to.
“It feels really good to be running for (Grenada),” explained Toussaint. “Everyone wants the chance to represent their country. It’s a great honor and I take it as a challenge.”
While his eligibility is complete with the KU track team, Toussaint is currently completing his fifth year as a student at KU, and is scheduled to graduate in May 2012. While he has been on campus completing his studies, he has also been training with his mentor, KU track and field Head Coach Stanley Redwine on a daily basis.
“I’ve been working a lot with Coach Redwine,” said Toussaint. “He has trained so many athletes for meets like this one so he really knows what he’s doing. I think he has me ready to go.”
Toussaint even plans on staying in contact with Redwine throughout his week in Mexico, to get tips and training schedules while he continues to prepare for his race.
The meet next week is the first step of Toussaint’s main goal later next year, which is to compete for Grenada at the 2012 Olympics in London. While he has already made the Olympic team in the 4X400 meter relay, he will try to qualify as an individual in the 400 meters.
“The main goal of mine is to make the Olympics,” Toussaint explained. “I still need to shave some seconds off my 400 (meter) time but I’m close. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be able to do that. The race next week will really show me where I stand right now.”
The Pan American Games are the second largest multi-sport event after the Summer Olympics. The competition is held between athletes from nations of the Americas, held every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games.
The preliminary heats of the 400 meters are set to begin at 4:45 p.m. (CST) on Oct. 25. If Toussaint were to advance, he would then run in the final on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. (CST). For updates and results of Toussaint’s performance, log on to kuathletics.com.