Levy Snares Jamaican Title, Ticket to Rio
KINGSTON, Jamaica –Senior Daina Levy made it official Saturday morning as she formally punched her ticket to the Olympics by way of a victory in the hammer throw at the Jamaican National Championships. The win marked the second-straight Jamaican title for Levy, who will become the first Jamaican female to compete in the hammer throw at the Olympic Games when the event commences next month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Levy, who is the Jamaican record holder in both the hammer and weight throws, easily defended her national crown in the hammer event Saturday inside National Stadium. Her top mark, a throw of 64.18 meters (210’6″), beat the rest of the field by more than 22 feet to secure the win. The performance earned the two-time Big 12 champion the right to represent her country in Rio as she achieved the Olympic qualifying mark two weeks ago in Lawrence. That school record and career-best toss of 71.48 meters (234’6″) ranks Levy 24th in the world this year.
Levy will compete in the hammer throw qualifying rounds at the Olympics, which are set to get underway on Friday, August 12.
Two other Jayhawks took part in the festivities in Kingston this weekend. Strymar Livingston turned in a new career-best en route to a third-place finish in the 800 meters Saturday night. The junior clocked in at 1:47.93, moving him to seventh on KU’s all-time 800-meter list. Freshman Ivan Henry took 28th in the preliminary heats of the 400 meters Friday evening. He crossed the finish in 47.50.
EUGENE, Ore – A trio of former Kansas track & field stars were in action at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials inside Hayward Field Saturday. Kyle Clemons, who ran for the Jayhawks from 2010-13, advanced to the finals of the 400-meters by way of a career-best time and will attempt to punch his ticket to Rio with a top-three finish in the event Sunday.
Clemons, who still holds the school records in both the indoor and outdoor 400 meters, turned in a career outing Saturday afternoon to reserve his spot in the event final. The Rowlett, Texas product completed the quarter-mile race in 44.79, the fourth-fastest time posted in the semifinals. Clemons will run for his first Olympic Team berth in the final scheduled for Sunday at 6:48 p.m. (CT).
In the throws ring, KU Track alumnae Jessica Maroszek turned in an impressive outing by finishing eighth in the discus finals. Maroszek, the school record holder and 2014 Big 12 champion, hit 57.78 meters (189’7″) on her first attempt of the afternoon but could not improve.
Jordan Scott, who vaulted for the Jayhawks from 2007-11, finished 12th in the qualifying rounds of the pole vault to advance to the event final. He cleared two bars on the day, the best a height of 5.50 meters (18’0½”). He’ll jump for a trip to Rio on Monday, July 4 in the competition scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. (CT).
Several former KU track stars are still awaiting their turns at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Get updates and results from Eugene by logging on to KUAthletics.com and following on Twitter at @KUTrack.
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