Samuel Vazquez always knew he would be an Olympian… he just wasn’t sure when. The twenty-eight-year-old proved his athleticism through his high-school athletic career, when he was named the Adidas High School National Champion in the mile in 2003. Vazquez was also named the All-Time Florida High School Fastest Miler with a 4:03 mile, and owns six individual Florida State Championship titles.
Since graduating from the University of Miami in 2011, T'erea Brown has been doing nothing but training. The five-time All-American hurdler is used to hard work, and now it has all paid off-- she's on her way to represent the United States in the London Olympics.
Dee Dee Trotter will be making her third Olympic appearance when she suits up in the red, white, and blue for the 2012 Olympics in London. Trotter was a member of the 4x4 team that took home the gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She ran the 400m in Beijing, but failed to qualify for the finals. FleetFeet in Altamonte Springs recently held an Olympic send off party for the Orlando resident. FLRunner's Todd Grasley caught up with Trotter to talk about her Road To London.
Tabarie Henry's road to London wasn't the smoothest path. Henry started his high school career at Miami Norland and then transferred to Hallandale High School. Due to academic problems, he was unable to run and says the situation was pretty bad.
22-year-old Maurice Mitchell was a standout athlete while attending Raytown South High School. The Kansas City, Missouri native won eight state titles and broke state records for the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He received an athletic scholarship to study at Florida State University and began running for the Seminoles in 2009. Mitchell is a five-time NCAA Division I All-American, thirteen-time All-ACC, eleven-time ACC champion, 2011 NCAA Outdoor 200-meter dash and 4 x 100-meter champion and ACC 200-meter dash outdoor record holder.
After a debate in June ended in her favor, University of Florida student Genevieve LaCaze will be running for her home country of Australia in the 2012 Olympics. For her, the road from Australia to Florida to London has been long but well worth it.
When athletes step onto the field to compete in Olympic events, everyone knows that they have been training for this moment for years. But behind every athlete is someone who has helped him or her get to this point -- the coach.
Sarasota native and 2001 graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School Lacy Janson walked on the track for the first time during her junior year. After clearing 11'6" later that year and finishing sixth at the indoor national championships, Janson finished as the state runner-up her senior year and won the high school national championships a month later in North Carolina and the 2011 Junior Pan American Games in Argentina. She went on to compete at Florida State University, where she was the 2003 indoor pole vault national champion, a six-time Atlantic Coast Conference pole vault champion, a four-time All-American and a six-time All-ACC honoree.
Christian Taylor never intended on becoming one of the world’s best triple jumpers.
An athlete must be incredibly talented to make it to the Olympic games. To run in those games three times takes an even more extraordinary amount of skill, and Florida has its own Olympic Super Girl in University of Miami alumna Lauryn Williams.
Ciarán O’Lionaird is not your average collegiate super-running machine. The Cork, Ireland native is quick to note that his success as a runner didn’t come without a few sacrifices along the way. He was initially recruited by Michigan coach Ron Warhurst after an impressive high school career. A variety of injuries related to his back, hips and pelvis hindered his performance and potential, prompting O’Lionaird’s transfer to Florida State University.
As the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games looms closer and closer, many of us are trying to find runners who can be idolized and supported while watching the Olympic Games. We've found track and field athletes who have ties to the Florida area and want to get behind them in their Road To London. Leading up to the Olympics we will feature a new athlete and their journey from the Sunshine State to the biggest state in sport.