Aug. 22, 2008
Clemson track & field concluded its representation at the 29th Olympiad on Friday in Beijing, China. Following Shawn Crawford’s silver medal in the 200m dash Wednesday, five former or current Clemson athletes were in action on Thursday and Friday at the Bird’s Nest.
The headliner Thursday was obviously Travis Padgett, a junior at Clemson in 2008. He ran second leg for Team USA’s 4x100m relay team. Padgett received a smooth exchange from Rodney Martin and helped catapult the Americans into the lead over Trinidad & Tobago in the first heat after a brilliant run down the backstretch. However, a botched exchange between Darvis Patton and Tyson Gay going into the final leg relegated Team USA to a disqualification. Padgett, just 21 years of age, is a former NCAA champion in the 60m dash for Clemson. He is also the collegiate record-holder in the 100m dash (9.89).
In the second prelim for the men’s 4x100m relay, former Clemson star Dwight Thomas (2001-02) ran opening leg for Jamaica and pushed the team to a first-place finish and berth in Friday’s final. He did not run in the finals for Jamaica, but should receive a gold medal for being part of the relay after their group won the final with a world record time. He is the seventh gold medalist in the history of Clemson athletics and the fourth men’s track & field athlete with Clemson ties to win gold.
Also on Thursday, former Clemson women’s track great Cydonie Mothersill (2000-01) competed in the 200m dash final. The native of the Cayman Islands finished eighth overall in her third Olympic Games appearance.
Cowin Mills and Ato Stephens, both natives of Trinidad & Tobago, comprised half of the country’s 4x400m relay team Friday in Beijing. Stephens, who competed as Ato Modibo at Clemson from 1999-2002, ran opening leg. Mills, a senior for the Tigers’ 2008 team, ran third leg. The team put together a time of 3:04.12 but did not advance to the final after finishing fifth out of eight teams in the second heat.
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