July 16, 2008
Clemson, SC – Earlier this week USA Track & Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee announced the 126-person track & field squad that will represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Two athletes from Clemson, former star Shawn Crawford and current junior Travis Padgett, were named to the roster.
Padgett, only 21 years old, will be one of the youngest competitors to earn a spot on Team USA’s roster. He will be part of the 4x100m relay pool as well as first alternate in the 100m dash. Padgett placed fourth in the 100m final at the U.S. Olympic Trials on June 30 in Eugene, OR. He is the first men’s track & field athlete from Clemson named to Team USA with eligibility remaining since James Trapp in 1992.
“It means a lot to me to be part of the U.S. team because I’ve trained so hard to prepare myself for the Olympic Games,” Padgett said. “I can remember when I was young watching it on TV and hoping one day to be a part of that. I’m very excited about going and representing the United States.”
Padgett broke the NCAA record in the 100m dash in the quarterfinal round after running a legal wind (+1.2) time of 9.89. The previous record of 9.92 by Ato Boldon of UCLA had stood since the 1996 season. Padgett ran even faster in the final, clocking a 9.85, but the time was wind-aided due to a +4.1 meters per second wind reading.
The Shelby, NC native is one of the most decorated sprinters in Clemson history. He is a six-time All-American and was 2007 NCAA indoor champion in the 60m dash. Padgett has also claimed three ACC championships and two NCAA East Region championships in the 100m dash in his career.
Crawford, a native of Van Wyck, SC, competed at Clemson from 1997-2000. He is the defending Olympic gold medalist in the 200m dash. He will be competing in the event again this year, and will also be considered for the 4x100m relay team as well. Crawford was a three-time NCAA champion in the 200m dash as a Tiger. He ran a season-best 19.86 in the final at the Olympic Trials on July 6 and was runner-up to Walter Dix, formerly of Florida State University.
He also claimed a silver medal at the 2004 games in Athens, Greece with the 4x100m relay team. Crawford just missed on earning a third medal after finishing fourth place in the 100m dash.
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