July 30, 2008
Clemson junior track & field athlete Travis Padgett completed a whirlwind tour of Europe on Tuesday in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games, which will be held August 15-24 in Beijing, China. The Shelby, NC native competed in three meets in three different countries over a seven-day stretch. It marked the first time Padgett ever traveled outside the United States.
Padgett’s first stop was the DN Galan in Stockholm, Sweden on July 22. He helped the U.S. “red” team to a silver medal and time of 38.21 in the 4x100m relay. He also competed in the 100m dash and ran a time of 10.29 after facing the likes of Jamaican stars Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell.
From there, he made his way to England to compete in the London Grand Prix on July 25-26. Padgett posted a sixth-place finish in the 100m dash after running 10.27 into a headwind. His greatest achievement of the week came in the 4x100m relay, where he ran second leg for the U.S. gold medal team. He and Shawn Crawford, former Clemson great and reigning Olympic gold medalist (200m), propelled the relay team to a world-best time of 37.80 seconds.
Padgett finished up Tuesday with his strongest pre-Olympic showing in the 100m dash. He placed sixth overall after a good time of 10.07 against very stiff competition in the Herculis Grand Prix of Monaco. He also ran anchor leg for the gold medal winning 4x100m relay team of Leroy Dixon, Rodney Martin, and Darvis Patton. The team posted a time of 38.41.
Padgett earned a spot on the Olympic team after placing fourth in the 100m dash at last month’s U.S. trials in Eugene, OR. Padgett broke the NCAA record in the quarterfinal round at the trials, posting a legal wind time of 9.89 seconds. He is a member of the 4x100m relay pool hoping to compete in Beijing, and will also be an alternate in the 100m dash.
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