Nikkita Holder is one of three Illini track and field athletes to compete at the London Olympics.
July 31, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Three former Fighting Illini student-athletes will begin competition Friday and continue through next week. Four-time NCAA Champion and 2012 NCAA 100m and 110m hurdles champion Andrew Riley (Jamaica) is joined by hurdler Nikkita Holder (Canada) and discus thrower Gia Lewis-Smallwood (USA).
Gia will kick things off on the field for the Orange and Blue, with the qualifying round of the discus on Friday at 1:10 p.m. CT with the finals of the event happening Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT. Action on the track starts Monday, Aug. 6 with Nikkita's first round of the 100m hurdles. The semifinals and finals of the 100m hurdles will take place Tuesday. Andrew begins his quest for a medal on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 4:10 a.m. CT with round one of the 110m hurdles. The medal round happens the next day with the semifinals taking place at 1:15 p.m. CT and the finals at 3:15 p.m. CT.
Holder (2007-2009) will be making her first Olympic appearance this year. Holder finished third at the Canadian Trials with a career-best time of 12.80 to advance to London. Holder represented Canada in the 100m hurdles at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. During her time at Illinois, Holder competed in the 100m hurdles, 100m and 60m hurdles, placing a career-best fourth in the 100m hurdles at the 2007 Big Ten Championships.
Lewis-Smallwood (1998-2001) will be competing in her first Olympic Games for the United States in the discus. Lewis-Smallwood represented Team USA at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, her first international experience after 11 years competing on the national level. A native of Champaign, Ill., Lewis-Smallwood was a All-American in the discus for the Orange and Blue in 2001, placing fifth at the NCAA Championships.
Riley (2009-12), a recent Illini standout, will cap off an incredible 2012 season by representing his home country of Jamaica in the Olympics. Riley finished second in a loaded field at the Jamaican Trials with a career best time of 13.19 to earn his trip to London. In June, Riley became the first male NCAA athlete ever to win both the 100m and the 110m hurdles NCAA titles in the same year. He finished his Illinois career as a four-time NCAA champion, 12-time All-American and 12-time Big Ten Champion.
Olympic 100m Hurdles Schedule | LINK
Aug. 6, 10:05 am BST/4:05 CDT: Round 1
Aug. 7, 7:15 pm BST/1:15 CDT: Semifinals
Aug. 7, 9 pm BST/3 CDT: Final
Olympic Discus Schedule | LINK
Aug. 3, 7:10 pm BST/1:10 CDT: Qualifying
Aug. 4, 7:30 pm BST/1:30 CDT: Final
ANDREW RILEY | Illinois Bio
Jamaica, Men's Track & Field (110m hurdles)
Personal Best: 13.19 (2012)
2012 Best (world rank):13.19 (14th)
Olympic 110m Hurdles Schedule | LINK
Aug. 7, 10:10 am BST/4:10 CDT: Round 1
Aug. 8, 7:15 pm BST/1:15 CDT: Semifinals
Aug. 8, 9:15 pm BST/3:15 CDT: Final