Collegians At The Tokyo Olympic Games

The Tokyo Olympics are finally underway!

There are a number of athletes who competed in the U.S. collegiate system in 2021 among those entered.

Let’s see how they fared in the Land of the Rising Sun.

How Collegians Fared At The 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Name
Program
Event
Medal
Athing Mu
Texas A&M
Women’s 800 Meters
Gold
Athing Mu
Texas A&M
Women’s 4×400 Relay
Gold
Bryce Deadmon
Texas A&M
Men’s 4×400 Relay
Gold
Randolph Ross
North Carolina A&T
Men’s 4×400 Relay
Gold
Trevor Stewart
North Carolina A&T
Men’s 4×400 Relay
Gold
Bryce Deadmon
Texas A&M
Mixed 4×400 Relay
Bronze
Trevor Stewart
North Carolina A&T
Mixed 4×400 Relay
Bronze
Elija Godwin
Georgia
Mixed 4×400 Relay
Bronze
Taylor Manson
Florida
Mixed 4×400 Relay
Bronze

We’ll continue to update this post throughout the 10-day Athletics program.

Was There Ever A Doubt?

Athing Mu entered the Olympics as the world leader in the 800.

Mu, who competed collegiately for Texas A&M in 2021 and is a finalist for The Bowerman, left Tokyo with the Olympic gold medal and an American record to show for it.

The 19-year-old phenom went wire-to-wire to win the final of the Women’s 800 Meters in 1:55.21, cutting her PR down by 0.86 seconds and demolishing Ajee’ Wilson’s former American best of 1:55.61 by 0.40 seconds. Mu actually negative split the race, going through 400 meters in 57.82 and pulling away from the field down the homestretch on her way to a 57.39 final lap.

Hocker, Welcome To The Final

Cole Hocker is making a name for himself, one 1500-meter run at a time.

Hocker, who competes collegiately for Oregon and is a finalist for The Bowerman, clocked the fastest 1500-meter effort by a U.S. collegian in Olympic history on Thursday. He went 3:33.87 to place second in his semifinal to advance to the final round.

The Indianapolis native closed the final 400 meters in 52.9 and 200 meters in 25.8.

Multiple Gold Medals From 4×400 Relays

Trevor Stewart to Randolph Ross to Bryce Deadmon to Vernon Norwood got Team USA into the final of the Men’s 4×400 Relay. Then Deadmon joined forces with Michael Cherry as well as Rai Benjamin and Michael Norman – two-thirds of the men’s finalist class for The Bowerman in 2018 – and brought the gold medal home in 2:55.70, the second fastest time in American history and the fourth fastest time in world history.

But, it was first in the women’s final, where Athing Mu anchored Team USA in 48.32 as they clocked a blistering, gold medal-winning time of 3:16.85. That was the second time this year that Mu anchored a winning 4×400 relay team with a sub-49 seconds performance (Mu went 48.84 at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships back in June).

All told, that’s four gold medals for collegians from 2021.

Stewart Leads The Way To Bronze

Trevor Stewart helped get the medal party started on Day 2.

Stewart, who competed collegiately for North Carolina A&T in 2021 and anchored two title-winning 4×400 relay teams this year, led off Team USA in the final of the Mixed 4×400 Relay.

After getting the baton around in 44.9h, Stewart handed off to former Southern California standout Kendall Ellis. Stewart could only watch from there as Ellis, Kaylin Whitney and former LSU standout Vernon Norwood worked their separate ways around the track en route to a third-place finish and a bronze medal in the inaugural Olympic event.

Three other collegians from 2021 earned medals as part of the relay pool: Bryce Deadmon (Texas A&M), Elija Godwin (Georgia) and Taylor Manson (Florida).

Mr. Jumps Wraps Up Competition

JuVaughn Harrison long made the exceptional look routine.

Harrison, who is a finalist for The Bowerman in 2021 after a sensational year at LSU, became the first U.S. athlete to compete in both the high jump and long jump at the same Olympic Games since Jim Thorpe in 1912. He contested both of those events over the course of four days and finished sixth in the long jump and seventh in a hotly contested high jump final.

After four rounds of the long jump, Harrison sat eighth, having yet to top 8.00m (26-3). On his fifth attempt, Harrison soared 8.15m (26-9) to leapfrog four other men and move closer to one of three coveted podium spots. It wasn’t to be for Harrison, as eventual champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece knocked him down to fourth and then Eusebio Caceres of Spain edged him by 3 cm in Round 6 for fifth place. Harrison only mustered a leap of 7.49m (24-7) in Round 6.

Fahnbulleh, Rogers Make Dynamic Debuts

Joseph Fahnbulleh and Camryn Rogers, a pair of NCAA champions from 2021, finished fifth in their respective events at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Fahnbulleh, who competes collegiately for Florida and represented Liberia in Tokyo, expertly navigated his way through the rounds of the Men’s 200 Meters and used his trademark closing speed to finish two spots out of medal contention in the final.

Rogers, who competed collegiately for California and represented Canada in Tokyo, only needed one throw to get through qualifying of the Women’s Hammer Throw and then launched the implement 74.35m (243-11) in the final for the fifth-best mark on the All-Dates, All-Time Collegiate List. That mark also put her third, at the time, but two other athletes – Poland’s Malwina Kopron and France’s Alexandra Tavernier – knocked her down to fifth.

Grijalva Impresses In 5K Final

PRs were hard to come by in the final of the Men’s 5000 Meters.

Luis Grijalva was the only athlete to snag one in oppressive conditions.

Grijalva, who competed collegiately for Northern Arizona in 2021, crossed the finish line in 13:10.09 for 12th place and it rocketed him up the All-Dates, All-Time Collegiate List in the event. Grijalva is now the No. 5 performer behind Lawi Lalang (13:00.95), Eric Jenkins (13:07.33), Henry Rono (13:08.4h) and Peter Koech (13:09.50).