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Twenty-three athletes and coaches with ties to the University of Arizona will be participating in the Olympic Games, which start next week in London. Here, learn more about each participant.
Abdi Abdirahman, Men’s Track and Field (USA): This former Wildcat earned his fourth trip to the Olympic Games this year (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012). He competed in the 10,000-meter race at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, earning a 10th-place finish in 2000. In 2012, Abdirahman will compete in the marathon. At the Olympic Trials marathon, he took third place with a time of 2:09:47.
Alyssa Anderson, Women’s Swimming (USA): This 16-time All-American will make her first Olympic appearance. Anderson finished fourth in the 400-meter free at the 2011 World University Games, placed third in the 200-meter free, seventh in the 400-meter free and eighth in the 200-meter fly at the 2011 ConocoPhillips National Championships. In addition, she earned a silver medal swimming prelims in the 800-meter free relay at the 2009 FINA World Championships, placed fourth in the 200-meter free at the 2009 National Championships and captured silver medals in the 800-meter and 1,500-meter free at the 2007 Junior Pan Pacific Championships.
Brigetta Barrett, Women’s Track and Field (USA): Junior Brigetta Barrett is the sixth Wildcat to compete in the women’s high jump at the Olympic Games. She is making her first Olympic appearance. Barrett took second place in the high jump at the U.S. Olympic Trials with a personal-best clearance of 6-7 (2.01 meters). That mark was good for second place and tied the meet record. Currently, that mark is tied for the No. 2 spot in the world. Barrett's clearance was a school record, and Barrett is the lone collegian to ever clear more than 6-6, in-season or postseason. The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association declared that the mark is not the collegiate record because it did not take place during the collegiate season. Barrett is the first student-athlete in Arizona history to be named a finalist for The Bowerman. Additionally, Barrett was only the third woman in award history to make a second semifinalist appearance. Barrett swept the NCAA high jump titles for the second-straight season in 2012. She became the first in woman in DI history to earn dual-season titles in back-to-back years, a combination of four consecutive national titles between the seasons. She is a six-time All-American (three indoor, three outdoor).
Jean Basson, Men’s Swimming (South Africa): He is making his second Olympic appearance after finishing fourth in the 200-meter free and the 4x200-meter free relay in the 2008 games. At Arizona, Basson was a three-time NCAA champion and 14-time All-American. He was the UA’s outstanding male athlete in 2010.
Clark Burckle, Men’s Swimming (USA): Burckle qualified for his first Olympic appearance by finishing second in the 200-meter breast. Burckle finished eighth in the 200-meter breast at the 2011 World University Games and third in the 200-meter breast and 200-meter IM at the 2011 ConocoPhillips National Championships. At the 2008 Olympic Trials, he placed fifth in the 200-meter breast and seventh in the 400-meter IM. He tied for fourth in the 400-yard IM and placed fourth in the 200-yard breast at the 2008 NCAA Championships, took fifth in the 400-meter IM at the 2007 ConocoPhillips National Championships and placed tenth in the 200 breast at the 2006 Conoco Phillips National Championships.
Simon Burnett, Men’s Swimming (Great Britain): He is making his third Olympic appearance after competing in the 2004 and 2008 games. In 2004, Burnett finished seventh in the 200 free. At Arizona, he won six national titles and set an NCAA and U.S. Open record in the 200 free. He was a multi-NCAA Champion swimmer for Arizona, winning the 200 free in 2003 and 2005. While at Arizona, he set the NCAA 200 free record (1:31.20) in 2006, making him the fastest man ever in a short-course yard pool. He was the UA’s outstanding male athlete in 2006.
Frank Busch, Men’s Swimming National Team Director (USA): Busch coached at Arizona for 22 seasons and guided the Wildcats to a men’s and women’s teams to NCAA Division I National Championships in 2008. In addition, Busch’s swimmers won 49 individual national championships, 31 relay championships and have finished among the nation’s top-five teams on 27 occasions (16 for women, 11 for men). Beginning in 1991, at least one UA swimmer on either the men’s or women’s side won an individual NCAA championship in each of his last 21 seasons. Busch was inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008. He has been the U.S. national team director since May 2011.
Jill Camarena-Williams, Women’s Track and Field (USA): Jill Camarena-Williams punched her ticket to London, earning a first-place finish in the women's shot put with a mark of 62-10.5 (19.16 meters). This is Camarena-Williams' second-straight trip to the Olympic Games. Camarena-Williams, a graduate of Stanford University, was a volunteer assistant coach at the UA. She is currently the American record-holder for the indoor women’s shot put and tied for the outdoor American record in the same event.
Sara El Berki, Women’s Swimming (Morocco):
Making her second Olympic appearance, El Berki also competed in the breaststroke in the 2008 Beijing Games. She was a member of the Arizona women’s swim team in 2009-10, posting a best time of 1:00.91 in the 100-yard breaststroke and 2:11.50 in the 200-yard breaststroke. In addition to her Olympic appearances, El Berki has made two World Championship appearances (2007/2008), in addition to appearances in the 2006 African Championships and the 2007 Arab Games.
Matt Grevers, Men’s Swimming (USA): A swimming standout who has trained at the UA’s Hillenbrand Aquatic Center since 2008, Grevers is making his second Olympic appearance. He won three medals at the 2008 Beijing Games – two golds as part of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay and the 4x100-meter medley relay and a sliver in the 100-meter backstroke. He’s a veteran of international swimming, having claimed 13 medals (five gold, five silver, three bronze) in major international competition. Grevers clocked the second fastest time in history (52.08) in the 100-meter backstroke at the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Andre Iguodala, Men’s Basketball (USA): The eight-year NBA veteran and 2012 NBA All-Star will make his first Olympic appearance. Iguodala is making his second consecutive appearance on a USA Basketball senior national team roster, as he was also a part of the gold-medal-winning 2010 FIBA World Championship squad. An Arizona letterwinner for two seasons (2002-04), he averaged 9.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in 62 collegiate appearances (34 starts). As a sophomore in 2003-04, he averaged 12.9 points per game and led the team in rebounding (8.4 rpg) and assists (4.9 apg). Iguodala was a first-team all-Pac-10 selection in 2004 and the ninth pick of the first round of the NBA Draft that season by Philadelphia.
Robertas Javtokas, Men’s Basketball (Lithuania): He is making his third Olympic appearance, having participated in the 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He helped Lithuania to fourth-place finishes in both Athens and Beijing. Javtokas averaged 2.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in the 2012 Olympic qualifier. He's a 12-year European professional who has played for seven different clubs and has played on teams that have won 10 national or league titles. He also was a member of the 2010 Lithuanian FIBA World Championship team that finished third.
Julie Labonté, Women’s Track and Field (Canada): Junior Julie Labonté took first place in the shot put at the Canadian Trials and earned a trip to London. She had a mark of 57-5.5 (17.51 meters). Labonté will join volunteer assistant coach in London for the women's shot put competition. Labonté is the first Wildcat to ever represent Canada in the Olympic Games. Furthermore, Labonté is the second Wildcat to ever compete in the women’s shot put in the Olympics.
Bernard Lagat, Men’s Track and Field (USA): Bernard Lagat will represent Team USA in London in the 5,000-meter race. He took second place in the 5,000-meter final with a time of 13:22.82. Lagat earned his fourth trip to the Olympic Games. He earned a bronze medal in 2000 in the 1,500-meter race and silver in 2004, also in the 1,500 meters. Lagat, a former Washington State Cougar, spent his first year as a volunteer assistant coach at the UA. Lagat currently holds the American indoor and outdoor records in the 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters.
Georganne Moline, Women’s Track and Field (USA): Junior Georganne Moline earned a spot on Team USA for the London Olympic Games after taking second place in the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympic Trials. She clocked a personal-best time of 54.33 and broke her own school record for the fourth time this season. Her time of 54.33 is the fourth-best time in Pac-10/12 history and ranks as the fifth-best time in the world this year. No. 2 in the U.S., Moline is only the second Wildcat to ever compete in the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympic Games. She is making her first trip to the Olympics. She was the 2012 Pac-12 Champion in the 400-meter hurdles and earned All-America accolades as a member of the women’s 4x400-meter relay team.
Ana-Maria Montoya, Women’s Soccer (Colombia): Despite making her first Olympic appearance in 2012, Montoya has international experience with the Colombian national team, competing in the 2008 U17 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. She also participated in the U20 Colombian team camp. She played in 38 of 39 matches during her freshman and sophomore seasons at the UA. She has two career goals and an assist to her credit as a midfielder. She ranked second on the Wildcats with 26 shots in 2011.
Nicolas Nilo-Oliveira, Men’s Swimming (Brazil): He is making his second Olympic appearance after competing in the 2008 Games. At Arizona, Oliveira was a three-time national champion and seven-time All-American.
Luis Rivera-Morales, Men’s Track and Field (Mexico): Luis Rivera-Morales, a former Wildcat, earned his first trip to the Olympic Games in 2012. He will compete in the long jump, representing Mexico. He met the Olympic Games “A” Standard at the Mt. SAC Relays, jumping 26-11.75 (8.22 meters). Currently, that mark is tied for No. 12 in the world. He holds the Arizona school record for the indoor long jump. Additionally, he was a 2009 NCAA Outdoor All-American and a 2010 NCAA Indoor All-American in the event.
Roland Schoeman, Men’s Swimming (South Africa): He is making his fourth Olympic appearance after competing in 2000, 2004 and 2008. In 2004, Schoeman earned a gold medal in the iconic 400-meter free relay, setting a world record in the process, a silver medal in the 100-meter free and a bronze medal in the 50-meter free. In 2004, he finished 15th in the 100-meter free. At Arizona, Schoeman won a national title in the 50 free.
Nimrod Shapira-Bar-Or, Men’s Swimming (Israel): He is making his second appearance at the Olympics after reaching the semifinals in the 200-meter free in 2008. With this finish, Shapira-Bar-Or became the first-ever Israeli swimmer to qualify as an Olympic semifinalist. At Arizona, he was a 10-time All-American in three seasons.
Albert Subirats, Men’s Swimming (Venezuela): He is making his second Olympic appearance after competing in the 2008 games. At Arizona, Subirats was an eight-time national champion and 20-time All-American. He currently holds school records in the 100 fly, 100 free and 100 back. Subirats was just the second man in NCAA history to win two national championships in the same day when he won the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly in 2007. He was the UA’s outstanding male athlete in 2008.
Nick Thoman, Men’s Swimming (USA): He qualified for the 2012 Olympic team by finishing second in the 100-meter back. Thoman won a gold medal as part of the 400-meter medley relay at the 2011 FINA World Championships; he also finished fourth in the 100-meter back and sixth in the 50-meter back. He took second in the 100-meter back and third in the 200-meter back at the 2011 ConocoPhillips National Championships, helped take home the gold in the 400-meter medley relay (WR) at the 2010 FINA Short Course World Championships, earned the bronze medal in the 50-meter back at the 2010 MOO Pan Pacific Championships, set the 100 SCM backstroke world record at the 2009 Duel in the Pool, won gold in the 100-meter back at the 2008 U.S. Open, won silver as part of the men's 400-meter medley relay at the 2007 World University Games and placed 18th in the 100-meter back at the 2004 Olympic Trials.
Darian Townsend, Men’s Swimming (South Africa): He is making his third Olympic appearance after qualifying in 2004 and 2008. In 2004, Townsend earned a gold medal in the iconic 400-meter free relay that set a world record and finished fourth in the 200 free relay. At Arizona, he was a six-time national champion and 12-time All-American.
Todd Wells, Mountain Bike-Cross Country (USA): He is making his third Olympic appearance, having participated in the 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. Finished 43rd in mountain bike cross country in Beijing in 2008 and 19th in Athens in 2004. A 13-time world championship team member who finished seventh at the 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champery, Switzerland. The 2010 and 2011 USA Cycling Mountain Bike-Cross Country national champion, he has four wins in other international competitions.