Baylor Track Star Goes For Gold Monday NightAug. 22, 2004
Baylor University junior Jeremy Wariner goes for the gold medal in the 400 meters Monday night at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
A watch party will be held at 6 p.m. at Damon's in the Hilton Hotel, which is located in downtown Waco on University Parks Drive between Franklin and Washington avenues. The 400 meter final is expected to be televised on NBC between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. CDT Monday.
The final will be shown on tape delay. Results of the race, which will be run at 1:05 p.m. CT (9:05 p.m. in Athens), will be posted on BaylorBears.com before it is broadcast.
Four other athletes with Baylor ties are competing in the Olympics, the largest Baylor contingent ever to compete in an Olympiad.
Current track and field student-athletes Wariner and Darold Williamson highlight the class as members of Team USA. Williamson will run as a member of the U.S. men's 4X400 meter relay team. Former Baylor track star Bayano Kamani will compete for Team Panama, while his former Baylor track teammate Zsolt Szeglet will compete for Team Hungary. Jared Theodorakos, who completed eligibility with Baylor's baseball program this spring, is a member of the Greek Olympic Baseball Team.
Wariner, a native of Grand Prairie, Texas, posted the fastest time in the world this year to sweep the national titles in the 400 meters with a time of 44.37 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Sacramento, Calif. Wariner was named the Mondo Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year as well as the Midwest Region Track Athlete of the Year. He claimed the NCAA 400-meter titles both indoors and outdoors and ran the third leg on the 4x400-meter relay squad which captured both NCAA championships as well. The indoor 4x400-meter squad clocked a collegiate record time of 3:03.96, while Wariner set stadium records in the 400-meter final at both events.
Williamson, a San Antonio, Texas, native, had the second-fastest collegiate time in the country behind Wariner at 44.51, currently the third-fastest time in the world. Williamson finished fourth in the 400 indoors and sixth outdoors for his fifth All-America honor and ran the anchor leg on Baylor's indoor and outdoor national champion 4x400-meter relay teams. He also captured his third-straight Big 12 Conference 400-meter outdoor title to earn Big 12 Outdoor Athlete of the Year honors. Williamson finished fourth in the 400 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials, missing competing in the open 400 by only one-hundredth of a second.
Kamani, a 12-time All-American at Baylor from 1998-2001, will compete for Panama in the 400-meter hurdles. A product of Westbury High School in Houston, Texas, Kamani was a two-time national champion in the event in 1999 and 2001 and ran on the national champion 4x400-meter relay in 2000. He currently ranks 17th in the world in the 400-meter hurdles with a season-best mark of 48.70, just shy of his collegiate-best and school-record time of 48.68.
Szeglet, a member of five All-American 4x400-meter relay teams at Baylor from 2000-02, will compete for Hungary in the 400 meters. A native of Ajka, Hungary, Szeglet helped the Bears capture national titles in the relay indoors in 2002 and outdoors in 2000 and 2001. In his last race, Szeglet ran a 46.11 in Thessaloniki, Greece, on July 19.
A product of Chaminade Prep in St. Louis, Mo., Theodorakos is eligible for the Greek team by virtue of his Greek heritage; his great-grandfather was born in the island country before immigrating to the United States. He posted a career record of 15-13 while at Baylor and is tied for sixth in school history with 39 career starts. Theodorakos is one of only 12 pitchers in school history to reach the 200-strikeout plateau, amassing 205 in 226.2 innings. The highlight of his career was a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts against sixth-ranked Southern California at Dodger Stadium in 2002. Theodorakos carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning of that game.