Texas Tech track & field set to begin 2016 Olympics Friday - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas Tech track & field set to begin 2016 Olympics Friday

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

Provided by TTU Athletics

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech track & field will be represented at the 2016 Olympics by three individuals competing for two countries starting on Friday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Two Americans, Gil Roberts & Bradley Adkins, will participate for the United States individually in the 400-meter dash and the high jump, respectively. Roberts will also be in the relay pool for the 4x400-meter relay, as well as two-time Olympic medalist Michael Mathieu in the Bahamas relay pool.

Roberts & Adkins become the ninth & 10th Red Raiders track & field standouts to represent their countries at the Olympic Games.

In the 400-meter dash, the top three finishers in each heat of the first round, plus the next three fastest times will advance to the semifinals. Fifty-three men are scheduled to compete in the first round of the 400 meters on Friday, Aug. 12, starting at 7:05 p.m. CDT. Roberts will be in heat one and run out of lane seven. From there, the top two in each semifinal, plus the next fastest two, will make it to the final.

In the high jump, 44 men have been entered to compete in the qualifying round on Sunday, Aug. 14. The 44 will be split into two groups and will compete at the same heights, moving up in the progression at the same time, until approximately 12 competitors are left in the field. Adkins will begin jumping at 6:30 p.m. CDT on Sunday, looking to earn a spot in Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. CDT final.

The first round of the men’s 4x400-meter relay is slated for 8:15 p.m. CDT on Friday, Aug. 19. The U.S. & the Bahamas are the top two ranked relay squads, based on their finishes at the 2015 World Relays. Sixteen relays will compete in two heats of the first round, with Roberts & Mathieu split between the two heats, with the opportunity to meet up in the final on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 8:35 p.m. CDT.

Coverage of the meet will be broadcast on the NBC family of networks, and online at NBCOlympics.com. Live results will be provided through IAAF.org. Below is the when each Red Raider will compete in Rio:

Friday, August 12
-    Gil Roberts (400m 1st Round) – 7:05 p.m. CDT

Saturday, August 13
-    Gil Roberts (400m Semifinal) – 6:30 p.m. CDT

Sunday, August 14
-    Bradley Adkins (High Jump Qualifying) – 6:30 p.m. CDT
-    Gil Roberts (400m Final) – 8 p.m. CDT

Tuesday, August 16
-    Bradley Adkins (High Jump Final) – 6:30 p.m. CDT

Friday, August 19
-    Gil Roberts (4x400 Relay 1st Round) – 8:15 p.m. CDT
-    Michael Mathieu (4x400 Relay 1st Round) – 8:15 p.m. CDT

Saturday, August 20
-    Gil Roberts (4x400 Relay Final) – 8:35 p.m. CDT
-    Michael Mathieu (4x400 Relay Final) – 8:35 p.m. CDT

At the U.S. Olympic Trials, Roberts finished second overall in all three rounds of the 400 meters to punch his ticket to Rio, but it didn’t come without a little drama. In the semifinal, Roberts was initially charged with a false-start and a disqualification, but was allowed to run the race under protest, and posted a season-best 44.67. After several hours, the DQ was reversed and he advanced to the final, where he ran a 44.73 to earn his Olympic bid. Roberts had only run one other 400-meter race in 2016 before the Trials, clocking in at 44.88 on May 7 in Eagle Rock, California. He will also have an excellent opportunity to medal on the mile relay, which kicks off on Friday, Aug. 19, at 8:15 p.m. CDT.

The weather was beautiful for the first half of Trials for Roberts, but turned sour in the second half of the 10-day span; leaving both days of high jump competition drenched in rain. The downpour eliminated several professional jumpers who already had the Olympic Standard, but not Bradley Adkins. The Idalou native cleared 2.14m/7-0.25 on his third attempt to advance to the final. Two days later, Adkins opened with first-attempt clearances at both 2.16m/7-1 & 2.21m/7-3, as the field dropped down to seven competitors and only four with a clean slate. The pressure was plenty as Adkins picked up a third-place finish and a trip to represent the United States in Rio, making him the first Red Raider high jumper to compete at the Olympic Games.

Michael Mathieu is no stranger to the Olympics, claiming gold in 2012 and silver in 2008 in the 4x400-meter relay for the Bahamas. His fastest open 400m this season came on June 11 in Monteverde, Florida, clocking in at 45.42. His personal-record came at the Bahamas National Championships in 2015, running 45.00 flat. In 2012, he ran the third leg of the gold medal team that put together a time of 2:56.72, the fastest relay he’s ever been a part of. The Bahamas likely won’t meet up with the Americans until the finals, but a matchup would pit two Red Raiders with great opportunities to medal.

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