It’s been a long time coming, but former Ohio State sprinter Christina (Manning) Clemons has made her first U.S. Olympic team. She qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the 100m hurdles late Sunday evening at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon with a third-place finish.
In most events, a top-three finish is necessary to make the Olympic squad, and Clemons did it by barely nipping fourth-place finisher Gabbi Cunningham by a mere .005 seconds. Keni Harrison was first in the 100m hurdles in 12.47, with Brianna McNeal second at 12.51. Clemons’ time of 12.53 was the same as Cunningham’s, but she was ruled the winner with the extension to the one-thousandth place.
“I’ve been going after this team since 2012,” Clemons told NBC’s Lewis Johnson following after the race. “I ruptured my Achilles in 2013. I wasn’t healthy enough in 2016. We had to wait a whole year in 2020. And now here I’ve been looked over, I’ve been counted out, but when God is with you, it doesn’t matter. I’m just so happy!”
At Ohio State, Clemons was an 11-time All-American, a 10-time Big Ten champion, and won two NCAA titles as a senior in 2012: the 60m hurdles indoors and the 100m hurdles outdoors. She still holds three Ohio State individual records: the 60m dash (7.23), 60m hurdles (7.91), and the 100m hurdles (12.68). She was a four-time Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year and was the 2012 Big Ten Conference Female Athlete of the Year.
Now, it’s off to Tokyo to fulfill a lifelong dream, and all of Buckeye Nation wishes her well.