Alumnus, Current Student Qualify for the 2004 Summer Olympics

Posted: July 12, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

This summer, Mason student Richard Phillips, who normally represents the Patriots on the track, is going to be on a different stage wearing a different name on his jersey. The rising senior will travel to Athens for the Olympic Games as a member of the Jamaican track and field team.

Phillips was third in the 110-meter hurdles at the Jamaican National Championships in late June. Coupled with the fact that he previously reached the minimum qualifying time in the event, he earned passage to represent his country at the world’s biggest meet. Phillips, who earned All-America honors after placing fifth in the 110-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Track Championship, was selected as the Colonial Athletic Association Male Athlete of the Year earlier this month.

Phillips finished behind teammate Ricardo Melbourne, also a rising senior at George Mason. Melbourne was second at the National Championships, but he has not yet reached the minimum qualifying time. He will compete at two meets this summer, and if he reaches the minimum time, he will join Phillips. His time in the title race was 13.84, and his personal best in the event is 13.72. He needs to run a 13.55 or better to qualify.

Former Patriot Maurice Wignall will also be looking for his first Olympic medal this summer. Wignall, who graduated from Mason with a BA in Psychology in 2001, won the 110-meter hurdles at the Jamaican National Championships. Wignall competed for the Patriots from 1997 to 2000, and he won a national title in the long jump in 1999.

Wignall ran a 13.30 in the event earlier this year. Only six people have run a faster time. Phillips’ time at the NCAA Championships is one of the 30 fastest times this year.

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