Houston – Get to know these track and field star competitors who are representing USA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer.
These are the Olympians you will want to keep an eye on.
“Jumping into our first day of our Olympic Cycle….never been so excited to get back on the track!” shares track and field star, Annie Kunz, on Instagram with a picture of her looking up at the sky as she jumps with her hand stretched high.
Kunz is daughter to Terry Kunz, who was a former athlete and a Super Bowl Champion with the 1976 Oakland Raiders. She’s also a former student of Texas A&M, where she competed in both soccer and track and field sports.
Kunz’s strong performance in the heptathlon competition is taking her to the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
Ariana Ince was born in San Antonio, Texas and studied at Rice University in Houston and Texas A&M in College Station.
In 2017 and 2019, Ince participated in World Championships. Now at 32-years old, she will be competing at the Olympics in javelin.
Ince is not only known as an athlete, but she is also an Associate Ergonomic Professional, registered as an Engineer-In-Training and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist.
Ryan Crouser was born in Portland, Oregon and is a former student of the University of Texas, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and master’s in Finance.
According to Texas Sports website, Crouser’s father, Mitch was a thrower in college and served as an alternate on the 1984 U.S Olympic team. Like Crouser, his uncle Brian is a two-time Olympian. Crouser also has other relatives who were champions and a cousin who is a member of the University of Texas team.
In a YouTube video from World’s Greatest, Ryan admits that the most annoying question people ask him is “what NFL team you play for?” On his free time, Crouser enjoys fishing, kayaking, hiking, bow hunting and camping.
Mother, wife, and former Texas Tech student, Sally Kipyego was born in Kapsowar, Kenya and has six siblings. Two of his brothers, Chris and Mike are professional runners.
According to Kipyego’s USA track and field profile, she was the first woman in Kenya to capture an NCAA cross country individual championship and the first to capture three consecutive cross country titles.
In 2017, Kipyego became a U.S citizen and at 35-years-old she will be competing in her second Olympic games.
Kipyego speaks Swahili, grows her own food in Kenya, and her favorite quotes is: “I already have everything inside me to succeed.”
Texas A&M Aggie Athing Mu is the second youngest of seven siblings. She started running when she was just 6-years-old.
In 2018, Mu came in 2nd in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in early 2021, Ince beat and won the previous 800 meters record with 1:58.40.
The 19-year-old dedicates her free time to watching the show Grey’s Anatomy, DIY projects, and photography.
Born in Molo, Kenya, Benard Keter is among the Olympians who call Texas their home. Keter came to the United States on a scholarship to change his life and his family’s, and in 2018 he graduated from Texas Tech University.
Keter followed his older brother’s footsteps and began running. In 2014, he won first place in the 3000 metres Steeplechase in the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championship.
To express his excitement for Tokyo Olympics, Keter posted an Insta-photo of him standing alongside two Olympians with the following caption, “We are TOKYO BOUND. We are OLYMPIANS. We are @teamusa”
Follow him on Instagram.
Texas A&M Aggie Bryce Deadmon, was born and raised in Missouri City, Texas.
Deadmon has competed in NCAA Outdoor West Regionals and Championships since high school, but this will be his first Olympic games.
“I’ll be training in College Station for the rest of the summer until I leave for the Olympics,” says Deadmon in an interview from TexAgs.
Fred Kerley is another Aggie shining in track & field. He’s also a father and a star athlete who participated in football, basketball, and track and field in Taylor High School.
At a very young age, Kerley’s aunt Virginia Kerley became the most significant person in his life when she adopted him and his four siblings. Kerley’s aunt had children of her own, which totaled to 13 children living under one roof. She would always make sure all of them had eaten even if she had to go without food, according to his USATF profile page.
It wasn’t until college when Kerley decided to start taking sports seriously, and now he hopes to be an inspiration to young athletes.
On his free time, the 26-year-old enjoys sleeping, cooking, shopping, and modeling on social media.
Longhorn, Steffin McCarter grew up in Copperas Cove, Texas and attended Lampasas High School.
According to Hook’em, McCarter started running since he was seven years old. Now, at 24-years-old he will be competing in his first Olympic games.
“Konichiwa, I became an Olympian yesterday 🇺🇸,” were the captioned words McCarter shared on Instagram as he held a flag and flowers in the air.
Maggie Malone grew up in Geneva, Nebraska to two coaching parents. When she was in kindergarten, she suffered a femoral shaft fracture and chipped a growth plate which made doctors believe her leg wouldn’t grow again.
Malone continued to grow. She studied human resources at Texas A&M, graduating in 2017. Now Malone is a two-time Olympian in the javelin throw.
In 2016, she placed 25th in the Rio Olympic Games. Malone writes on her Instagram caption a thank you list to everyone who has supported her athletic career and then finishes by saying “It takes a village, my friends. And we’re not done yet. Next stop Tokyo.”
When she’s not competing, Malone enjoys playing sports, watching movies and singing.
Tara Davis who grew up in Agoura Hills, California and attended the University of Texas is competing in her first Olympic games this summer.
Davis shares her excitement on Instagram saying: “24 days away from the biggest stage of my life #roadtotokyo.”
When Davis is not competing she invests her time in her relationship with track and field athlete, Hunter Woodhall.
Houston native, Raevyn Rogers started running when she was 5-years-old during summer programs. She learned to speak Spanish growing up in Texas.
In 2017, Rogers was named Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and over the years she has brought home a bronze, gold, and silver medal in world athletics championships. The 25-year-old will be competing in her first Olympic games in Tokyo.
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When Rogers is not competing, she focuses on developing her artistic skills. She hopes to one day have her paintings in art galleries.
Teahna Daniels grew up with seven siblings in Orlando, Florida. In 2021, she will be participating in her first Olympics at 24-years-old.
According to her Team USA profile page, Daniels attended the University of Texas, where she became the fastest woman as a freshman in NCAA.
In May 2021, Daniels became a certified yoga and meditation instructor. She shares on Instagram how meditation has helped her mentally and physically.
Watch out for Trayvon Bromell. Bromell grew up in St. Petersburgh, Florida and attended Baylor University where he studied Film and Digital Media.
In 2015, Bromell became a professional athlete as a sophomore while he worked toward completing his degree.
The two-time Olympian played in the Canadian Football League and was the first athlete in high school to finish under 10 seconds in 100 metres.