After a grueling year of competition, four former Oklahoma State athletes have secured spots on their respective national teams for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Shadrack Kipchirchir of the United States and NCAA champion Nick Miller and Tom Farrell from the Great Britain represent the Cowboy Olympians. For the Cowgirls, school record-holder Ingeborg Loevnes made the Norwegian team after graduating from OSU in May.
With this new group of athletes, the OSU track and field program has now produced nine Olympians. It will be the first time since 2004 that a Cowboy or Cowgirl has competed on the track at the Olympic Games and Miller becomes the first Cowboy to compete in a field event.
The quartet gives OSU its highest representation at an Olympic Games in school history.
Loevnes is the second Cowgirl in school history to make an athletics team. The last time a Cowgirl ran at the Olympics was at the 1988 Games in Seoul where Christine McMiken finished 23rd in the 10,000-meter run.
The Norwegian steeplechaser ran a personal best 9:43.75 to earn the Olympic standard and make the squad.
Across the pond, Farrell earned a spot on Great Britain's squad in the 5,000-meter run and Miller, the 2015 British champion, was one of three hammer throwers to grab a spot in Rio.
At the USA Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon, Kipchirchir finished runner-up in the 10,000-meter final to clinch a spot on Team USA and put a Cowboy on the track in the stars-and-stripes for the first time since Tom Von Ruden in 1968.
Though Kipchirchir was the only representative for the U.S. from OSU, the Cowboys and Cowgirls were well represented at the team trials.
Two-time record-holder Chase Ealey picked up right where she left off at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where she finished second, by recording a personal best 18.10m/59-4 foot throw to land in the women's shot put final.
She finished seventh overall with her best throw of 18.46m/60-6.5 feet, missing out on an Olympic bid by under a meter.
John Teeters won his first round race in the 100-meter dash with a wind-legal 10.00, outpacing Big 12 rival Ronnie Baker and two-time bronze medalist Walter Dix for the heat win. He then ran a 10.13 in the semifinal to miss out on the final.
NCAA champion Chad Noelle ran in the first round of the men's 1,500-meter run and barely missed out on a semifinal spot with a time of 3:51.19. He finished 26th overall, three-tenths of a second from the last semifinal spot.
The only current Cowgirl in the competition was NCAA champion Kaela Edwards who participated in the 800-meter run. She finished third in her heat by two-hundredths of a second and didn't make it out of the first round despite running a 2:03.31, which was better than two other qualifiers.
The XXXI Olympiad begins August 5 and runs through August 21.