“I’m very honored to have made the Olympic team,” said Dixon following the finish. “It was a tough race but I just tried to get out to a good start, maintain and not panic. I knew it would come down to the last 100 meters so I dug in and just tried to get the best finish I could. I’ve accomplished my dream and I’m just so grateful.”
Dixon, who hails from Houston, Texas, was the lone collegian runner entering the event final Sunday afternoon. In the semifinal a day earlier, she finished third in her heat and sixth overall in a time of 51.58 to qualify for the final and keep her chance alive for an Olympic team birth.
Running in lane eight in the finals, the sophomore held off the other competitors through the first 150 meters and headed into the final curve still in a prime position for a top finish. At the 300-meter mark Dixon had fallen off the pace somewhat but stormed down the home stretch to claim fifth in 50.88. The time was a lifetime best as well as a school record for Dixon, who will become the first University of Kansas female to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team in a track event.
Dixon will now be placed on the six-member Olympic 4x400-meter relay team to complete in London in August.With one Jayhawk having already punched her ticket to the Olympic Games, Kansas track & field still has six current athletes and five alumni hoping to follow Dixon to London. Andrea Geubelle will be in finals action Monday in the triple jump. Mason Finley and Rebeka Stowe will compete in the qualifying rounds of the discus and 3,000-meter Steeplechase, respectively. Finley will begin at 5:30 p.m. (CT), Stowe at 5:50 p.m., and Geubelle in the triple jump final at 7:45 p.m.