Jayhawk Olympians return to Lawrence

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Four Jayhawks who competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio returned to Lawrence for a press conference on Friday, August 26.

Watch our videos below to hear thoughts about the experience from Andrea Geubelle, Daina Levy, Kyle Clemons, and Mason Finley.




More coverage from the press conference at KUSports.com

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jayhawks in Rio: Closing Ceremony

Posted on Aug 21, 2016 in Alumni News, News, and Sports


Farewell from Rio

We’ve relished the 2016 Olympic Games watching so many talented Jayhawks represent their countries–and their alma mater–in Rio de Janeiro. One Jayhawk, Kyle Clemons, even contributed to Team USA’s historic medal haul in Rio, earning a gold medal for his role running a preliminary heat of the 4 x 400 meter relay.

KU alumni were proud of all of our #JayhawksinRio, sharing social posts throughout the games. Even the athletes got into the act, using the hashtag to chronicle their own Olympic experience and share some of the fun with KU alumni.

Special thanks to Tim Weaver, g’97, who sent us behind-the-scenes stories and photos while working for Team USA track and field as a team manager. He sent the following farewell from Rio, pictured prior to the closing ceremony with Jayhawk and Olympic triple-jumper Andrea Geubelle.

We’ll see you in four years in Tokyo, where KU and Olympic legend Billy Mills made his incredible come-from-behind victory in the 10,000 meters in 1964. Based on what we saw in Rio, alumni can expect more historic feats to connect the Jayhawk nation and make all alumni proud.

Rock Chalk to our #JayhawksinRio!

–David Johnston

Tags: , , , , , ,

Jayhawks in Rio: How does it feel?

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Photo by Danny Owens via @a_geubelle

The following post was written by Andrea Geubelle, d’14, shortly after qualifying for her first Olympic team. Geubelle will compete for Team USA in the triple jump Saturday at the Olympics in Rio (finals are Sunday). In her own words, she takes KU alumni on the journey of a lifetime by describing what it is like to be an Olympian.

Are there words?

I have been thinking hard about how to be honest with the question “how does it feel.” First I have to say how honored and thankful I am, don’t think twice about that. But as time passes I continue to feel a whirlwind of emotions. Tears flood down my face right now, of happiness right? For the most part yes. But the last 5 days I have gotten to live “normal.” Our lives often get glorified. We don’t work a 9-5, we get to work out everyday and travel the world.

But after July 7th, the day I had trained for for the last 10 years came to a close I was finally able to take a deep breath.

My life along with many others has been dedicated to the sport and a roller coaster ride. From success to injury, rehab to heartbreak and all over again. I can’t speak for others, but what you see on TV and social media is a slight glimpse, you see sheer joy. You don’t see the mental break down after a bad workout, the guilt after putting the wrong food into your body or shortage of sleep after a night out with friends, the nauseating stress that come in the days building up, and the fear of failure if competition doesn’t go as planned. My heart breaks because I have come up just short, like others did, but I know they are strong and will be back better than ever in short time. I envy their strength. The raw emotions are real.

So no matter the athlete, respect the journey, their stories and paths are gold.

I hope you get to know these amazing humans a little deeper, they aren’t “just athletes.” No matter the age or when they once were, this sport is a process and a commitment, and I am honored to have friends (they feel like family) who have paved the way, lifted me when I was down, and knew exactly what to say to keep me going. Sometimes just a simple hug, quick good luck or a 5-hour lunch date.

This adventure has been a long one, and well worth it. Thank you for those who stuck it out and believed in my journey, both athletes and spectators. I’m excited to see what the future holds.

–Andrea Geubelle

Photo by Danny Owens via @a_geubelle. Used with permission.

Tags: , , , ,

Jayhawks in Rio: More than a number

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Several Jayhawks will be competing, working and volunteering during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for Team USA and their respective countries. Many have agreed to share their experience with KU alumni. Throughout the games, we’ll be sharing their photos and stories on our blog and social media accounts, so be sure to follow us during the games as we cheer on our #JayhawksinRio.


More than a number: Andrea Geubelle

For each Olympian, there is a story. For each Jayhawk, a journey.

Andrea Geubelle’s journey exceeded her dreams when she earned a scholarship to the University of Kansas and went on become a ten-time All-American and three-time NCAA champion. However, not all that glitters is gold, as she recalls in this video from KU Athletics, chronicling her time as a Jayhawk. For Geubelle, the road to Rio was paved with adversity and heartache.

Four years ago, and only a few months before the London Olympic Games, Geubelle was on cloud nine having just won the triple jump at the NCAA outdoor championship, before victory was snatched away.

“I just broke down,” Geubelle remembers. “I don’t think I’ve ever hurt so bad over athletics, to go from the highest you could possibly be in college athletics, which is winning a national championship, to finding out that it’s gone, and you’ll never get than opportunity back.”

Geubelle not only bounced back, she committed herself and jumped in with both feet—ultimately landing a spot in Rio. Watch her story here, then tune in Saturday at 7:30am CT at NCBOlympics.com to watch her compete in the qualifying rounds of the triple jump in Rio.

“More than a Number” was produced by Second Wind Creative for KU Athletics, with additional footage provided by Rock Chalk Video, ESPN and Jeff Jacobson.

–David Johnston

Tags: , , , ,

Jayhawks in Rio: Mason Finley

Posted on Aug 11, 2016 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Click to watch on YouTube

Throwing some weight around

Mason Finley leads a strong group of Team USA discus throwers in Rio. The former KU track and field student-athlete won the event at the Olympic Trials and looks to be a medal contender if he can qualify through to the finals on Saturday. Although the event has historically been dominated by the United States, thanks in large part to legendary Jayhawk Al Oerter, who won four consecutive Olympic titles, no American has won a medal in more than 30 years. Finley will need to bring his A game, but now that he’s in the best shape of his life, anything’s possible.

That wasn’t always the case, as he packed on pounds as a Jayhawk undergraduate. Believing that bigger was better, Finley took advantage of endless training table meals and put on nearly 100 pounds during his three years at Kansas before transferring to Wyoming. It took a toll on his speed, technique and health. He talked about going beyond the typical “freshman 15” in a recent interview with the Washington Post.

“I’m an eater, man,” he said. “There’s no way around it. I like to eat food.”

Jayhawks Tim Weaver, Mason FInley and Andrea GeubelleSince getting a handle on his nutrition, the results have come quickly and he’s seen steady improvement.

“My technique is far better,” Finley told the Post. “I’m healthy—which was really rare in college—and I’m faster, probably same speed as high school.”

Finley moved back to Lawrence to train with KU throwing coach Andy Kokhanovsky. The move also brought him closer to his family. He told the Denver Post, “I wanted to be closer with my mom and family back there. I figured out that family is a really huge support staff. You definitely need it.”

The support—and the coaching—helped propel Finley to the top of his game and the top of his sport.

“I’m able to hold positions faster, move faster and compete healthier,” Finley says.

By the time he made it to the Olympic Trials, Finley was hardly a dark horse. The former 8-time collegiate All-American and high school record holder knew he could compete at the highest level, but after overcoming challenges with his health, speed and technique along the way, last month’s victory was that much sweeter.

“The very last throw, I knew I had won, so it was crazy. But I was thinking I could still throw further,” Finley told the Post. “I wanted 65 (meters) again. … It was a mixture between, ‘I still want to push it further’ but ‘Oh my gosh, I’m an Olympian.’”

A proud Jayhawk and first-time Olympian, Finley joins other Jayhawks in Rio, including Team USA track and field manager Tim Weaver and triple jumper Andrea Geubelle, pictured above. He will enter the discus ring Friday morning for first round qualifying. Check NBCOlympics.com for schedules.

–David Johnston

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jayhawks in Rio: Andrea Geubelle

Posted on Aug 8, 2016 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Several Jayhawks will be competing, working and volunteering during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for Team USA and their respective countries. Many have agreed to share their experience with KU alumni. Throughout the games, we’ll be sharing their photos and stories on our blog and social media accounts, so be sure to follow us during the games as we cheer on our #JayhawksinRio.

“Let the games begin!”

Andrea Geubelle is making the most of her first Olympic experience, taking it all in and having a great time.

Geubelle, who will compete for Team USA in the triple jump Saturday, provides a unique perspective on the games through her posts on Instagram. She posed with her former KU teammate and fellow Olympian Mason Finley (discus) during Olympic Team processing and shared video of the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremonies.

Read her official Team USA bio at teamusa.org and follow her on Instagram at @a_geubelle.

Tags: , , ,

Track champions greeted with ovation from hundreds of fans

Posted on Jun 10, 2013 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

As senior triple and long jumper Andrea Geubelle stepped onto James Naismith Court carrying aloft the NCAA women’s track and field championship trophy, flanked by teammates and coaches following close behind, a Sunday afternoon crowd of about 300 stood and cheered the first NCAA championship team in the history of KU women’s athletics. Buoyed by enthusiastic standing ovations, Geubelle told the crowd, “You guys have been amazing teammates. There’s no way we could have done this without you. My four years at KU have been the best of my life, and I will never forget this one.”

KU women’s track stormed to a dominant victory at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, leading after each of the meet’s three days and sealing a 16-point victory Saturday afternoon at the legendary Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

“This is such a big deal,” said vertical jumps coach Tom Hays, himself a former Jayhawk pole vaulter in the 1980s. “The question I have is, are we going to get to go to the White House?”

For complete coverage of the 2013 NCAA champions, see the July issue of Kansas Alumni magazine.

Next up for the top Jayhawks is the USA Championships, June 19-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.

–Chris Lazzarino

Watch a video from Sunday’s welcome home celebration below:

Video by Dan Storey

Tags: , , , , , , , ,