PLAINVIEW, Texas – Wayland Baptist wrestling and track & field will be represented at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games by three athletes. Wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock and tracksters Benard Keter and Che Lara (pronounced Shay Luh-RAH) will be in Tokyo for the delayed Games.
Mensah-Stock, a 2019 World Champion, is among the favorites in her 68-kilogram weight class. Coverage of the competition begins with round of 16 matches at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 2, with the gold medal match scheduled to be delayed televised at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3. (The gold medal match will be live at 4:15 a.m. Tuesday.)
Wrestling coverage is on NBC, The Olympic Channel and USA Network.
Mensah-Stock, of Katy, Texas, last competed at Wayland in 2017 after winning a pair of WCWA national championships for the Pioneers in 2015 and 2017. She won the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016 but the U.S. failed to qualify her weight class.
Keter, a Kenyan who attended Wayland in 2015, will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Preliminaries are set for 7 p.m. CST Friday, July 30, with finals on Monday, Aug. 2. Keter is one of 45 athletes expected to compete.
Keter ran a time of 8:21.81 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., on June 25, finishing second and securing a spot on Team USA.
Keter still holds the Wayland record in the steeplechase, 8:42.94, and won NAIA titles in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. He later transferred to Texas Tech where he won NCAA Division I titles in the steeplechase in 2016 and 2017.
Lara, who will be a senior at Wayland this fall, will represent Trinidad & Tobago as a member of the men’s 4×400 meter relay. Last spring in Gulf Shores, Ala., Lara and the Pioneers continued their incredible tradition in the 4×400 relay when he helped WBU win another national title in that event.
It’s believed WBU has more current or former athlete in the Tokyo Olympics than any other NAIA school.
NAIA members – including current student-athletes, alums, coaches and athletic trainers – will be participating in the 2020 Summer Olympics in various capacities. Between the 13 known NAIA members participating, they will be representing five different countries.