Loyola at a Glance
Former Olympic sprinter Dennis Mitchell counsels Loyola track athletes
October 30, 2009
Olympic gold medalist Dennis Mitchell recently spent time with Loyola’s sprinters as part of head coach Andy Canegitta’s effort to upgrade the Wolfpack track program.
Mitchell, whose personal record in the 100 meters is 9.91, has a wealth of experience in sprints, winning three Olympic medals for the United States. His 4x100 team at Barcelona won the gold in 1992 after setting the world record at 37.40. Mitchell brought home a bronze in the 100 meters at Barcelona as well. In the 1996 Olympics, his 4x100 team won the silver medal, and in the 100 meters he placed fourth. He also took fourth in the 100 meters at the 1988 Olympics.
Outside of Olympic competition, Mitchell has several other accomplishments. In 1989, he won the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship in the 200 meters for the University of Florida. At the World Championships in 1991 and 1993, Mitchell won gold in the 4x100 and bronze in the 100 meters. Also in the 100 meters, Mitchell won gold in the 1994 Goodwill Games and captured three consecutive titles from 1992-96 in the United States National Championships.
Since retiring from competition, Mitchell has gone on to coach several notable sprinters. Rodney Green II, a former Canegitta recruit, won a bronze medal for the Bahamas in the 4x100 in the 2009 CAC Championships in Cuba. In last summer’s Olympics, Damu Cherry placed fourth for the United States women in the 100 meters at 12.65. Also last summer during the Olympic trials, Jeffery Demps smashed the United States record for a teenager in the 100 meters with a 10.01.
“Based on past performances from former athletes, Dennis Mitchell’s sprint plan has provided marked improvement in those athletes,” said Canegitta. “I am expecting positive things for years to come from the Loyola track program. Our next step is to recruit more sprinters for next year and continue building the distance/cross country program.”
The Loyola track and field team will have their first meet of the season on Jan. 22, 2010, when they head to Baton Rouge, La., for the Purple Tiger Invitational.
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