WKU athletics on international scale

Big Red pumps up the crowd of freshmen at the 2014 MASTER Plan convocation. Tanner Cole/HERALD


Head women’s basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard is not the only Hilltopper or Lady Topper representing their country this summer.

A combination of nine current and former WKU track and field athletes will also represent their respective countries at the highest level of competition as the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are just over a year away.

Furthermore, WKU track and field as well as women’s basketball is not the only WKU sports being represented on an international stage.

On the Hilltopper basketball side of things, junior Ben Lawson and freshman Nathan Smith will represent Great Britain and freshman Kristaps Gluditis will represent Latvia in the FIBA under-20 European Championships this week in Italy.

Current Hilltoppers and Lady Toppers engaged in track and field competition this summer include 2015 All-American rising junior Emmanuel Dasor of Ghana, fellow 2015 All-American senior Chioma Agwunobi of the USA, rising sophomore Julius Morris of Montserrat, rising senior Tomas Guerra of Chile, rising sophomore Peli Alzola of Trinidad and Tobago, and 2015 graduate Karleigh Parker of Canada.

Former Hilltoppers Gavin Smellie of Canada, Ignacio Guerra of Chile, and Jessica Ramsey of the USA will also be representing their respective countries over the coming weeks.

Dasor, Agwunobi, and Morris will link up with 2012 Olympian Smellie at the IAAF World Championships in Bejing, China on August 22-30.

Smellie will then travel to his home nation of Canada to compete in the Pan American games.  WKU representatives at the Pan American games include Smellie (former), Michelle Clark-Heard (coach), Ignacio Guerra (former), Tomas Guerra, and Peli Alzola.

Tomas Guerra’s competition is not limited to the Pan American games though, as he will also compete in the World University Games in Gwangju City, South Korea later this week.  He won’t be the lone Hilltopper in South Korea either, as Karleigh Parker will also be present at the championships.

Due to their respective achievements at the NCAA Championships the last spring, current sprinters Morris and Alzola will represent Montserrat and Trinidad and Tobago respectively at the NACAC Senior Championships in Costa Rica in early August.