Monday, March 19, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS - The Athletics Congress/USA (TAC/USA) has named Chandra Cheeseborough an assistant coach of the 2008 Women's Olympic Team USA. She will assist Jeanette Bolden, head coach of UCLA who has been nominated to serve as the women's head coach, for Team USA's track and field squads for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Currently Bolden, in her 14th year at the helm of her alma mater of UCLA, has continued UCLA's reputation as an NCAA powerhouse. As a coach, her squads have won three NCAA team championships - outdoors in 2004 and indoors in 2000 and 2001 - and were runners-up at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships. In all, she has been part of five NCAA champion teams, both as a coach and athlete. Her UCLA teams have a 72-0 dual meet record, with 13 consecutive wins over archrival USC. The Bruins have been rated the nation's top dual meet team on nine separate occasions. Women's staff assistant coaches: Chandra Cheeseborough - Sprints/Hurdles: Currently the head coach at her alma mater of Tennessee State, National Track & Field Hall of Famer Chandra Cheeseborough broke onto the international track scene as a 16-year-old when she won two gold medals at the 1975 Pan American Games, taking the 200 in American-record time of 25.77 seconds. A three-time Olympian under the tutelage of National Track & Field Hall of Fame coach Ed Temple, Cheeseborough won two gold medals (4x100 and 4x400 relays) and a silver (400m) at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and twice she set the American record in the women's 400. she set an American junior record of 11.13 in winning the 100 meters at the national championships, then placed sixth in that event at the Montreal Olympics. After high school, she attended Tennessee State, where she was a member of national championship teams that set world indoor records of 1:08.9 in the 640-yard relay and 1:47.17 in the 800-yard sprint medley relay. She won the national indoor 200-yard dash in 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1983. Her breakthrough year in the 400m came in 1984, when set two American records in the event, then placed second in the Los Angeles Olympics in a career best of 49.04. She made history at the 1984 Games when she became the first woman to win gold medals in both relays, held less than an hour apart. She was named Tennessee State's men's and women's coach in 1999 and won the Ohio Valley Conference Track and Field Championships Outdoor-2001, Indoor 2002, Outdoor 2002, Indoor 2003. Internationally, she served as an assistant coach at the 2001 World Outdoor Championships and the 1999 Pan American Junior Championships. Other assistant coaches named were J.J. Clark - Middle Distance: Now in his fifth year as head coach of the women's track and field and cross country programs at the University of Tennessee, Connie Price-Smith - Throws: A four-time Olympian and the women's head coach for the 2007 Pan American Games, Rita Somerlot - Jumps/Combined Events: A 2000 Olympic Games assistant coach for the women's high jump, pole vault and combined events, Somerlot is one of Team USA's most experienced women's staff members. Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick - Endurance: A former competitor at Kent State University, where she set three school records in middle distance events, she was named the Associate Director of Athletics at Seton Hall University in August of 2006. Relay Coaches Brooks Johnson: A former head coach at Stanford University (1979-1992) and California Polytechnic-San Luis Obispo (1993-96), Johnson was the 1984 Olympic Team women's head coach. Orin Richburg: The Team USA head coach for the 1997 World Indoor Championships and the 2001 World Outdoor Championships, Richburg converted the University of Washington's women's team into one of the best dual-meet squads in the nation, On her selection, Cheeseborough remarked, "It is a great honor to be named as one of the staff members of the 2008 USA Olympic Track & Field Team. I am excited and looking forward to assisting the elite athletes of the United States. My selection is just a reflection of my roots from Coach Ed Temple who was a three time Olympic Track & Field Coach for the USA, and it is such an honor to carry on the tradition." In late June Cheeseborough will be inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2008 in St. Peterburgh, FL.