Janay DeLoach represented CSU for four years as an All-American long jumper. Now as she goes to represent the USA in London for the Olympics, CSU wants to celebrate her success with the public.
The university is hosting a send-off event for DeLoach before she leaves for London at the Glen Morris Field House at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided.
“She represents everything that is great about CSU. From the athletics and academic standpoint, she’s top of the class,” Vice President for External Relations Tony Phifer said. “You just want to celebrate that.”
Phifer said the university hadn’t done enough to celebrate its recent Olympians Casey Malone and Loree Smith, but DeLoach’s close ties with CSU warrants the recognition.
In addition to her success on the track, DeLoach has earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from CSU and currently volunteers with the CSU track program as an assistant coach.
“We want that type of person around our young athletes to help coach them up technically but also in life, just the way she carries herself,” CSU track coach Brian Bedard said. “She’s very confident but very humble at the same time, which is a unique combination.”
Phifer would “love it” to have 100 people show up, but is certainly hoping there are more.
“We’ve never done anything exactly like this that I can recall,” he said. “What I would really love to see is a lot of young kids to be there and see and interact with Janay.”
In order to help facilitate that youth, the university invited the members of the Fort Collins Track Club to attend the event and see DeLoach off.
The club plans to have as many of its members attend as possible because it recognizes the importance of the event.
“Most of our athletes realize what a commitment both in talent and hard work it takes to get that level,” Dennis Markham, Fort Collins Track Club head coach, said. “We all really want to let her know that not only is the local track team behind her but the whole community is behind her.”
DeLoach placed third in Lucerne, Switzerland on Tuesday and will be flying back to the U.S. following her competition. The send-off event Friday fit in the schedule DeLoach and her coach Tim Cawley developed after she qualified for the Olympics.
“The plan is to have her come back from these meets in Europe, be able to sleep in her own bed and rest because travelling is pretty hard on you, and get in a good training period before she heads back over” Bedard said. “This is all part of Janay and Coach Cawley’s plan.”
The event should primarily be a positive experience for the Fort Collins community and give them the chance to celebrate Deloach’s achievements.
“Janay is somebody worth celebrating,” Phifer said. “She’s a terrific role model.”