LONDON — During her professional track career, Shereefa Lloyd has been a reliable member of the Jamaican women’s 1,600-meter relay teams.
The former Texas Tech standout has an ever-growing medals collection to show for it.
Jamaica finished third in the event Saturday in the London Olympics, giving Lloyd her fourth medal in a world-level event in six years. She didn’t run in the finals, but ran on the foursome that won its semifinal heat Friday.
It was the second day in a row that a Tech ex won a medal as part of a 1,600-meter relay, Michael Mathieu having won gold Friday night with the Bahamas.
“That’s a pretty good Red Raider,” Tech coach Wes Kittley said. “That speaks quite highly of her. I think she’s kind of a forgotten one, because she’s such a quiet person anyway. People get wrapped up in other athletes. They’ve been so steady — steady Eddies for their teams. Quiet ones that kind of seem to get the job done.”
Lloyd, three weeks away from her 30th birthday, was not in the Jamaican foursome for Saturday’s final round. She did, however, help the Jamaicans easily qualify for the finals, running the second leg Friday on the team that won the first semifinal heat in 3 minutes, 25.13 seconds.
The United States dominated Saturday’s final, running a time of 3:16.87 seconds. Russia got second in 3:20.23, and Jamaica’s time was 3:20.95.
Lloyd ran at Tech in 2004 and 2005 after two years at Southwestern Christian College in Terrell.
Her career medal haul now includes bronzes from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the London Games and silvers from the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Japan, and the 2009 world championships in Berlin.
She won all four medals with Jamaica’s 1,600-meter relay.
“She’s a lot like Michael Mathieu, just unbelievably steady,” Kittley said. “That’s why they put her on there. I don’t think she got but fifth in their trials (in the 400 meters), but when it came down to who they were going to rely on, they put her on it. She’s kind of become a veteran with that relay team.”
Former Texas Tech track athletes won three medals in London — Sally Kipyego claimed the first, a silver for Kenya in the women’s 10,000 meters.
Former Tech runners also won three medals in Beijing in 2008 — Andrae Williams and Mathieu on the Bahamas’ 1,600 relay that got silver, and Lloyd on the Jamaican 1,600 relay.
Kittley said he hopes to get all three of this year’s medal winners — and possibly some other Olympians — back to Lubbock to be recognized at a Red Raiders football game this fall.
“We want to at least honor those people that leave us — let them know that we’re proud of them and want to honor them,” Kittley said.”