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Cox, Jefferson Set for Olympic Marathon Trials

January 12, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty alumni Carol Jefferson (left) and Josh Cox right will both compete in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Saturday morning in Houston, Texas.

USATF's Official Webpage for the Olympic Marathon Trials

Some of the first 2012 U.S. Olympians will be determined Saturday morning on the streets of Houston, Texas, and two Liberty alumni are among the Olympic hopefuls. Josh Cox, a 1998 Liberty graduate, and Carol Jefferson, a 2008 Liberty graduate, are both entered in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

The men's race will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern, with the women's race to follow at 9:15. NBC will air two hours of race coverage from 3-5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The top three men's finishers and the top three women's finishers will earn the opportunity to represent the United States in the Olympic marathon this summer in London. Additionally, $250,000 in prize money will be awarded on Saturday, including $50,000 for the winner of each race.

Cox is a veteran of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, as Saturday's race will be his fourth time competing in the event. He was the youngest qualifier (24 years old) for the 2000 Olympic Marathon Trials, where he came in 18th. Four years later, Cox was the seventh-place finisher at the 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Now 36 years old, Cox continues to run well. On Jan. 16, 2011, he ran a time of 2:17:32 to win the P.F. Chang's Rod ‘n' Roll Marathon title in Phoenix, Ariz. That ranked No. 13 on the U.S. men's marathon list for 2011. However, Cox did not stop after crossing the finish line, but went on to lower his own American 50K record to 2:43.45.

Cox's personal-best marathon time is 2:13:51, set at the 2009 California International Marathon in Sacramento, Calif. That effort stands as the Liberty men's alumni record.

Meanwhile, Jefferson is the Liberty women's alumni record holder for the marathon, with a 2:41:15 clocking at the 2009 Chicago Marathon.

A six-time Big South distance event champion during her track & field career at Liberty, Jefferson will make her U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials debut on Saturday. She made a successful tune-up for the race about a month ago, when she captured the female individual title at the Rehoboth Seashore Marathon in Rehoboth, Del.