CORPUS CHRISTI — Texas A&M-Corpus Christi hurdler Leonardo Ledgister is headed to the Olympics.
The track & field All-American qualified to compete for Jamaica, his home country, in the 400m hurdles.
Ledgister, who hails from Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica, said it took dedication and perseverance to get to where he is now.
"For me to make the Olympic team -- that is a very big accomplishment," he told KRIS 6 News on Thursday. "And to be called an Olympian -- there is no greater title to be called in my sporting career."
The sophomore is the first-ever current Islanders athlete to make it to the Olympics, which begin July 24, and could not be more proud of representing his country and TAMU-CC.
"When I saw the announcement of who was selected and saw my name at the top of the list, I was surprised to the point where I couldn't believe it," he said in a release early Thursday.
Ledgister broke a 31-year-old Southland Conference Championship meet record, winning the 400 hurdles with a time of 49.23. He placed sixth at the NCAA Championships with a time of 49.28.
"I put in the hard work, but I didn't know the hard work would put me so far ahead in my career," he said. "It is very great."
Islanders head track & field coach Brent Ericksen said the fact that Ledgister has started down adversity this year makes the accomplishment event more impressive.
"We're excited, not only see him do this, but see him continue to get better and better," he said.