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OU track star Will Claye is dreaming of the Olympics

By Jake Trotter Published: May 14, 2009

"Anymore, we lose so many athletes to basketball, to college football, that it’s rare you get one that stays in track and has the ability that he has and is successful at 17. He’s got great God-given ability, and he’s only going to get better.

"He’ll definitely be an Olympian as long as he stays healthy. He’s already at that level.”

Claye’s parents, William Claye Sr. and Saffie Tunis, immigrated to the U.S. from Sierra Leone after his mom got a scholarship to attend school at the University of Arizona. In Phoenix, they started their family, which has proven to be one of great athletic prowess.

Claye’s older brother, James, played football at California.

Claye also excelled in football, playing quarterback for his high school team.

"He was always a gifted athlete,” his father said. "When he played soccer, he was the star, he scored all the time. He was great in football.”

But in the end, Claye decided to follow his father and make track his primary sport.

"I started to long jump when I was in middle school and started to triple jump my freshman year of high school,” Claye recalled. "As I started to get better, I started to like it more.”

For that, he had the perfect mentor.

"My father was always pushing me, telling me to keep working hard, just persevere,” Claye said. "To not ever get comfortable.”

Now, Claye is working his way to the same goal his father held years ago.

"That would make me so proud,” his father said. "If I see him go to the Olympics and I die after that.

"I would be pleased.”


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