NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- With the Games of the XXXI Olympiad beginning this week, two former Iona College student-athletes will have the bright lights shining on them tonight in the opening ceremony at Maracanã Stadium. Leonard Korir '12 and Maya Rehberg starred for the cross country / track and field programs during their tenure in New Rochelle and next weekend compete on the biggest stage of their career at the 2016 Olympic Games. The two former Gael stand outs are among the 11,000+ athletes from 206 countries at Rio 2016 and are the first Olympians in school history.
Korir and Rehberg are scheduled to compete on the second day of track and field competition at Estádio Olímpico João Havelange (Olympic Stadium) on Saturday, Aug. 13.
Leonard Korir, a 2012 graduate, represents the United States in athletics competition in the 10,000-meter run. He finished third at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon last month, earning a spot on the team. The American 10k trio consists of Korir, former Oregon standout Galen Rupp and Oklahoma State alum Shadrack Kipchirchir. Korir and Kipchirchir represent the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). Korir enlisted in the US Army in September 2015 and joined the WCAP this past January. A specialist in the army, he is currently a motor transport operator.
Korir goes for the gold in the men's 10,000-meter final next Saturday (Aug. 13) at 8:25 pm ET. Track and Field coverage can be seen on NBC or on NBCOlympics.com's live stream.
Korir was the first NCAA Champion in Iona College history after winning the Indoor 5,000-meter Championship as a junior in 2011. He repeated the feat in the spring with a 10,000-meter title on the outdoor track. Korir was an eight-time All-American in cross country and track & field, two-time NCAA Northeast Regional Champion and six-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champion from 2009-2011.
Maya Rehberg also competes in Athletics competition and represents Germany in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Rehberg was the silver medalist at the Deutsche Meisterschaften (German Championships) at the Auestadion in Kassel, Germany in June with a time of 9:46.58. Her personal best time of 9:39.18 came two weeks earlier at Memorial Josefa Odlozila in Prague, Czech Republic, earning her an Olympic standard time in the event. She fulfilled the national qualification standards in the event and was announced as a German national team member in July. Rehberg is joined in the steeple chase event by teammates Sanaa Koubaa and Gesa Felicitas Krause.
The first round of the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase is also next Saturday (Aug. 13) and takes place at 9:05 pm ET at Olympic Stadium. The final round is two days later on Monday, Aug. 15 at 10:15 am ET. Track and Field coverage for the first round can be seen on NBC Sports Network or on NBCOlympics.com's live stream. The final will also be live streamed Monday with further coverage on NBC and NBC Sports Network.
Rehberg had one of the top rookie campaigns of any Iona women's harrier in program history before returning to her home country to pursue her professional running career. In 2013-14 she set the Iona record in the steeplechase at the 2014 NCAA Championships in Eugene. The time of 9:55.73 remains the only sub-10 minute time in school history in the event. She was the runner up at the 2013 MAAC Cross Country Championship finishing behind former teammate Kate Avery. Rehberg was also the Gaels’ second finisher at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships that season, earning All-Region honors in 22nd place. On the indoor track Rehberg set the Iona rookie record in both the 3,000- and 5,000-meter events. Her time of 9:24.51 at the ECAC Championships ranks third all-time at Iona behind Avery and Salome Kosgei ’07 and just ahead of Tara Jameson '14 '16 MBA in fourth place.