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Three MAC alumni to compete in Rio Olympics

Akron, Eastern Michigan and Mizzou will all be represented at 2016 Olympics.

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

OK, so two Americans and a Puerto Rican walk into a bar… oh wait, no, it’s opening ceremonies at the Olympics in Rio – and they’re all former MAC stars.

When the torch is lit Aug. 5, Eric Alejandro (EMU), Clayton Murphy (Akron), and J’Den Cox (Mizzou) will be representing the MAC and their respective countries as Olympians.

Alejandro is the only second-time athlete of the three, and he will compete in the 400m hurdles representing Puerto Rico.

Murphy and Cox will both compete in the Olympics for the first time.

Murphy will suit up in red white and blue as he looks to surprise the field in the 800m in Rio. He qualified first in the U.S Trials with his signature kick in the final 200 meters.

The third MAC Olympian will be J’Den Cox in the 86kg weight class (roughly 189 pounds for the Americans in the room). Although Mizzou is an SEC team in most sports, it is an affiliate member of the MAC in wrestling.

Also to note, Shawn Barber of Akron will look to qualify in the Canadian Olympic Trials July 7-10.