FAMU grad journey in the olympics

Florida A&M University graduate student LaVonne Idlette had quite a journey to the London Olympics in this past summer.

Idlette competed in the 100-meter hurdles representing her home country, the Dominican Republic.

Idlette is a second-year law school graduate student from Miami. Idlette earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from Hampton University.

The Olympic games in London was the first time Idlette competed on the Olympic level. “It was a great experience,” said Idlette.

Idlette currently holds the Dominican Republic’s national record for the 100-meter hurdles. Confidence is essential to her success as a track runner.

“Confidence is everything,” said Idelette. “Confidence helps in the face of adversity.”

Idlette ran in a qualifying heat for the hurdle with a time of 13.03 seconds. She placed sixth in that heat, but didn’t move on to the next round of the Olympics.

“My performance was not what I expected it to be,” said Idlette.

Duane Ross, Idlette’s former track coach, is now the track coach at North Carolina A&T University and also Idlette’s personal trainer.


He said Idlette is an incredible and rare athlete who can only be limited by herself. He also said Idlette’s work ethic on and off the track is tremendous.

“On the track, she takes her craft very seriously,” said Ross. “She doesn’t like to miss practices and often times will find time to do more.”

He also said, “What’s amazingly admirable about LaVonne is that she spends just as much time reading books as she does practicing jumping hurdles,” said Ross.


According to Anthony L. Miller, the electronic services reference librarian at FAMU’s law school, said Idlette is extremely efficient.

“She has a lot of insight in balance and she keeps a tight schedule, starting her day at 5 a.m,” said Miller. “Her work ethic is good because of how she scheduled everything.”

Idlette balances both track and school, as she is working towards on her second degree.

Idlette enjoys reading. She’s also very into the art and music industries. What most people may not know about her is that she is a naturally quiet person.


Idlette said her Olympic experience has been somewhat of a culture shock for her.

Idlette is slated to graduate in spring 2014. She’s focused on running and is holding off on taking the bar test after her career is done.


Idlette plans to run for five to seven more years.

`Idlette, now 26 years old, is preparing for her next track meet on Jan. 13, 2013, in Gainesville. She plans to compete at 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.