UVA Track & Field | Lemmon Looking to Make Strong Closing Statement

UVA Track & Field | Lemmon Looking to Make Strong Closing Statement

Back in Charlottesville, Lemmon spoke on the phone with former UVA teammate Claudio Romero, an NCAA champion thrower who’s now at LSU. “He was keeping track of my results at Penn Relays and shot me over congratulations,” Lemmon said, “so I gave him a call.”

Lemmon and Romero came in together at UVA in the summer of 2019. Neither competed during the indoor season in 2019-20, and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 forced them to delay their Cavalier debuts until the 2020-21 school year.

“A lot of the failures and setbacks during my years at UVA have motivated me to work harder,” Lemmon said.

Missing the 2020 outdoor season “motivated me to work towards having a better season the next year,” Lemmon said. “Also, my [2022] season wasn’t all that great, in part due to some reasons outside the track, and this resulted in me not repeating as a first team All-American. My feeling of inadequacy from performing below my own inflated expectations and comparing myself to other throwers my third year pushed me to work harder going into my fourth year.”

That didn’t go as planned. In September 2022, Hurricane Ian hammered Fort Myers. Lemmon planned to dedicate his fourth year to his hometown, only to tear his pectoral muscle in late February 2023.

“The combination of having a down year [in 2021-22] and the pec injury resulted in 1,099 days of not throwing a personal record in the discus,” Lemmon said. “During the time I was out, it was very difficult watching others compete in my event, and I was worried about the possibility that I wouldn’t get back to 100 percent from a performance and health standpoint in a sport where you always strive to be 101 percent. But my strength and ability has totally returned because of the work I put in, and I have hit that 101 percent.”

Lemmon had surgery in March 2023. He rehabbed diligently, often under the guidance of UVA athletic trainer Kat Barnes, and was cleared to throw again last summer.

During his college years, Lemmon said, he’s learned “that as long as the potential is there, sometimes the journey is going to take a lot longer than you’d…

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