UCR Track Stars Vying for $1 Million Prize in CBS Show ‘The Amazing Race’

Best friends Danielle Littleton and Jazmine Lewis are team purple

Jazmine Lewis, left and Danielle Littleton

UCR track stars Jazmine Lewis, left and Danielle Littleton, are the purple team in CBS’s “The Amazing Race.”

By Amy Zahn

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Best friend duo and former UC Riverside track stars Danielle Littleton and Jazmine Lewis trekked across the globe in the 27th season of the popular CBS reality television show “The Amazing Race,” where they showed off their wit and spirit in a bid to win a million dollar prize.

Since this is the current season, viewers do not yet whether the duo won — and Littleton and Lewis are not saying. But they are still in the race as of the episode that aired at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10.

They dreamed of this moment long before they auditioned.

“We’d always talk about how we both love the show so much,” said Lewis. “Even during trips for track, in the airport we would imagine we were on ‘The Amazing Race.’” They sent off their audition video just before Littleton’s senior year.

The duo competed in a variety of fast-paced challenges on the show, from learning the tango to outfitting a horse properly for polo. The discipline and athleticism they acquired at UCR helped prepare them for these mental and physical challenges as they raced across South America, Africa and Asia, they said.

“We were mentally fit as well as physically because when you’re competing in athletics you’re under pressure all the time,” said Littleton. “Mentally, we knew how to deal with pressure really well.”

Littleton holds six school records in events such as the long jump and pentathlon, and Lewis broke the school’s heptathlon record in 2013 and came in second at the Midwest Conference that same year. The girls agreed that UCR helped them get where they are today.

“UCR prepares our scholar athletes for challenges and championships through repetitive mental training for toughness, emotional intelligence – and physical conditioning to help them maintain strength and endurance,” said UCR’s Director of Athletics Tamica Smith Jones.

She and other coaches and colleagues at UCR said they are cheering on the duo in their reality show dream. “They are representing themselves and their school very well,” said Assistant Track and Field Coach Daniel Newell. “We’re proud of them.”

Interim Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Nathan Browne said that both girls sought help from coaches and other staff to study up on their sport and improve their “mental game,” a resource that is available to all student athletes.

Follow their progress on The Amazing Race at 8 p.m. Pacific each Friday on CBS.

Follow UCR Athletic competitions at GoHighlanders.com

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