Robin Reynolds from Miami Northwest Track Club

Robin Reynolds Wins 400m Gold at Youth Olympic Games, Teammates Add Silver, Bronze

SINGAPORE – It was a stellar day for Team USA at the Youth Olympic Games track & field competition Saturday, the first day of finals, with U.S. athletes coming away with a full set of medals. Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.) ran a 52.57 in the 400 meters, earning her the gold medal by more than half of a second.

“I came up on the line with a nervous feeling in me, in my gut,” Reynolds said. “But I was really confident in myself too. I knew that this is what I was here for, and I knew I could do it. I was feeling good coming into the backstretch, going into the last curve. I still had more in me, so I laid it all out on the track and, boom, gold medal. It was awesome – a very exciting feeling for me.”

Reynolds is new to the international track scene, but she is the 2009 USA Youth Outdoor champion in the 100, 200, 400 and long jump. She is the 2009 USA Junior Olympics champion in the 200, 400 and long jump. And just a few months ago, she won the 2010 Florida High School state titles in the 100, 400 and long jump.

The 16-year-old attends William H. Turner Technical Arts High School, and her club track coach is Jesse Holt.

“I was very happy about standing on the podium,” she said. “I’ve always pictured what I would feel like, representing my country. I was very emotional. I didn’t shed any tears like I thought I would, but they were there. I was overwhelmed with joy. By me winning this gold medal it shows people that I’m a rising female star. I’m here and I’m hungry and this is only the beginning. I plan to be in the 2012 Olympics.”

Myasia Jacobs (Paterson, N.J.) won silver in the 100 meters, missing the top of the podium by just 0.06 seconds. She finished in 11.64, while Nigeria’s Josephine Omaka took gold with 11.58. Reynolds, whose goal is to run 11.20, said she runs her best when she’s relaxed, but she felt like she was fighting for it as she neared the finish line. “I was hoping to get a gold, but I’m satisfied that I was the second fastest in the whole world, and I made history,” Jacobs, 16, said. “It was a good experience being on the podium, looking at everyone in the stands, watching our flag go up. It means a lot to me. I feel like I’m a real Olympian. It’s the best experience I’ve ever had in my life.”

Pledger's final jump

Long jumper Le’Tristan Pledger (Kansas City, Kan.) completed the medal haul for Team USA Saturday, winning bronze with a jump of 6.17 meters. She beat the fourth place finisher of Estonia by just 0.02 meters. Germany’s Lena Malkus won the event with a jump of 6.40 meters.

The Washington High School senior was competing internationally for the first time. She is the 2010 USA Junior champion and the 2009 AAU Jr. Olympic National champion. She celebrates her 17th birthday Friday, the day after the Closing Ceremony.

Three U.S. athletes finished sixth Saturday. Trinity Wilson (Oakland, Calif.) clocked 13.71 in the 100 meter hurdles for her sixth place finish. Winning the event was Russia’s Ekaterina Bleskina in 13.34. Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.) finished sixth in the 400 meters, less than a half of a second out of the medals. He posted a time of 47.65, while Luguelin Santos (DOM) won the event in 47.11. High jumper Gunnar Nixon (Edmond, Okla.) finished sixth with a jump of 2.11 meters; Israel’s Dmitry Kroytor won by clearing 2.19 meters.

Sarah Tolson (Pawhuska, Okla.) won the discus B Final Saturday, putting her ninth overall. Pole vaulter Hadley Reed Hancock (Leesburg, Ga.) finished 15th after clearing the bar at 3.30 meters. More than 500 young athletes from 170 countries are participating in the track & field competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

Finals continue on Sunday with six U.S. athletes all competing for spots on the podium: • Olivia Ekpone (Germantown, Md.) and Brandon Sanders (Columbia, S.C.) – 200 meters • Sarah Howard (Dublin, Ga.) – shot put • Hannah Carson (Chandler, Ariz.) and Devin Bogert (Tomball, Texas) – javelin • Tyler Sorenson (Lafayette, Calif.) – 10,000 meter race walk

SATURDAY’S TRACK & FIELD RESULTS

Athletics, Girls 100m Finals 1. Josephine Omaka (NGR) 11.58 2. Myasia Jacobs (USA) 11.64 3. Fany Chalas (DOM) 11.65

Athletics, Girls 100m Hurdles Finals 1. Ekaterina Bleskina (RUS) 13.34 2. Michelle Jenneke (AUS) 13.46 3. Noemi Zbaeren (SUI) 13.50 - 6. Trinity Wilson (USA) 13.71

Athletics, Girls 400m Finals 1. Robin Reynolds (USA) 52.57 2. Bianca Razor (ROU) 53.10 3. Bukola Abogunloko (NGR) 53.47

Athletics, Girls Long Jump Finals 1. Lena Malkus (GER) 6.40 2. Alina Rotaru (ROU) 6.38 3. Le’Tristan Pledger (USA) 6.17

Athletics, Girls Discus Finals 1. Shanice Craft (GER) 55.49 2. Krisztina Varadi (HUN) 49.92 3. Heidi Schmidt (SWE) 47.57 - 9. Sarah Tolson (USA) 44.97

Athletics, Girls Pole Vault Final 1. Angelica Bengtsson (SWE) 4.30 2. Elizabeth Parnov (AUS) 4.25 3. Ganna Shelekh (UKR) 4.20 - 15. Hadley Reed Hancock (USA) 3.30

Athletics, Boys 400m Finals 1. Luguelin Santos (DOM) 47.11 2. Ruan Greyling (RSA) 47.22 3. Alfas Kishoyan (KEN) 47.24 - 6. Najee Glass (USA) 47.65

Athletics, Boys High Jump Finals 1. Dmitry Kroytor (ISR) 2.19 2. Brandon Starc (AUS) 2.19 3. Viktor Chernysh (UKR) 2.17 - 6. Gunnar Nixon (USA) 2.11