Team USA Closes Out YOG Track & Field Competition with Two Gold Medals

SINGAPORE – Team USA won two gold medals on the track at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games Monday night, bringing the track & field competition to a close with a total of eight medals. Monday evening featured the debut of the mixed medley relays, with the Americas team winning gold in both the girls and boys event.

On the girls’ team were Myasia Jacobs (Paterson, N.J.), Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.), Tynia Gaither (BAH) and Rashan Brown (BAH). The medley relay format included a 100, 200, 300 and 400 meter leg. Jacobs – who won the silver medal in the 100 meters on Saturday – started things out for the Americas team and handed the baton to Gaither, who in turn passed it to Brown. By the time Reynolds received the baton, the Americas had a slight lead, which she held on to, finishing in 2:05.62. In second place was the Africas team in 2:06.91, followed by Europe in 2:07.59.

Reynolds leaves Singapore with two golds – she also won the girls 400 meters on Saturday. She, along with her teammates, were all smiles after Monday’s relay. They all are proponents of including mixed relays in other international events.

“I think it’s a great way to showcase talent from different parts of the continent and put them together as one,” Reynolds said. “It’s us showing off our speed together, unified. It’s great.”

The teams started practicing with each other at 6 a.m. Monday, and kept at it throughout the day. On the boys’ team, in running order, were Calo Dos Santos (BRA), Odane Skeen (JAM), Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.) and Luguelin Santos (DOM). Glass finished sixth in the 400 meters Saturday, a race that Santos won.

But Monday night, they were teammates, competing against star power from other continents. The Americas team won in 1:51.38, followed by Europe in 1:52.11 and Oceania in 1:52.71.

“It was very fun,” Glass said. “I came in with these gold medalists in the 100 [Skeen] and 400 [Santos], and now I can say I’m a gold medalist at the Youth Olympics, the first ever. It means the world. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to run for USA. Now I have a gold for USA, and for me. I’m just so happy. Now I can say I’m kind of like the big dogs who compete for USA.”

Also competing for Team USA Monday night were Shelby Ashe (Stone Mountain, Ga.) in the hammer throw and Daniel Wong (Tucson, Ariz.) in the boys 2,000 meter steeplechase.

Ashe was a medal favorite after finishing qualifying in third place, but Monday wasn’t her night. The rainy conditions were difficult for her, as she’s only competed in the hammer throw for one year and is still gaining experience dealing with harsh weather conditions. She fouled on her first and third attempts, but her second throw of 49.16 put her in eighth place. Her best throw during qualifying, 58.01, would have been good enough for silver Monday night.

Wong, on the other hand, benefited from the rainy conditions, which made the air much cooler for the boys 2,000 meter steeplechase. The pack went out fast, which Wong said helped him reach his personal best time of 5:57.29. He had never previously gone under 6:00.00, and was thrilled with his time. In comparison, he won the Youth Olympic Selection Trials with a time of 6:17.47.

Three U.S. athletes competed on Monday morning. Amber Bryant-Brock (Powder Springs, Ga.) finished sixth in the 400 meter hurdles, Claudia Francis (Laurelton, N.J.) finished 12th in the 1,000 meters, and Reese Watson (Spring, Texas) finished 10th in the pole vault.

In all, Team USA athletes won eight medals on the track and on the field at the Youth Olympic Games, three gold, two silver and three bronze.

TEAM USA YOG TRACK & FIELD MEDALS

· Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.), 400 meters, gold

· Robin Reynolds & Myasia Jacobs, mixed medley relay, gold

· Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.), mixed medley relay, gold

· Myasia Jacobs (Paterson, N.J.), 100 meters, silver

· Devin Bogert (Tomball, Texas), javelin, silver

· Olivia Ekpone (Germantown, Md.), 200 meters, bronze

· Le’Tristan Pledger (Kansas City, Kan.), long jump, bronze

· Hannah Carson (Chandler, Ariz.), javelin, bronze

MONDAY’S TRACK & FIELD RESULTS

Athletics, Girls Mixed Medley Relay

  1. Americas (Myasia Jacobs, Robyn Reynolds) 2:05.62
  2. Africas 2:06.19
  3. Europe 2:07.59

Athletics, Girls 400m Hurdles

  1. Aurelie Chaboudez (FRA) 58.41
  2. Stina Torest (DEN) 58.88
  3. Olena Kolesnychenko (UKR) 59.25
  1. Amber Bryant-Brock (USA) 1:00.72

Athletics, Girls 1000m

  1. Tizita Ashame (ETH) 2:43.24
  2. Andrina Schlaepfer (SUI) 2:43.84
  3. Damaris Muthee (KEN) 2:45.42
  1. Claudia Francis (USA) 2:55.73

Athletics, Girls Hammer Throw Finals

  1. Alexia Sedykh (FRA) 59.08
  2. Alena Navahrodskaya (BLR) 57.34
  3. Youlian Xia (CHN) 56.62
  1. Shelby Ashe (USA) 49.16

Athletics, Boys Mixed Medley Relay

  1. Americas (Najee Glass) 1:51.38
  2. Africas 1:52.11
  3. Europe 1:52.71

Athletics, Boys 2000m Steeplechase

  1. Peter Matheka Mutuku (KEN) 5:37.63
  2. Habtamu Fayisa (ETH) 5:39.10
  3. Zakaria Kiprotich (UGA) 5:41.25
  1. Daniel Wong (USA) 5:57.29

Athletics, Boys Pole Vault

  1. Didac Salas (ESP) 5.05
  2. Thiago Da Silva (BRA) 5.05
    1. Chrysanthopoulos (GRE) 4.95
  1. Reese Watson (USA) 4.50