Ronnie Baker just misses podium in 100m dash on day 2 of track and Field

Ronnie Baker just misses podium in 100m dash on day 2 of track and Field

Gwangju, South Korea-July 9th, 2015 – It was another eventful and exciting day in Gwangju at the World University Games as the WUG US Track and Field Team completed their second day of competition.

Once again Steele Wasik kicked things off on the track as he continued and completed his decathlon.  Steele started things off with a time of 14.62 in the 110m hurdles and then won his section of the discus with a whopping throw of 40.00m.  He had an impressive showing in the pole vault making it over at 4.10 and attempting 4.30.  Despite not having his best performance in the javelin and having to endure the grueling race of the 1500m, he ended the day with a smile on his face and in 6th place with a score of 7414

“This is by far the coolest thing I have been apart of and the thing I really liked about this was the support.  It doesn’t matter what country you are from, you have thousands of fans in the stands cheering you on and the other guys are really supportive.  They understand we are all in this together, and are going to be great friends afterwards and that’s how it is.”

Only other field event competitors during the morning session were Mike Woepse and Mark Sakioka, both in the men’s pole vault.  Unfortunately for Sakioka he no heighted due to what looked like a hamstring issue and will not move on.  Mike Woepse however, made it over the qualifying mark of 5.30m and will compete again on Saturday during the morning session.

On the track during the morning session, races focused on sprints as A’Keyla Mitchell (23.66)  and Ana Holland( 24.41)  both advanced to the semi-finals of the women’s 200m.  In the men’s 200m, Leon Powell and Bryce Robinson both made it out of round 1 to race again in the afternoon session and again sprinted their way to the semi-final round of the men’s 200m.  Powell ran 21.24 and 21.20 in his two rounds while Robinson ran 21.21 and 20.96

Finishing off the morning session track events was the women’s 100m hurdles with hurdlers Alexia Fortenberry who ran 13.96 and Jade Barber running 13.30.  Barber advances to the semi’s.

The afternoon session of competition was full of action and as we had several finals and qualifying rounds in both field and track events.  Leading things off was Alec Faldermeyer in the men’s hammer throw who threw a best mark of 62.73m and placed 15th overall.

He was followed in action on the track by Keyunta Hunter who was racing in his second qualifying round of the men’s 400m hurdles.  Hunter raced hard and ran a time of 52.96 but was not able to move on to the next round.

The WUG US track team had two participants in the women’s long jump final, Kylie Price and Nataliyah Friar.  Both women were jumping well and adjusting despite the difference in a toe board of an 8” difference from that in the states.  They were hovering around 6.28m and 6.27m respectively in 8th and 9th place until Friar catapulted her way into 5th with a mark of 6.42m (a new personal best).  Neither girl saw improvement in their final two jumps.  Friar ended in 5th while Price finished in 8th with a mark of 6.28m.  Rounding out the jumps finals for the afternoon was Matt O’neal who competed in the men’s triple jump.  He placed 8th overall with a mark of 16.07m

Shifting gears away from the field and onto the track, the thrill of the afternoon was watching Ronnie Baker and Markesh Woodson run in the finals of the 100m dash.  While they were both edged out of making it onto the podium, they posted impressive times placing them 4th (Baker) and 5th (Woodson) with times of 10.17 and 10.19 respectively.  Speaking with them afterwards while disappointed they didn’t medal, were thankful for the experience and looking forward to running on the 4x100m relay on Saturday.

“It’s a good experience, it’s a learning process, we got to do the same thing in a year come olympic trials so to get a world games under our belt is good.” said Baker.

In other action on the track Madeline Kopp finished with a time of 54.71 in the 400m while Cole Lanbourne ran 46.58.  Neither will advance to the finals but still have the relay to participate in on Saturday.  In the 800m Alissa Martinez finished with a time of 2:07.31.

Rounding out the evening was the long distance crew including Ty McCormack who finished 8th overall in the men’s 10k final with a time of 29:44.82. While Paige Holly (16:34.25) and Sara Sutherland (16:34.49) competed in the 5k. Both advance to the finals which take place Saturday.

In the final field event of the evening, Valarie Allman had an impressive showing in the women’s discus finals and finished 5th overall with a mark of 55.68m.  She finished off her season strong and was all smiles post competition.

Day 3 brings even more action as we start the women’s heptathlon at 9:00am local time followed by a few other morning session events.  The afternoon session won’t start until later in the evening around 5:00pm local time.  For the most up to date results please check out the official results page at:  You can also follow along on twitter by following @WUGusatrack