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Field event hat trick for Team USATF on penultimate day of Pan Am Games

8/11/2019
 

Gold medals in three of the four field events contested Saturday at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, helped push Team USATF's tally to 33 total medals with one day of competition remaining.

 

A sweep of the top two podium spots in the women's hammer got the ball rolling, with Gwen Berry capturing gold and Brooke Andersen silver. Andersen took an early lead with her 71.07/233-2 opening throw before Berry passed her with a 72.88/239-1 in round five. The former American record holder then uncorked a 74.62/244-10 on her final attempt to lock down only the second U.S. gold in the event in Pan Am history.

 

South Dakota's Chris Nilsen took three tries to clear 5.76/18-10.75 in the pole vault, but it was enough to give him the win over Brazil's Augusto Dutra. Nilsen had a clean slate with four clearances through 5.71/18-8.75 before his winning height, and he missed on three attempts at 5.81/19-0.75. Sam Houston State's Clayton Fritsch ended up with bronze in his first international championship, clearing 5.61/18-4.75.

 

The third field gold came from triple jumper Omar Craddock. Craddock took the lead on his first attempt, then briefly lost it to Cuba's Jordan Diaz in the next round. The 2015 World Championships fourth-placer equaled Diaz's mark and went ahead based on a better second effort, but in round four the Cuban bounded 17.38/57-0.25 to go atop the standings again. In the next round, Craddock responded brilliantly with a 17.42/57-2 that the Cuban couldn't match. Chris Carterplaced sixth with a best of 16.29/53-5.5.

 

Individual 400m bronze medalist Courtney Okolo ran a stellar anchor leg to give Team USATF the gold in the women's 4x400m relay in 3:26.46. Lynna Irby, Jaide Stepter and Anna Cockrell battled with Jamaica and Canada through the first three carries before Okolo's heroics brought the Americans home for the win.

 

Freddie Crittenden avoided disaster in the form of a falling Brazilian to his left in the men's 110m hurdles and almost pulled off the win, taking silver in 13.32, .01 behind the winner, Shane Brathwaite of Barbados. U.S. teammate Jarret Eatongot out very quickly but came a cropper at hurdle four and did not finish.

 

USATF fifth-place finisher Marisa Howard ran with the lead pack throughout the women's 3,000m steeplechase to claim silver in 9:43.78, and a final silver was earned by the men's 4x400 team of Mar'Yea Harris, Michael Cherry, Justin Robinson and Wil London. High schooler Robinson made up a lot of ground on his carry to give the U.S. a slight edge going into the anchor, but London couldn't hold off a storming finish by Colombia's individual 400m champion, Anthony Zambrano, crossing the line .31 behind the winners in 3:01.72.

 

Finishing just off the podium, Michael Shuey saw his bronze medal snatched away in the men's javelin by a huge PR from St. Lucia's Albert Reynolds on his last throw. Shuey, the USATF champion, had two throws beyond 80 meters, topped by an 80.72/264-10 to place fourth, with Curtis Thompson 10th. NCAA champion Bryce Hoppel was also just outside the medals with a fourth-place run in the men's 800m, clocking 1:47.48, and Benard Keter (8:32.76) and Travis Mahoney (8:34.77) went 4-5 for the U.S. in the men's 3,000m steeplechase.

 

Track and field competition concludes Sunday with the men's and women's 50K race walks.




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