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Higginson sets Pan Ams record as Team USA picks up three more golds

7/24/2015
 
Higginson sets Pan Ams record as Team USA picks up three more golds
 
TORONTO -- Ashley Higginson ran a Pan American Games record en route to her gold medal and Team USA picked up six medals, including three golds, on Friday night for 34 total pieces of hardware earned at CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium.
 
Shalaya Kipp (Boulder, Colorado) and Ashley Higginson (Clinton, New Jersey) ran at the front of the field for the first portion of the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase final, but the pace was not overly quick. Higginson took over with three laps remaining as the pace accelerated, with Kipp a stride behind her. With 700 to go Higginson continued to turn up the heat, stretching a few more meters of an advantage between her and Kipp. At the bell, Higginson had a 10-meter margin and she maintained that lead through the finish in 9:48.12 for a Pan American Games record. Kipp made it a 1-2 finish for Team USA with silver in 9:49.96, also under the previous meet record.
 
Team USA started the evening session with gold, going 1-2 in the women's 200m as Kaylin Whitney (Clermont, Florida) ran out to a 22.65 victory with teammate Kyra Jefferson (Gainesville, Florida) getting the silver in 22.72. The last time U.S. athletes went 1-2 was in 1987 with Gwen Torrence and Randy Givens.
 
Andrew Wheating (Eugene, Oregon) ran in the middle of the lead pack for the first half of the men’s 1500 meters final and positioned himself well for the certain kick to come. With 200 to go Wheating took over at the front and was leading into the final curve with only a stride’s advantage over two Canadian challengers. A powerful push over the final 50 meters gave Wheating the gold in 3:41.41. Kyle Merber (Annandale, New Jersey) was seventh in 3:43.60.
 
Taking the silver in men’s javelin, Riley Dolezal (Fargo, North Dakota) threw a season’s best, 81.62m/267-9, on his fourth attempt to vault from fifth into medal position. Sean Furey (San Diego, California) was fifth with a best of 77.41m/253-11, a distance he hit twice, once in round 3 and again in round 6.
 
Sha’keelah Saunders (Lexington, Kentucky) came through with a clutch sixth leap in women’s jump to secure the bronze medal with a mark of 6.66m/21-10.25. Quanesha Burks (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) was eighth with a best jump of 6.47m/21-2.75.
 
Wallace Spearmon (Little Rock, Arkansas) was slow coming out of the blocks in the men’s 200 meters final but made up a lot of ground coming off the curve, moving up to fifth in 20.11. Running in the tight confines of lane 1, BeeJay Lee (Chino, California) was eighth in 20.74.
 
Barbara Pierre (Knightdale, North Carolina) ran the lead-off leg of the women’s 4x100m relay, cranking through the curve to handoff  with a slight lead to Lekeisha Lawson (Victorville, California) continued the American dominance to increase the gap with her handoff to Morolake Akinosun (Austin, Texas) who ran a tight curve, pushing the Americans 10 meters into the lead with Pan American Games gold medalist Kaylin Whitney maintaining the lead and comfortably bringing the U.S. across the line in first place in 43.07.
 
The men’s 4x100 relay was the third fastest overall after finishing second in heat one in 38.29. Sean McLean (San Diego, California) opened up with a sure and steady first leg and handed off to Wallace Spearmon on the backstretch. Spearmon kept Team USA in the hunt and passed to Kendal Williams (Jacksonville, Florida)  who ran the final curve. Chasing Antigua & Barbuda on the anchor, Remontay McClain (Irvine, California) made sure the U.S. would advance to the final.
 
After the first four events on Day 1 of the women’s heptathlon, Heather Miller-Koch (St. Paul, Minnesota) was third with 3,641 points and Breanna Leslie (Mesa, Arizona) was seventh with 3,424 points.
 
Click here for quotes from the evening session.
 
Click here for the complete schedule and results.
 
Fans can join the conversation by following USATF on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and by using the hashtag #TO2015.
 
Track & field will air as part of ESPN’s Pan American Games coverage across their family of networks, including ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3/WatchESPN.
 
Pan American Games TV Coverage
 
Time (ET) Date Network
8-11 p.m. July 24 ESPN/ESPN2
11 a.m.-11 p.m. July 25 ESPN3
4:30-11 p.m. July 25 ESPN/ESPN2
 
 
 
Team USA Medals at the Pan American Games (34)
 
Gold (10)
Ashley Higginson, 3000 steeplechase (9:48.12, meet record)
Andrew Wheating, 1500 (3:41.41)
Kaylin Whitney, 200 (22.65)
David Oliver, 110 hurdles (13.07, meet record)
Kendall Baisden, 400 (51.27)
Clayton Murphy, 800 (1:47.19)
Kibwe Johnson, hammer (75.46m/247-7)
Jeff Henderson, long jump (8.54m/28-0.25w)
Shamier Little, 400 hurdles (55.50)
Queen Harrison, 100 hurdles (12.52, meet record)
 
Silver (12)
Shalaya Kipp, 3000 steeplechase (9:49.96)
Riley Dolezal, javelin (81.62m/267-9)
Kyra Jefferson, 200 (22.72)
Desiree Davila, 10,000 (32:43.99)
Shakima Wimbley, 400 (51.36)
Marquis Goodwin, long jump (8.27m/27-1.75w)
Jill Camarena-Williams, shot put (18.65m/61-2.25)
Alysia MontaƱo, 800 (1:59.76)
Tenaya Jones, 100 hurdles (12.84)
Amber Campbell, hammer (71.22m/233-8)
Aron Rono, 10,000 (28:50.83)
Kara Winger, javelin (61.44m/201-7)
 
Bronze (12)
Gia Lewis-Smallwood, discus (61.26m/201-0)
Russ Winger, discus (62.64m/205-6)
Jenn Suhr, pole vault (4.60m/15-1)
Kyle Clemons, 400 (44.84)
Ryan Martin, 800 (1:47.73)
Conor McCullough, hammer (73.74m/241-9)
Barbara Pierre, 100 (11.01)
Cory Leslie, 3000 steeplechase (8:36.83)
Jake Blankenship & Mark Hollis, pole vault (5.40m/17-8.5)
Kellyn Taylor, 5000 (15:52.78)
Lindsay Flanagan, marathon (2:36:30)


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