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Team USA turns in 23-medal performance Sunday at NACAC U-23 Championships


SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR -- Team USA brought its overall medal tally to 62 with 23 medals Sunday at the 2016 North American Central American Caribbean U-23 Championships at Estadio Nacional Jorge "El Mágico" Gonzalez in San Salvador.

Quanesha Burks and Alexis Perry each broke the previous meet record in the women’s long jump, with Burks coming out on top with her leap of 6.74m/22-1.50. Akela Jones of Barbados tied Burks with her best jump, but Burks won the jumpoff with her second-best jump of 6.69m/21-11.50 edging out Jones’s second-best jump. Perry took home bronze with her leap of 6.66m/21-10.25, also breaking the previous NACAC U-23 meet record.

Avion Jones and Hiawatha Culver went 1-2 in the men’s high jump, both clearing the 7-ft threshold. Jones won gold with his mark of 2.22m/7-3.25, while Culver took silver with his clearance of 2.19m/7-2.25.

Team USA swept the 4x400m relays to earn all four possible relay medals at the championships. The women’s foursome of Carly Muscaro, Jaide Stepter, Kiah Seymour and Shakima Wimbley won easily in 3:28.45, defeating the next-closest finisher by nearly four seconds. On the men’s side, Dontavius Wright, Robert Grant, Khalifah Rosser and Michael Cherry turned in a similar performance to close the championships, crossing in 3:00.89 to win by nearly four seconds as well.

Team USA swept the top two spots in the women’s 400m hurdles, as Kentucky’s Kiah Seymour and Harvard’s Autumne Franklin went 1-2 with Seymour winning in 56.19 and Franklin just behind her compatriot in 56.36. Teammate Khalifah Rosser won the men’s 400m hurdle title Sunday, winning easily in 49.25. Seymour and Rosser were winning members of the relays Sunday as well.

Lauren LaRocco earned a win in the women’s 5000m, cruising to a 16:57.27 victory for gold. The Portland sophomore crossed nearly 1:40 faster than the next-fastest competitor.

Team USA went 1-2 in the men’s shot put, as teammates Braheme Days and Josh Freeman battled for the top spot on the podium. Freeman led in the earlygoing with his silver-medal throw of 19.27m/63-2.75 putting him out front. Days’ third throw of 19.36m/63-6.25 gave him gold Sunday, a spot he kept despite fouling his final three throws.

The men’s triple jump was a two-medal affair for the U.S., as Eric Sloan and Jeremiah Green medaled for Team USA Sunday. Sloan won the event with his best jump of 16.15m/53-0 putting him atop the leaderboard, while Green earned bronze with his only legal jump of the day of 15.04m/49-4.25.

One of the final races of the day, the men’s 800m proved to be a success for Team USA. Olympic Trials finalist Isaiah Harris of Penn State won the final in 1:47.52, while La Salle senior Chris Sanders finished as the runner-up in 1:47.77.

Team USA earned silver in both the women’s 10 km and men’s 20 km race walks, as Molly Josephs and Anthony Peters added to the medal tally with their second-place finishes in 53:34.86 and 1:35:04.77, respectively.

Cody Walton finished just out of gold medal contention in the men’s decathlon, scoring 6,882 points over the two days of competition to earn silver for the U.S. Walton’s performance included a win in the decathlon javelin on Sunday, besting the field by over six feet with his mark of 59.63m/195-8 for 732 points.

Michael Erb took home silver in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, staying with Canada’s Antoine Thibeault for much of the race until the final three laps, where Thibeault dropped the hammer and turned in the only sub-9 performance of the day with his finish in 8:55.96. Erb won the silver in 9:12.25.

The women’s javelin saw a two-medal effort from Team USA, as Sarah Firestone and Jessie Merckle made it on the podium with their marks of 53.96m/177-0 and 53.28m/174-10, respectively. Both Firestone and Merckle hit their exact medal-winning marks twice.

Robin Reynolds won bronze in the women’s 200 meters, as the University of Florida senior crossed in a windy 23.40 to earn a spot on the podium.

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Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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