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Three meet records and 22 total medals highlight day two action at NACAC U-23 Champs


SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR -- Three meet records and 22 medals added to the Team USA highlights at the 2016 North American Central American Caribbean U-23 Championships at Estadio Nacional Jorge "El Mágico" Gonzalez in San Salvador.

Duke senior Megan Clark took the gold in the women’s pole vault competition, on her way to tie the NACAC U23 meet record of 4.40m/14-05.25 set by Sandi Morris in 2014. Clark cleared the mark on her first attempt, but could not beat the record in her three attempts at 4.55m.

Chelsea Blaase set a meet record in the women’s 10,000m, winning easily in 35:30.87. Blaase was consistent in her pacing, her splits staying between 1:24 and 1:26 until the final lap, where she dropped a 1:18.62 on her last lap to take the victory. The UT senior eclipsed the previous meet record of 35:46.12, set by USA’s Sarah Callister in 2012. Compatriot Olivia Pratt earned silver in the race, finishing in 36:17.28.

The Team USA 4x100m relays swept the gold Saturday, with the foursome of Robin Reynolds, Shayla Sanders, Deanna Hill and Ebony Morrison teaming up to turn in a meet-record time of 42.93. On the men’s side, Devin Jenkins, Christian Coleman, Kendal Williams and Fredrick Kerley went for the win in 38.63. Coleman is a member of the 4x100m relay pool for the Olympic Games next month, while Williams won gold in the NACAC U-23 men’s 100m on Friday.

Rio 2016 Olympian Rudy Winkler medaled in the men’s hammer throw Saturday, starting off competition with a toss of 73.00m/239-6. His fourth throw of the day proved to be his best, breaking the previous meet record of 70.71m/232-0. Mexico’s Diego A del Real also broke the previous meet record to win the gold with his toss of 74.55m/244-7. Team USA’s Alexander Young also medaled in the event, finishing third with his toss of 67.43m/221-3 earning him a podium spot.

Raven Saunders and Erin Farmer made it to the podium for the United States in the shot put on Saturday, earning a gold and bronze medal respectively. Saunders, a newly-minted Rio 2016 Olympian who took first in the event, fouled on three of her six throws, but was able to win the event with her third throw of 18.49m/60-08. Farmer followed Saunders by placing in third, with a mark of 16.43m/53-11 on her second attempt.

Curtis Thompson just barely missed the meet record en route to winning the men’s javelin throw Saturday, utilizing his second throw of 79.28m/260-1. Thompson was also a medalist at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene last week.

Team USA went 1-2 in the men’s 5000m, as Patrick Corona and Sydney Gidabuday earned gold and silver in 15.18.26 and 15:21.16, respectively. The compatriots pushed each other throughout the race, edging out Guatemala’s Alberto Gonzalez, who finished with the bronze in 15:31.17. The trio stayed with each other until the final lap, when Corona and Gidabuday dropped the hammer at the bell and Gonzalez couldn’t follow. Corona and Gidabuday turned in final 400m splits of 54.88 and 57.79, respectively.

Taliyah Brooks and Clairwin Dameus each made the medal stand in the women’s heptathlon, as Brooks won every event but the long jump en route to the heptathlon title with 5,609 points. Dameus was the runner-up in every event except for winning the long jump, finishing second overall with 5,087 points.

FSU’s Michael Cherry took home silver in the men’s 400m final, crossing in 45.50 to finish just behind Jamaica’s Nathan Allen in 45.39. In the women’s 400m final, USC senior Jaide Stepter also placed second in the event, following Jamaica’s Chrisann Gordon. Stepter recently set a school record at the US Olympic Trials - Track and Field in the 400m hurdles, and continued her success at NACAC.

Paige Kouba turned in a photo finish Saturday in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, winning silver in 10:38.84. Kouba was just outleaned by Canada’s Regan Yee as she took gold in 10:38.79.

Team USA added two medals to the U.S. hardware haul courtesy of the women’s triple jump, as Simone Charley and Danielle McQueen nabbed silver and bronze medals Saturday evening. Charley battled with Dannielle Gibson of the Bahamas with Charley’s best mark of 13.54m/44-5.25 earning her the silver medal. McQueen was in fifth until her final jump of the day, a leap of 12.98m/42-7, moved her into medal contention with a third-place finish.

2015 second-team All-American hurdler Alexis Perry of North Carolina State went into the finals on Saturday as the fourth qualifier in the 100m hurdles, alongside American Ebony Morrison. In the finals, Perry crossed the line before Morrison to take third place, behind a record-breaking performance by Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico.

Team USA upped their medal count in the men’s 110m hurdles on Saturday, when Freddie Crittenden and Aaron Malett medaled in the event. Crittenden finished in second place with a time of 13.527, narrowly behind Puerto Rico’s William Barnes who finished in 13.528. Malett rounded out the medalists, finishing in third in 13.67.

The 2016 NACAC U-23 Championships conclude on Sunday, July 17 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Fans can follow along with the action using #NACAC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The full Team USA roster can be found here and live results can be found here.

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