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Winger, Hiltz golden on 10-medal day for Team USATF


Javelin thrower Kara Winger (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won her first major championship, moving up from silver at Toronto in 2015, and Nikki Hiltz (Fayetteville, Arkansas) sprinted to gold in the women's 1,500 meters to lead Team USA on a 10-medal Friday at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.


Winger, the American record holder and a Pan Am silver medalist four years ago, launched a season-best 64.92/213-0 in round two to finish almost six feet ahead of runner-up Liz Gleadle of Canada, and Ari Ince (Houston, Texas) grabbed the bronze for Team USA with a best of 62.32/204-5. It was the first time since 1979 that the U.S. claimed two medals in the event.


Moving past Jamaica's Aisha Praught-Leer on the final lap, Hiltz sprinted to gold in 4:07.14 and was joined on the podium by teammate Alexa Efraimson (Camas, Washington), who claimed bronze in 4:08.63. Defending champion Muriel Coneo of Colombia led through two laps, passing 800m in 2:14.79 before Praught-Leer took over. Using speed that carried her to a third-place finish and a World Championships berth in Des Moines, Hiltz won her first international gold and became the first American since 1999 to take top honors at the Pan Am Games.


After leading for much of the race in the men's 10,000m, Lawi Lalang (Colorado Springs, Colorado) yielded to Brazil's Éderson Pereira and Team USA's Reid Buchanan (Mammoth Lakes, California) in the final kilometer, as Pereira had the strongest finish to take gold in a personal-best 28:27.47, just ahead of Buchanan's 28:28.41. Lalang held on for bronze in 28:31.75, marking the first two-medal effort in the event since 1967.


Individual bronzes were won by shot putter Jessica Ramsey (Boynton Beach, Florida), who had the second-best throw of her career with a 19.01/62-4.5 in the final round, and Kim Conley (Sacramento, California, who led at the 4K mark in the women's 5,000m before ending up third in 15:36.95.


Both Team USA 4x100m relay squads came away with bronze. Chanel Brissett (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Twanisha Terry (Miami Gardens, Florida), Shania Collins (Parkland, Florida) and Lynna Irby (Indianapolis, Indiana) teamed up to clock 43.39 for the U.S. women, while the quartet of Jarret Eaton (Columbia, South Carolina), Cravon Gillespie (Monrovia, California), Bryce Robinson (Austin, Texas) and Michael Rodgers (Round Rock, Texas) ran 38.79 for the American men.


Just outside the medals, Dani Hill (Zeeland, Michigan) was fourth in the women's shot put with a best of 18.06/59-3, and Lauren Paquette (Memphis, Tennessee) was sixth in the women's 5,000m. Men's high jumpers Keenon Laine (Athens, Georgia) and Jeron Robinson (Houston, Texas) went 5-6, with Laine clearing 2.24/7-4.25 and Robinson going over 2.21/7-3, and the triple jump pair of Kelly McKee (Lenexa, Kansas) and Bria Matthews (Marrow, Georgia) finished 13th and 14th.


Semifinal action saw heat winner Freddie Crittenden (Utica, Michigan) and Jarret Eaton easily advance to the final of the men's 110m hurdles. NCAA champion Bryce Hoppel (Lawrence, Kansas) also won his semi in the men's 800m to qualify for the final.

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