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Drake Relays Alumni Crowned World Champions

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: August 19, 2013
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110H World Champion, David Oliver
Courtesy: Drake Athletics

MOSCOW, Russia --- Drake Relays Alumni have displayed several outstanding performances at the 2013 IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Moscow over the last nine days.  This year marked the 30th running of the IAAF World Championships and the first time the event has been held in Russia.

Defending Olympic, World and Drake Relays champion Brittney Reese of the U.S. claimed the gold in the long jump besting Relays Alum Blessing Okagbare (formerly of UTEP), competing for Nigeria.  After squeaking into the final as the last qualifier, Reese jumped 23-07.01 in the second round for the win.

U.S. hurdler David Oliver won his first world title in the 110 hurdles with the biggest winning margin in the event’s history running 13.0, while 2012 Drake Relays champion, Ryan Wilson (U.S.), took silver in 13.13.  Jason Richardson (U.S.) just missed a bronze medal by .03 to finish in fourth, while American and world record holder Aries Merritt came in sixth.

Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic ran to the gold in the 400m hurdles with the largest margin of victory in that event (52.83) over American Dalilah Muhammad (54.09), who owns the Drake Stadium Record.  In the men’s 400 hurdles, Michael Tinsley of the U.S. took the early lead, but finished in second by .01 second in 47.70.

In the men’s and women’s pole vault, it was a 2013 Drake Relays reunion in the finals.  For the men, Renaud Lavillenie of France took silver based on misses in 19-03.75/5.89, Bjorn Otto from Germany jumped to bronze and American Brad Walker was fourth, both with the same mark of 19-01/5.82.  On the women’s side, Jenn Suhr of the U.S. claimed silver in 15-09.75/4.82 and Yarisley Silva of Cuba took bronze on the same mark with misses. 

The men’s 400 saw Tony McQuay from the U.S. (Univ. of Florida) race to silver in a personal best 44.40 behind teammate LaShawn Merritt (43.74) who owns the Drake Stadium record in that event.  Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic, who was the 2013 Drake Relays 400m invitational champion, notched third and Kirani James (Alabama) from Grenada was seventh.   McQuay and Merritt then ran on the 4x400 relay team to beat Jamaica for the gold.

Defending World Champion and Drake Stadium record holder Jenny Simpson fell just short of defending her 1500m title to place second in 4:02.99, while the U.S. high school record holder, Mary Cain, finished 10th in her first world competition.   

The U.S. men took three to the finals in the shot put with Ryan Whiting nailing silver in 70-09.25/21.57, Reese Hoffa coming in fourth throwing 69-03.5/21.12 and Cory Martin placing ninth with 65-11/20.09.

The U.S. advanced three women to the 100 hurdle final with Brianna Rollins, the American and Drake Stadium record holder, overcoming a slow start to snare the gold medal in 12.44.  Drake Relays veterans Tiffany Ofili Porter (Great Britain/Michigan), Dawn Harper Nelson and Queen Harrison finished third, fourth and fifth respectively.   

And on the final day of competition, the U.S. women claimed the silver in the 4x100 relay with Alexandria Anderson and English Gardner running on the team while Justin Gatlin anchored the U.S. men to silver in the same event. 

Other notable athletes won silver and bronze medals or made the finals over the nine day championships.  Following is a listing of Drake Relays Alumni and their place in the finals:

Alexandria Anderson (U.S.) – 100m–7th; 4x100 Relay–Silver
Ruth Beitia (Spain) – High Jump–Bronze                Tia Brooks (U.S.) – Shot Put-8th
Mary Cain (U.S.) – 1500m-10th                                 *Michelle Carter (U.S.) – Shot Put–4th
Sharon Day (U.S.) – Heptathlon–6th                         Zuzana Hejnova (Czech Rep.) – 400H–Gold
Jeneva McCall (U.S.) – Hammer–9th                        Tiffany Ofili Porter (G.B.) – 100H–Bronze
Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria) – Long Jump–Silver; 200m–Bronze; 100m-6th
*Brittney Reese (U.S.) – Long Jump–Gold              Shannon Rowbury (U.S.) -5000m–7th                
Yarisley Silva (Cuba) – Pole Vault–Bronze              *Jenny Simpson (U.S.) - 1500m-Silver                
Lavern Spencer (St. Lucia) – High Jump–11th        *Jenn Suhr (U.S.) – Pole Vault–Silver
Angela White (Canada) - 100H-6th                            Nickiesha Wilson (Jamaica) - 400H-8th

Javier Culson (Puerto Rico) – 400H–6th                   Reese Hoffa (U.S.) – Shot Put–4th
*Eric Kynard (U.S.) – High Jump–5th                         Bernard Lagat (U.S.) – 5000m–6th
Samyr Laine (Haiti) – Triple Jump–11th                   Renaud Lavillenie (France) – Pole Vault–Silver
Cory Martin (U.S.) – Shot Put–9th                 Tony McQuay (U.S.) – 400m–Silver; 4x400 Relay–Gold
Aries Merritt (U.S.) – 110H–6th                                  *David Oliver (U.S.) – 110H–Gold
Bjorn Otto (Germany) – Pole Vault–Bronze               Yoann Rapinier (France) – Triple Jump–12th 
Jason Richardson (U.S.) – 110H–4th                        Andrew Riley (Jamaica) – 110H–8th
Luguelin Santos (Dominican Rep.) – 400m–Bronze
*Duane Solomon (U.S.) – 800m–6th                         *Christian Taylor (U.S.) – Triple Jump–4th
Donald Thomas (Bahamas) – High Jump–6th        Michael Tinsley (U.S.) – 400H–Silver               
Brad Walker (U.S.) – Pole Vault–4th                           *Ryan Whiting (U.S.) – Shot Put–Silver                                 

Drake Stadium Record holders also excelled in the finals including:
*Amanda Bingson (U.S.) – Hammer–10th
*Ashton Eaton (U.S.) – Decathlon–Gold
*Shalane Flanigan (U.S.) – 10,000m–8th
*English Gardner (U.S.) – 100m–4th; 4x100 Relay–Silver
*Justin Gatlin (U.S.) – 100m–Silver
*Evan Jager (U.S.) – Steeplechase–5th
*LaShawn Merritt (U.S.) – 400m–Gold; 4x400 Relay–Gold  
*Alysia Montano (U.S.) – 800m–4th
*Dalilah Muhammad (U.S.) – 400 Hurdles–Silver
*Brianna Rollins (U.S.) – 110 Hurdles–Gold

*Denotes Drake Stadium Record Holder

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