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Clay wins gold in heptathlon to lead Team USA

Clay wins gold in heptathlon to lead Team USA

Appeal Staff Report

VALENCIA, Spain – Team USA picked up two gold medals, one silver and two bronze on the final day of competition at the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships to finish the three-day meet atop the medal table once again. All told, Team USA won 13 medals- five gold, five bronze and three silver.

2005 World Outdoor champion and two-time World Indoor silver medalist Bryan Clay (Glendora, Calif.) dominated to men’s heptathlon from the opening event and never relinquished his lead.

After dusting the field in the 60-meter hurdles in 7.86 seconds (1,017 pts), clearing 5.00m/16-4.75 feet (910 pts) in the pole vault and running 2:55.64 (708 pts) in the 1,000m, Clay claimed his first World Indoor title with a world-leading personal best 6,371 points.

Three-time NCAA Indoor champion Donovan Kilmartin (Austin, Texas) took fifth place with 5,951 points. On the final day of competition, Kilmartin ran 8.25 (920 pts) in the 60m hurdles, cleared 5.10m/16-8.75 (941 pts) in the pole vault and clocked 2:51.54 (750) in the 1,000m.

The Americans’ second gold medal of the day came in the meet’s final event, the men’s 4x400m relay.

James Davis (Houston, Texas) ran the lead off leg, handing off to Jamaal Torrance (Raleigh, N.C.) in third place. Torrance then chased down Russsia and the Dominican Republic and took over the lead, passing to Greg Nixon (Lubbock, Texas). Kelly Willie (Los Angeles, Calif.) anchored the team to victory, crossing the line in 3:06.79.

In the men’s pole vault, 2007 World Outdoor Champion Brad Walker (Mountlake Terrace, Wa.) added a silver medal to his trophy case with a season-best clearance of 5.85m/19-2.25. Walker only made attempts a three heights: 5.70m/18-8.25, 5.85m/19-2.25 and 5.95m/19-6.25, saying that it was frustrating down on the infield with three field events going on at one time.

2004 Olympian Derek Miles was eighth, clearing 5.60m/18-4.5.

2007 Pan Am Games 4x100m silver medalist Shareese Woods (Charlotte, N.C.) went out strong in the final of the women’s 400m, trailing only the Russians, Olesya Zykina and indoor world record holder Natalya Nazarova. She was able to hold on to their brisk pace and win the bronze medal in a personal best 51.41. Olympic 4x400m gold medalist Moushaumi Robinson (New Albany, Ohio) was sixth in 53.10.

In the women’s 4x400m, Woods picked up another bronze medal with the help of teammates Angel Perkins (Cerritos, Calif.), Miriam Barnes (Ruston, La.), and Robinson. They crossed the line in 3:29.30.

Clay dominated the men’s heptathlon to win his first world indoor title at the World Indoor Track Championships.

Among Clay’s coaches is Carson High School graduate Kevin Reid, who coached Clay at Azusa Pacific University in California. Before he won on Sunday, Clay was a two-time World Indoor silver medalist in the heptathlon and also won gold in the decathlon at the 2005 World Outdoor Championships.

This past weekend, Clay dominated the event from start to finish. Clay claimed the title with a world-leading personal best 6,371 points.

On Sunday, he won the 60-meter hurdlers in 7.86 seconds (1,017 points), cleared 16 feet, 4 3/4 inches in the pole vault (910 points) and ran 2:55.64 (708 points) in the 1,000 meters.

“I was sick and then I was hurt,” Clay said. “Two weeks ago I would have told you that I wouldn’t even be able to compete here. That shows how well my training is going.”

Also competing at the World Indoor Championships on Sunday was Fallon’s Aarik Wilson in the triple jump. Wilson, though, struggled to a seventh-place finish, leaping 55-4 3/4. “I’m mad,” Wilson said. “It was a bad day at the office.”