K-State Athletes Strong on Day Two in El Salvador

– The Kansas State track and field team saw another strong effort from its current and former athletes on the international stage as day two of the NACAC U23 Championships came to a close at the Estadio Nacional Jorge "Magico" Gonzalez in El Salvador on Saturday.

After a dominant performance in Friday night’s high jump where she broke the meet record with a mark of 1.91m/6-03.25, Akela Jones recorded a fourth-place finish in the 100 meter hurdles finals with a time of 13.29. Jones qualified for the finals earlier on Saturday, taking third place in the second heat with a time of 13.36. She will close out her weekend on Sunday morning at 9:40 a.m. CT when she competes in the women’s long jump. 

“Akela ran 13.29 in the finals into a head wind and it was her second race of the day,” head coach Cliff Rovelto said. “We are using this competition to get quality efforts but in practice we have been doing fairly general stuff, so her marks have been good. She has the long jump tomorrow.”

Fellow former Wildcat Sonia Gaskin also competed in the finals during Saturday’s competition, finishing in seventh place in the 400 meter dash finals with a time of 54.86. She finished third in the first heat of yesterday’s preliminary round of the event with a time of 54.57 to qualify for the finals. Gaskin will also close out competition on Sunday, competing in the 800 meter run, which is slated to begin at 11:05 a.m. CT. 

Rising sophomore Shardia Lawrence had a strong outing in the women’s triple jump, finishing in fourth place with a jump of 12.95m/42-06. The competition was her first since the Jamaican National Championships, where she recorded her personal best leap of 13.28m/43-07.

“Shardia has been ill the last couple of days,” Rovelto noted about his triple jumper. “We did not know if she would be able to compete in this meet. Under those circumstances, I think she did fine.”

Representing the host nation of El Salvador, rising sophomore Rene Perla finished in seventh place in the second heat and 13th place overall in the men’s 400 meter hurdles with a time of 54.60. 

More information on Sunday’s action, including a complete schedule, start lists and live results, can be found by visiting the competition homepage located here. 

For the latest on K-State track and field, follow @kstatesports and @KStateTFXC on Twitter using the hashtag #KStateTF or on the team’s Facebook page. 

NACAC U23 Championships
Estadio Nacional Jorge "Magico" Gonzalez
San Salvador, El Salvador

Women’s 400 Meter Dash Finals
7. Sonia Gaskin – 54.86

Women’s 100 Meter Hurdles Prelims
7. Akela Jones – 13.36

Women’s 100 Meter Hurdles Finals
4. Akela Jones – 13.29

Men’s 400 Meter Hurdles Prelims
13. Rene Perla – 54.60

Women's Triple Jump
4. Shardia Lawrence  12.95m/42-06