Ash Earns a Trip to the 2016 Olympics

Debbie Copp
By Debbie Copp
Director of Publications
EUGENE, Ore. – A year ago, Ronnie Ash qualified on the Hayward Field track for the IAAF World Championships, then was disqualified in his first race in Beijing on a controversial ruling. When he finished running the 110-meter hurdle final Saturday afternoon in the U.S. Olympic Trials, he called it “a redemption race.” What he can truly call it is a trip to the Olympics.

Ronnie AshAfter posting the best time in the qualifying and semifinal round of the hurdles, Ash finished second with a 13.21 in the final and promptly added Olympic qualifier to his growing résumé. In the photo finish of the race, Ash got second by .001 seconds.

A former OU All-American, Ash earned the honors in the indoor 60 hurdles and outdoor 110 hurdles in 2010, his only year as a Sooner. He owns the school records in the 60 hurdles (7.55) and the 110 hurdles (13.19) and won Big 12 titles in both of those events. Ash transferred to OU from Bethune Cookman.

In addition to his trip to the IAAF World in Beijing last August, Ash has a bronze and a gold medal from the NACAC Under-23 Championships and a silver medal from the IAAF Continental Cup.

Ronnie AshThe next to last day of the Olympic Trials was not as kind to four other competitors with OU ties. Brittany Borman, who competed in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, finished in the dreaded fourth place when three qualify in the women’s javelin. She finished with a 185-8 on her final throw after three fouls. That mark was just over four feet short of the third-place effort. If she had thrown what she recorded in Thursday’s qualifying effort of 190-6, she would have been on the team headed to Rio.

Brittany BormanTwo other Sooners, senior-to-be DayeShon Roberson and former Sooner Candyce McGrone, failed to advance from the semifinals in the 200 to Sunday’s final. McGrone finished 10th with eight advancing. She posted a 23.01 and the final qualifying mark was a 22.98. Roberson finished 17th with a 23.11, bringing her Olympic journey to a close for 2016.

Riley Masters finished 16th in the 5,000-meter run with a 14:18.49. He got a bad start and spent the entire race trying to move up from 16th place.

Will Claye, who opened his college career at OU, won the triple jump after leading the qualifying round. Claye recorded what proved to be his winning jump in the fifth round when he recorded a 57-11.

Claye has extensive international experience after competing in the IAAF World In Beijing in 2015. A bronze medalist in his first two trips to an IAAF World, last year was his first to not advance to the final.

He won the NCAA title in 2009 in the outdoor triple jump as a true freshman competing for OU. He owns the school record for OU in the indoor (55-1.50) and outdoor (56-4.75) triple jumps. He was a four-time All-American as a Sooner, earning awards in the long jump and triple jump in 2009 and 2010 in both the indoor and outdoor competitions. He added the Big 12 title in the triple jump as a freshman.

Candyce McGroneWhile the U.S Trials are over for the Sooners, two more compete on Sunday in the Canadian Trials in Edmonton, Alberta. They have been waiting since Thursday for their competition to open.

Leya Buchanan, a junior-to-be at OU, will run in the women’s 200-meter dash.  Buchanan’s career best in the 200, set earlier this season, is 23.67 is 200.

Charles Nguyen, who will be a senior when the next school year starts, will compete in the hammer. He has scored every year in the Big 12 in the hammer. His career best in the hammer is 201-9.50, a mark he recorded in 2015.

To follow the Canadian Trials, visit Delta Timing. A recap will follow on