Former B-CU Track and Field Standouts Compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics
Two Bethune-Cookman University Track and Field alumni Ronnie Ash and Eric Cray each advanced to the semifinals of their respective events at the 2016 Summer Olympics Monday in Rio de Janeiro. Ronnie Ash, who won two national championships for B-CU in 2009, participated in the 110 meter hurdles for the United States team while Eric Cray, who competed for the Wildcats at the 2009 NCAA championships on the 4X100 meter relay team, represented the Philippines in the 400 hurdles.
Ash qualified for Rio in the 110-meter hurdles after finishing second at the U.S. Olympic Trials on July 9th. After posting the best time in the qualifying and semifinal round of the hurdles, Ash finished second with a 13.21 in the final. Cray made his mark with an Olympic-qualifying time of 48.98 seconds when he finished second in the 400 hurdles at the IAAF World Challenge Cup in Madrid on June 28. That time crushed his own Philippine national record of 49.07 the month before. Cray earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education at B-CU and completed his Master’s Degree at the University of Oklahoma, where he and Ash finished their collegiate careers.
Their 2016 Summer Olympic expedition came to an end on Tuesday night when Ash finished eighth in the 110 meter hurdles final while Cray finished seventh in his 400 meter hurdles semifinal heat. “I feel good, even though it didn't go how I wanted it to but I'm happy that I was able to make it this far,” Cray said. In 2020, I’ll be back. “
Ronnie Ash was still hopeful for what’s to come. “I’m an Olympian right now, so that’s obviously a plus within itself because not everyone gets to make the USA Track and Field Olympic team. I don’t want to settle there. “You don’t come here just to be an Olympian, you come here to stand on that podium,” he added. “I didn’t, but I am going to work just as hard to get back there.”
This is the second straight Olympic in which a former Wildcat has competed – Joel Redhead ran the 200 meters for Grenada at the 2012 London Summer Games.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.