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Olympic Dreams End for B-CU Alum

Bethune-Cookman’s Olympic medal hopes ended Tuesday night when Ronnie Ash finished eighth in the 110 meter hurdles final while Eric Cray finished seventh in his 400 meter hurdles semifinal heat at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Ash, who won two NCAA national championships during his Wildcat career, qualified for the finals by finishing second in his semifinal heat. He turned in a time of 13.36, behind Orlando Ortega of Spain in 13.32. In the finals, Ash was in medal contention before clipping the final hurdle and rolling forward roll through the finish line. His time was 13:45, but he was officially disqualified for leaving his lane. Medalists were Omar McLeod of Jamaica (13:05), Ortega (13.17) and Dimitri Bascou of France (13.24). “It was no coming back against those guys, they were ahead and it was hard to come back when I got sloppy and it took me out, “Ash said. “I was giving more grit than technique. In the 110 hurdles you still have to focus on technique between those barriers because they aren’t going to move, you have to clear those.” Running for the Philippines, Cray’s heat time was 49.37. “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. “

It was the first Olympic appearance for both Ash and Cray. Ash was competing after being disqualified in 2015 World Championships for a false start. “Beijing last year was a bit rough for me, so I actually made it to the finals so it’s an up for me,” Ash said. “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,” Ash added. “I didn’t, but I am going to work just as hard to get back there.” Bethune-Cookman now has had three alum compete in the Olympics - -Joel Redhead ran for Grenada at the 2012 London 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.