Seventeen Auburn Track and Field Athletes Set To Begin IAAF World Championship Saturday


Seventeen Auburn Track and Field Athletes Set To Begin IAAF World Championship Saturday

August 5, 2005


 Edis Elkasevic

Helsinki, Finland -- The 10th IAAF World Championship in Athletics is set to begin on Saturday, Aug.6, in Helsinki, Finland, the city which hosted the inaugural event in 1983.  Seventeen current or former Auburn track and field athletes will compete in 16 different events during the nine-day competition.

"I am proud to have such a large group of Auburn athletes competing at this prestigious meet," AU head coach Ralph Spry said.  "All of these athletes have competed at Auburn while I have been here and we [coaching staff] enjoy seeing them excel and get the opportunity to compete at these world-class events.  This is the biggest meet of 2005, internationally speaking, and I expect that we will have some medal winners out of this group."

Two-time national champion Edis Elkasevic (Croatia), a rising-junior on the Tigers team, will compete in the shot put qualifying round and finals on Saturday.  He enters the meet with the 10th best mark in the world (20.94m), also an Auburn record.  Senior three-time All-American Josanne Lucas (Trinidad & Tobago) is the only other returning member of the Tigers team competing, as she will run the 400m hurdles beginning Aug. 10. 

Also competing on opening day will be former sprinter Marc Burns, who earned a bronze medal with his Trinidad & Tobago 4x100 team in 2001 at World's.  Burns holds the fourth fastest 100m time in the world this season (9.96) and also ran with the world-leading 4x100 team (38.38). Former two-time NCAA discus champion Gabor Mate (Hungary) will compete in the qualifying round of the discus Saturday and former NCAA 400m hurdle champion Dean Griffiths (Jamaica) will run in the heats of the hurdles.

Making his second appearance at the World Championship will be Leevan Sands (Bahamas), who won the bronze in the triple jump in 2003.  Sands will compete in the long jump, where he ranks in the top 25 on the performance list, on Aug. 12-13.

Three former AU 400m runners will compete in this event, beginning Aug. 9.  Avard Moncur (Bahamas) won gold in the event in 2001 and has silver in his collection running with the 4x400 team.  Seven-time All-American Sanjay Ayre will run in the 400m and with the 4x400 Jamaican team. Lanceford Spence, who enters with the ninth best time in the world (44.77) will also contest the 400m and run with the 4x400 Jamaican team.

In the women's 100m, six-time All-American Fana Ashby will represent Trinidad & Tobago in the event, as well as run on the 4x100 team. Two-time All-American Timicka Clarke will also double in the 100m and 4x100 for Bahamas.  The 100m heats will be run on Aug. 7 and the 4x100 on Aug. 12.  Three-time All-American Daniele Browning of Jamaica, who ran at the CAC Championship on the 4x100 that turned in the ninth best performance in the world this season, will compete with the team.

Former NCAA champion Maurice Smith will compete in the two-day decathlon on Aug. 9-10.  He currently stands seventh in the world in the decathlon with his Jamaican national record point total of 8,232. Four-time All-American Sherridan Kirk will run in both the 800m and with his T&T 4x400 team which holds the seventh best time in the world (3:01.43).  Also running with the 4x400 T&T team will be former two-time All-American Damion Barry.

Elva Goulbourne (Jamaica), who won five NCAA titles for Auburn, will compete on Aug. 9 in the qualifying round of the long jump.  Former NCAA champion Vonette Dixon (Jamaica) will run in the 100m hurdles scheduled for Aug. 9.

Full results from each day of competition can be found by visiting