By Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public AffairsJuly 21, 2011
RIO DE JANEIRO, July 20, 2011 -- U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program runners Capt. Nate Garcia and Capt. Kelly Calway led Team USA in the first three days of track and field competition at the 5th Counseil International du Sport Militaire Military, or CISM, World Games at Olympic Stadium.
Garcia finished fifth in the men’s 400-meter hurdles final with a time of 51.08 seconds on July 20. Brazil’s Raphael Fernandes won the race in 50.50, and was followed by Venezuela’s Victor Solarte (50.60) and Italy’s Leonardo Capotosti (50.86).
Garcia won a bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2009 CISM World Track and Field Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, and was a semifinalist at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore.
Calway finished sixth in the women’s 10,000 meters with a time of 35 minutes, 32.63 seconds. The Kenyan duo of Doris Changeiywo (33:38.93) and Lineth Chepkurui (33:39.13) won the gold and silver medals. Kareema Jasim Salah (33:45.34) took the bronze.
Calway, who finished second among women in the 2010 Army Ten-Miler, nearly exceeded her expectations in her first attempt at 10,000 meters on the track. She already qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials for Women’s Marathon with a 2-hour, 42-minute clocking at the California International Marathon.
“I’m really fortunate to be in WCAP and represent Soldiers downrange,” said Calway, whose husband, Capt. Christopher Calway, recently redeployed from Afghanistan. “He just brought his whole company back. We greeted the last of them at Fort Carson the day before I got here. That was very exciting.”
Army WCAP Capt. Adam Burke of Chapel Hill, N.C., took 10th place in the javelin with a throw of 63.70 meters. Finland’s Ari Pekka Mannio won the gold with a throw of 82.48 meters. Greece’s Spyridon Lempessis (76.35) garnered the silver and Slovenia’s Matija Kranjc (74.71) took the bronze.
Burke, 29, was a two-time All-American and two-time Patriot League champion at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., where he still holds the school record of 72.03 meters in the javelin throw.
“I love the opportunity of being in WCAP,” Burke said. “Nowhere else in America, unless you’re ranked number one in the world, are you getting paid to throw the javelin. The opportunity itself is just amazing.”
Earlier in the day, Army WCAP Maj. Dan Browne, a 2004 Olympian, finished ninth in the second semifinal heat of the men’s 10,000 meters with a time of 31:07.16 and advanced to the final on July 21. Mahboob Mahboob of Bahrain won the race in 29:47.77.
“Honestly, I’m not exactly pleased where I’m at in terms of fitness,” said Browne, 36, who trains 8,000 feet above sea level in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. “But ultimately for me, I’ve got the Army Ten-Miler and the Olympic Trials for the marathon coming up. This was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. That was a good day’s work -- one of those up in the morning before dawn kind of things.”
Air Force 1st Lt. Sean Houseworth of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, finished 11th in the first heat of the men’s 10,000 and advanced to the finals on his time of 30:52.98. The top eight finishers in each heat and runners with the next four fastest times advanced to the 10,000-meter finale, therefore Browne and Houseworth had to wait until compilation of results to learn they advanced.
“I didn’t feel very good,” Houseworth said. “We jogged around for four miles and they started to hit the hammer and I just didn’t have it. Just one of those days when I went for that gear change it just didn’t come. I wanted to run a lot faster than that but it’s a semi and I still have a chance to make the final.”
Army WCAP Sgt. Golden Coachman (1:47.88) finished sixth in the second of three semifinal heats in the men’s 800 meters and failed to advance, as did Army WCAP Capt. Matthew Petrocci (1:51.77), who finished fifth in the third heat.
On the opening day of competition, Air Force 2nd Lt. Jacob Bradosky of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., finished 14th among 180 runners in the men’s marathon with a time of 2:29:41. France’s Patrick Tambwe Ngoi won the 26.2-mile chase in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 17 seconds, and was followed by France’s Rachid Ghamnoumi (2:18:43) and Kenya’s Paul Kosgei (2:20:43).
“It was a pretty hot day,” Bradosky said. “But the course was beautiful. There were a lot of nice views out there. I did not exactly run what I hoped for but I’m glad that I finished.”
Navy Lt. Gina Slaby of Tucson, Ariz., was running in fourth place when she overheated and dropped out of the women’s marathon with about five kilometers remaining. Kum Ok Kim of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea won the race in 2:35:22.
With four days of track and field competition remaining, one of Team USA’s strongest chances to win a medal ride upon the stick of Air Force 2nd Lt. Nick Frawley in the pole vault on July 23 -- the final day of the 5th CISM Military World Games.
Frawley, a four-time NCAA All-American with a personal best vault of 18 feet, 1 inch while attending the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, will be chasing Brazilian Fabio Gomes DeSilva, currently ranked No. 4 in the world with a vault of 19 feet.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of getting to compete with him,” said Frawley, 23, of Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix. “I definitely feel capable of jumping 18-4, but who knows, my main goal is just to compete.”
This is Frawley’s first trip to a CISM event.
“Other than the cultural trip, I’m expecting to get to experience people from different countries and see that maybe we’re not all that different from even some of our enemies,” he said. “Sports have a cool way of bringing people together that way.”