Ronnie Ash made it to the semifinals in the 110-meter hurdles at the Rio Olympics after running the second-fastest time in the heats on Monday. He ran a 13.31, winning the fifth heat. Omar McLeod of Jamaica had the best time with a 13.27 run. The 28-year-old Ash is 6’2″ and weighs 207 lbs.
Ash set his personal best mark in 2014, when he ran the 110-meter hurdles in 12.99 seconds at the 2014 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento. It made him a member of the elite group of runners who have finished in under 13 seconds.
Despite that accomplishment, it did not come in the final of that meet. Ash didn’t even finish the final, since he took a tumble during the race and had to be taken off the track on a golf cart. Coincidentally, Devon Allen was the winner of that race. Allen also made the semifinals in the 110-meter hurdles in Rio.
During the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon last month, Ash ran in 13.21, coming in second behind Allen. “He really tries to understand the nuance of what it takes to be as technical as possible and to maximize his strengths. And he has very fast feet.”
“He’s really a student of his event,” Garfield Ellenwood, Ash’s coach, NorthJersey.com.
The Passaic, New Jersey-native first attended Bethune-Cookman University, but transferred to the University of Oklahoma in his sophomore year. During his college career, he won an NCAA title in the 110-meter hurdles and two in the 60-meter indoor hurdles. He also won the silver in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2014 IAAF Centennial Cup.