DAEGU, South Korea - Just a few months ago, Rondell Bartholomew was living the life of a normal student-athlete, going to class during the week and then riding the SPC bus to track meets on the week. In less than 24 hours he will be running in the finals of the 400 meter dash on the biggest stage in the world at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Running in the third-of-three sections, Bartholomew was able to get out to a decent start from the blocks and looked relaxed as he ran down the backstretch. As the athletes came off the final curve, Bartholomew was neck-and-neck with eventual heat winner Jermaine Gonzales (Jamaica) and was simply out-leaned at the finish line by Jonathan Borlee of Belgium. His time of 45.17 seconds was easily the best of the non-automatic qualifiers and he will enter tomorrow's final scheduled for 7:45 a.m. CST (9:45 p.m. local time in Korea) with the fifth fastest time.
South Plains College Associate Head Coach for Track and Field is in Korea assisting Bartholomew.
"He ran a tough race but struggled a bit coming home," said Wiley. "However, he made the world championship final with the fifth best time overall. He is in and tomorrow he must leave it all on the track and just see what happens.
"He is tough, so I believe he can do it. I am very proud he has made it this far, but there is still plenty of work to do with one race left."
2009 World Championship Bronze medalist Renny Quow ran in the first-of-three sections, but will miss out on tomorrow's final after his time of 45.72 seconds was good for only a fourth place finish. Earlier in the Korean evening, Jura Levy posted a time of 11.53 seconds to place fifth in the second section of the women's 100 meters and also failed to advance.
There is more good news for the SPC-exes as Isa Phillips advanced to the semi-final round of the 400-meter hurdles during the morning session, posting a time of 48.64 seconds. Phillips will attempt to advance to the event's final at 5:30 a.m. CST (7:30 p.m. in Korea) on Tuesday, August 30.