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Smolka Leads USA to 31 Medals at Maccabiah Games

Aug. 1, 2013

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University's track and field and cross country head coach Alex Smolka led the United States track and field team to 31 medals at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel. This marked Smolka's second consecutive Maccabiah Games as head coach for the U.S. team.

At the 18th edition of the Games in 2009, Smolka led the U.S. to 24 medals, five of which were gold. This year, the U.S. team received 11 gold medals, nine silver, and 11 bronze across 20 track and field events.

Smolka's team included three FAU alumni including Jordan Zwick, Ryan Davis and Eric Kessler, as well as rising senior Adam Simon.

Davis earned the top finish of the FAU runners, picking up fourth-place in the 10k with a final time of 33:41. He also placed 8th in the 5K finishing in 15:48.54.

Zwick competed in the half-marathon, finishing in 1:19.57 for 12th place overall and second best in the event for the United States. Kessler ran in the 1500m and 800m, placing ninth and sixth, respectively. Simon finished the 5k in 17:28.95, good for 10th place.

This is Smolka's fourth time appearing at the World Maccabiah Games. In 1993, he attended as a triathlon alternate and in 2001 he competed as a triathlete, however the event was cancelled.

Overall, the U.S. team finished in second place, with Israel taking the top finish. The U.S. earned 27 gold medals, 21 silver, and 25 bronze over two weeks of events.

The World Maccabiah Games is held every four years in Israel and is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee. It is the third largest international sporting competition, with more than 7,000 athletes from more than 60 countries participating. The 19th edition took place on July 17-30.



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