Derek Drouin equals the Canadian indoor High Jump record at 2.33m (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
Drouin scales 2.33m, Claye triples 17.32m
Canadian Derek Drouin of Indiana University completely dominated the men’s High jump, winning the event with a clean sheet through 2.23m, and proceeding to clear 2.26m and 2.30m without a miss, and 2.33m on his second try before failing at 2.37m. The height was there on every jump; the 2.33m winning jump equaled Mark Boswell’s Canadian indoor record.
Will Claye of the University of Florida set a personal best and a meet record in the men’s Triple Jump with a final-round jump of 17.32m, passing his teammate, Christian Taylor’s 16.79m. Then, on the last jump of the competition, Taylor reached 16.99m. Behind them were Jamaican Julian Reid of host Texas A&M, third with 16.71m and Chris Carter of Houston, at 16.70m.
The women’s Triple Jump was won by Jamaican Kimberly Williams of Florida State, whose winning 13.96m was just one centimetre better than her winning mark a year ago – and half a metre better than today’s second-place performance of 13.46m by April Sinkler of Clemson.
Tina Sutej of Slovenia and the University of Arkansas completed the day’s jumping with a winning 4.45m clearance in the Pole Vault, edging the 4.40m jump by Katerina Stefani of Greece and Stanford. Sutej, who came into the meet a strong favorite, said, “It wasn’t the best, but it was good. I was jumping better two weeks ago. Today it was more about the winning a national championship.” Sutej, the 2006 World junior silver medallist, raised her own national record to 4.54m at the SEC championships in 27 February.
Beard dominates women’s 400m, Brookins wins second 60m title in 7.09
On the track, three women stood out. Texas A&M senior Jessica Beard won the women’s 400m by 12 metres in 50.79. Surprisingly, it was Beard’s first national championship. She said, “The talk was that I had never won an individual title. I wanted to win my first title and get a PR. I can’t ask for more.”
But there was more. Beard came back to run the anchor leg in Texas A&M’s 4x400m Relay victory. Although she ran an almost cautious leg, running in fourth for the first 300m, she still split 51.4 to cross the line first in 3:29.72.
In the women’s 60m, Lakya Brookins of South Carolina tied Angela Williams’ collegiate record with a sizzling 7.09 to win by nearly a metre, proving that her 7.13 in yesterday’s heats was no fluke. "The race was a big blur. I felt good going in. It felt good to run in the same place I won two years ago."
Hassay takes Mile/3000m double
The third outstanding woman was Oregon’s sophomore distance star, Jordan Hasay, who began the day’s racing with a 4:33.01 victory in the mile, coming from behind with a 63.4 finishing 400m. An hour-and-a-half later she came back in the 3000m, determined to beat Sheila Reid of Villanova and Canada, who had beaten her in two previous races. As they approached the bell, New Zealander Lucy Van Dalen of Stony Brook was first, with Hasay second and Reid third. When Reid moved up to equal second, Hasay shot through a tiny gap and flew into the lead with Reid in hot pursuit. But Hasay held the one-metre lead she had seized all the way to the finish, eking out a close, but very satisfying victory, 9:13.77 to 9:13.86.
Hasay didn’t have to run the 3000 because Oregon had already clinched the team title, but this was score-settling time. “I wanted to give it a shot and see how I felt. She (Reid) is a great runner.”
Demps successfully defends at 60m
Jeff Demps, who won last year’s men's 60m dash as a Florida freshman, did it again, in a close finish with Michael Granger of Mississippi, 6.53 to 6.55. Co-favorite Rakieem “Mookie” Salaam of Oklahoma could not recover from a terrible start. Demps said, “It took me a while to adjust to the track’s surface. Coach just set me aside and told me to run my race.”
Andy Riley of Illinois, fifth last year in the 60m Hurdles but the 2010 NCAA outdoor champion, won this time in 7.58, holding off Louisiana State’s Barrett Nugent’s late charge which took second in 7.61. Said Riley, “I wanted to get to the first hurdle first,” and he did just that.
Pinder takes 400m title as James tumbles
The men’s 400 was won by Texas A&M’s Demetrius Pinder (BAH) who won his section of the final in 45.33. In the second section, Kirani James of Alabama, who came into the meet with a season-leading 44.80, looked like a possible sub-45 as he went through the 200 in 21.23 (!); but just past the 200 mark he was apparently clipped on the heel by Tabari Henry of Texas A&M and fell to the track.
Pinder said, “I’m happy I got the win.” That’s indoor track for you, where, as the saying goes, the race is not always to the swift.
Texas A&M (including Pinder and Henry) came back strong in the 4x400, winning in a season-leading 3:04.24.
Miller Moss of Clemson University won the men’s Heptathlon with a tally of 5986 points, literally vaulting into the lead with clearance of 4.90m in the sixth trial of the seven-eventer. Moss then held on to win by 84 points from Norwegian Lars Rise of Missouri, second with 5902, with Frenchman Romain Martin third at 5897.
The team championships, which are fiercely contested at the NCAAs, were won by Florida’s men for the second year in a row with 52 points to runner-up Texas A&M’s 40, and the Oregon women, who dominated with 67 points to second-place Texas’ 38.
James Dunaway for the IAAF
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