Fayetteville, USAGalen Rupp and Jillian Camarena-Williams highlighted the USATF Classic with U.S. national records in the Two Mile and the women’s Shot Put at the Randal Tyson Center on Saturday (11).
Rupp clocked 8:09.72 over the rarely-contested distance to break the mark of 8:10.07 set by Bernard Lagat in 2011. Camarena-Williams extended her own Shot Put record to 19.89m to surpass the mark of 19.87m she set in the altitude of Albuquerque at the 2011 USA Indoor Championships.
In the horizontal jumps, Will Claye equaled the best mark of World this season in the long jump at 8.24m on Friday (10) and followed it with a global leader 17.30m in the Triple Jump on Saturday. Other World-leading efforts were posted by Tianna Madison (7.02) and Jamaican Lerone Clarke (6.52) in the women’s and men’s 60m, Kirani James in the 400m (45.19) and Silas Kiplagat in the Mile in 3:52.63.
Rupp dedicates record to Hollister
It was an emotional evening for Rupp, who ran the Two Mile in honor of the late Geoff Hollister. Hollister, one of Nike’s original employees, died at age 66 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Rupp ran in a commemorative red, white and blue kit with a caricature of Hollister on the upper left of his singlet. Rupp was bothered by illness but thoughts of pulling out or abandoning his pursuit of the U.S. record never crossed his thoughts.
“He was a great man and a great friend of mine,” Rupp said about Hollister. “To do it for him was really special. I was going to run regardless (of illness). I went in with the attitude that I was going to go for broke.”
With coach Alberto Salazar on the infield shouting outs splits every lap, Rupp passed through the mile in 4:06.8 with the aid of a pace setter. Rupp ran the final 1400m alone and finishing with a 28.86 final circuit on the 200m banked oval.
“It was good and bad to be running alone,” Rupp said. “It’s nice to have people to be competitive and pushing each other. Today, I was coming in knowing that I would probably be by myself at the end. I was visualising and planning to push and not let off the gas.”
Both Rupp and Lagat each gained one American record and lost another on Saturday. More than 1,000 miles away in New York City, Lagat broke Rupp’s standard in the 5000m at the Millrose Games at the Armory. There was nothing but elation for Rupp.
Salazar waived a post-race workout planned for Rupp as a reward for the record. After the meet, Rupp and Salazar posed with a large group of athletes from all events for a photo holding race bibs with Hollister’s name.
Camarena-Williams approaching 20m in Shot Put
Camarena-Williams didn’t come into the meet with expectations of an American record after a week of heavy training. A foul on her first throw in her first meet for the season on a wooden ring also put a damper on her aspirations.
The 2011 World Championships bronze medallist responded with three throws of 19.15m or better, including her record throw of 19.89m in the third round. All three marks surpassed the best effort of 19.09m by runner-up Michelle Carter.
“It was a little nerve racking at first getting used to a slicker surface,” Camarena-Williams said about the ring. “I changed up my training and haven’t felt like myself all week. It was a matter of timing.”
So is a 20-metre throw for Camarena-Williams her goal for the season?
“To break the American record any day is a happy day,” Camarena-Williams said.
Ryan Whiting won the men's Shot Put at 21.43m over Canadians Justin Rodhe (20.95m) and Dylan Armstong. Armstrong finished third at 20.63m, his only legal throw in the final round.
Claye and DeLoach upset winners in horizontal jumps
In the Triple Jump held earlier in the afternoon, Claye defeated reigning World Champion Christian Taylor to win in a PB 17.39m. Taylor finished second at 16.88m.
Claye downplayed any rivalry with Taylor, a former college teammate at Florida.
“We go back and forth all the time. Neither of us likes to lose,” Claye said. “I like to win but hey, if I would rather get second to Christian than anybody else.”
Claye passed on his fourth and final jump on the advice of his coach Jeremy Fischer but said that his competitiveness might have gotten the better of him had he been trailing Taylor in the standings.
“I would have taken the last jump for sure even though I should have probably shut it down,” Claye said.
Claye wasn’t overly ecstatic about his performances. He took an abbreviated 16 metre approach, two metres shorter than his customary distance in the Triple Jump. In the Long Jump, Claye shortened his run up from 20 to 18 metres.
“This is just practice,” Claye said. “Once I get on the technical things down, it is definitely going to push me farther.”
In the women’s Long Jump, Janay DeLoach won with a U.S. leading mark of 6.82m to defeat defending World indoor and outdoor champion Brittney Reese. Bianca Stuart (BAH) was second at 6.79m. Reese, who lost to DeLoach in the 2011 USA Indoor Championships, was third at 6.65m.
Madison upstages Campbell-Browns and Felix with a world lead in the 60m
Madison ran two PBs to twice lower the yearly leading mark in the women’s 60m. After the 2005 World Long Jump champion ran 7.05 in the prelims she followed it with a 7.02 in the final to turn back Jamaican and Arkansas alumnus Veronica Campbell-Brown (7.08) and Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast (7.09). Allyson Felix, who ran a PB 7.10 in the prelims, was fourth at 7.11.
In the men’s 60m, Clarke won in 6.52 to hold off Justin Gatlin and Trell Kimmons, both timed in 6.57. Kirani James (GRN) won the 400m in 45.19 in a timed two-heat final over Demetrius Pinder of the Bahamas (45.40).
Crawford wins 60m Hurdles as Perry and Hayes return
Ginnie Crawford won the women’s 60m Hurdles over 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper, 7.97 to 8.03. The field also included 2005 and 2007 World champion Michelle Perry and 2004 Olympic champion Joanna Hayes who was running in her first race since September 2008 after giving birth to her daughter Zoe in December 2010. Perry placed fifth in 8.19 and Hayes was sixth in 8.34.
Hayes, 35, who coaches at Harvard-Westlake High School in North Hollywood, Calif, only resumed training in November 2011. Hayes began thinking about a comeback while pushing a stroller during runs with the Cross Country team. Lingering pain in her left knee began to subside with conditioning that led Hayes to attempt to return to competition this year.
“I have decided not to put any pressure on myself for this race because it is just a stepping stone to the season,” Hayes said. “I will compete hard and take away from this what I need to make me better. This entire season I plan to have fun and enjoy myself.”
Eight under 3:58.00 in Mile
In the Geoff Hollister mile, Kiplagat nipped fellow Kenyan Caleb Ndiku, 3:52.63 to 3:52.66. The top six finishers were under the previous world-leading time of 3:55.09 and all eight finishers broke 3:58.00.
In the women’s 1500m, Moroccans Siham Hilali and Btissam Lakhouad finished first and second in 4:09.36 and 4:09.72 after overtaking American Brenda Martinez.
Kirby Lee for the IAAF