leading and stadium record marks by Brittney Reese in the women’s Long Jump and Frenchman Jamale Aarrass in the Mile along with a brisk but windy 100m run by Walter Dix were among the highlights of the three-day Mt. San Antonio College Relays which concluded Saturday (21) at Hilmer Lodge Stadium.
Reese sailed 7.12m to break the 6.97m record set by Carol Lewis in the 1984 edition of this meet. Aarass ran 3:52.21 in the Puma Mile in a race that produced the top three times in the World and pulled eight runners under four minutes.
In the 100m, Dix outdueled Michael Rodgers, 9.85 to 9.97, in a race that was aided by a 2.4 mps breeze for the top global mark under any conditions.
Other world leaders were posted in the 54th annual meet in this Los Angeles suburb in the San Gabriel Valley by Britons Martin Rooney in the 400m (44.92) and Lawrence Okoye in the Discus Throw at 66.67.
Cross country move paying off for Dix
A move from Florida to Southern California to train under John Smith in November is proving worthwhile for Dix, whose new training partners include Carmelita Jeter and Richard Thompson.
“The opportunity arose and after thinking about it for awhile, I thought with how I’m trying to continue to improve and the chance to work with coach Smith would be a good idea,” Dix said. “So far everything is really going well. Not really thinking too much about the transition as I just go to practice.”
Dix’s start on Saturday might have needed a little improvement but his transition phase was in peak form. After getting a sluggish start out of the blocks, Dix powered away from Rodgers for the triumph.
“I wanted to get out the blocks, execute and finish strong,” Dix said. “I was able to relax a little bit when I got to 60 metres because I knew I was right where I need to be. It was a great run.”
Warm temperatures that approached 30 C. produced other quick sprint marks. In the women’s 100m, Lauryn Williams won in 11.17 to edge Michelle Ahye (TRI), who was second in 11.19, and Me’Lisa Barber (11.20). Leslie Cole defeated Blessing Okagbare (NGR) to win the women's 200m, 22.63 to 22.70.
Allyson Felix anchored an all-star team that included training partners and 100m hurdlers Ginnie Powell and Dawn Harper to a win in 42.87. Felix overcame a five-metre deficit on Ahye on the final leg for a 0.05 victory. Ryan Bailey anchored a Smith-coached quartet that included Richard Thompson to a win in 38.39.
In the men’s 400m, Rooney squeaked past Jeremy Wariner, 44.92 to 44.96. USC senior Bryshon Nellum was third in a collegiate-leading 45.36. It was the first PB in five years for the 2007 Pan-Am Junior champion since high school after missing the 2009 season after suffered gun shot wounds in both of his thighs and right hamstring on 31 October 2008.
Bukula Abongunloko (NGR) nipped Keshia Baker to win the women’s 400m, 51.87 to 52.06.
Reese jumps into Mt. SAC record books
Reese broke one of the longest standing women’s records with her 7.12m leap in the women’s Long Jump. All three of the legal jumps by the reigning World indoor and outdoor champion were 6.75m or better and would have won the competition.
Luis Alberto Rivera (MEX) won the men’s Long Jump at 8.22m into a 2.2 mps headwind. Aarik Wilson won the Triple Jump at 17.07m and Crystal Manning won the women’s Triple Jump with a wind-aided 13.93m in the sixth round.
In the women’s High Jump, reigning NCAA champion Brigetta Barrett of Arizona of Arizona won in 1.95m on countback over Inika McPherson. Mike Mason was the men’s winner at 2.28m.
Steven Lewis (GBR) won the Pole Vault on fewer misses over Daichi Sawano (JPN) at 5.72m. Kelsey Hendry (CAN) was the women’s victor at 4.50m.
Perry and Hayes continue hurdles comeback
Michelle Perry and Joanna Hayes continued their comeback from motherhood with a 1-2 finish in the women’s 100m Hurdles in a wind-aided 12.70 and 12.72.
Perry, the 2005 and 2007 World champion, missed the 2010 and 2011 seasons because of pregnancy and injury. Hayes, the 2004 Olympic Champion, did not compete for the last three-and-a-half years while coaching a high school team at Harvard-Westlake high school and giving birth to her daughter Zoe in December 2010.
Perry was victorious in a tight race with Hayes, Yvette Lewis (12.74) and Canadian Angela Whyte (12.75). Former NCAA champion Nichole Denby was fifth in 12.80 despite a crash by 2008 World Indoor silver medalist Candice Davis in an adjacent lane.
Perry, who ran 12.75 a week earlier at the Jackie Joyner Kersee-Rafer Johnson Invitational, said she is still making the transition back to competition.
“I haven’t put a full race together yet,” Perry said. “I either do the front end right or the back end right. And I am trying to put it together. It is race rhythm.”
World champion Jason Richardson won over Omo Osaghae with a wind-aided 13.20 to 13.24. World Heptathlon champion and record holder Ashton Eaton was fifth in 13.52. Eaton, who chose to compete at the Mt. SAC Relays over the Oregon Relays on his home training site in Eugene, Ore., also ran 10.36 in a 100m heat and competed in the Discus.
In the 400m Hurdles, Michael Tinsley overtook Angelo Taylor to win in the homestretch, 48.83 to 49.38, after Jeshua Anderson pulled up with an injury after the first hurdle. Collegian Georganne Moline of Arizona won the women’s 400m Hurdles in 55.25.
Aarrass leads deep Mile field
Aarrass dominated a Mile field with a win in 3:52.21 to break Bernard Lagat’s stadium record of 3:54.97 set in 2000. Canadians Taylor Milne (3:54.29) and Nate Brannen (3:54.81) were also under the previous standard. Hilary Stellingwerff (CAN) won the women’s Mile in 4:31.04.
USA indoor champion Duane Solomon led from the start to win the 800m in 1:46.03. Molly Beckwith won the women’s race in 2:00.34.
In the 5000m, Cameron Levins of Southern Utah surprised indoor collegiate record holder Lawi Lalang of Arizona in a spirited homestretch duel, 13:18.47 to 13:18.88. American record holder Molly Huddle won the women’s race in 15:15.91.
Stephen Sambu of Arizona (28:06.16) and Kara Millhouse of Penn State (33:31.37) were the 10,000m winners.
Evan Jager won the 3000m Steeplechase in a U.S. leading 8:26.14 after a plea from his agent to Relays elite athlete coordinator Brian Yokoyama to allow the fledging steepler into the race. Korene Hinds (JAM) won the women’s race for the fifth time in eight years in 9:42.27.
Okoye highlights throws
Okoye won the Discus at 66.67m over Martin Marec (65.15m) and Robert Fazekas (64.70m). Yan Bo Yang (CHN) was the women’s winner at 61.56m over American record holder Suzy Powell (60.64m).
Sean Furey won the Javelin at 78.09m and Abigail Gomez (MEX) won the women’s competition with a throw of 53.96m. The Shot Put was won by Justin Rodhe (20.37m) and Jillian Camarena-Williams (19.80m).
In the Hammer throw, Libor Charfreitag (SVK) prevailed at 75.01m over Jerome Bortoluzzi (74.43m) and Mark Dry (74.37m). Amber Campbell defeated Jessica Cosby to win the women’s competition, 71.57m to 71.29m.
Kirby Lee for the IAAF