Jeter improves to 10.96 at the Mt. SAC Relays (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
General News Walnut, USA

World leads for Jeter and Johnson in Mt. SAC Relays – Day 3

Carmelita Jeter burst onto the international scene after winning the women’s 100m in the 2007 Mt. San Antonio College Relays, and  took it another step further in the 2009 Mt. SAC Relays - the 51st edition of the annual meeting - at Hilmer Lodge on Saturday (18 April), clocking a career-best 10.96 secs for the fastest time in the world so far this season.

The mark also propelled Jeter, 29, into third on the Mt SAC all-time list and the fastest time since 1992.

Jeter, a six-time NCAA Division II All-American at Cal State Dominguez Hills, has run in the Mt. SAC Relays since she was a high school athlete at nearby Torrance Bishop Montgomery High. “This is always a meet that shows me where I am at in the year,” Jeter said. “It’s a good meet. I love the energy.”

Jeter’s time in the 100m and Chelsea Johnson’s 4.55m clearance in the women’s Pole Vault were among two world leading marks in the final session of the three-day meeting.

Defending NCAA champion Geena Gall of Michigan (2:02.69) and Duane Solomon lowered their U.S. leading marks in the women’s and men’s 800m (1:46.85). Lionel Larry won the 200m in 20.37 running out the first lane for another American season best.

Turn for the better in 2007

Jeter’s win in the 2007 Mt. SAC Relays boosted her from an unknown who was not even ranked in the top 50 in the USA the previous year into a World Championships bronze medallist in Osaka. “My career took a turn for the better,” Jeter said.

She’s been on an upward curve since she started training with John Smith, who coached 2000 Olympic gold medallist and former World 100 record holder Maurice Greene. With Smith, Jeter has been doing more endurance based intervals and weight workouts than in the past in preparation for the USA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. in June with a berth in the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in August on the line.

“I had a very good fall (autumn) and that’s what I need to put the 100 together,” Jeter said. “It’s been a great transition and it was very easy to go to John Smith. I am not a hard person to coach. If I believe and you believe in me, we’re going to have a very good year.”

 Johnson and Johnson winning combo in Women’s Pole Vault

Chelsea Johnson has been training with her father Jan Johnson, the 1972 Olympic bronze medallist in the Pole Vault after completing her collegiate eligibility at UCLA in 2006 where she set a then collegiate record of 4.60m.

 “It’s great now we work so well together,” Chelsea Johnson said. “We’re really good friends and I have so much faith in him. I give him more attitude than a regular athlete because he is my dad. My mom is a good equalizer between us.”

Saturday’s performance equalled the meet record and was the highest that Johnson, who set a PB of 4.73m in 2008 to move into third on the all-time U.S. list, had cleared in mid-April. She had first attempt clearances at her first three heights of 4.25m, 4.45m and 4.55m before three attempts at 4.65m.

"Things we have been working on have been coming into play this season,” Johnson said.

Lacy Janson and Stacy Dragilia, who has announced her retirement at the end of this season were second and third, both at 4.45m.

Johnson, 25, started 2009 with a win in the Reno Pole Vault Summit on 2 January. She was sidelined for the remainder of the indoor season with a meniscus strain. Johnson, who has had surgery on her knees, took five weeks off training as a precaution. Johnson still doesn’t feel quite in peak form yet.

“My first goal was to win it and then jump 15 feet. I am on really big poles and gripping high so 15 should be pretty easy,” Johnson said. “Everything feels kind of rusty. It’s so early so you need to work those kinds out and test yourself. I failed the first two and on the third one I am proud of myself.”

Japan’s Daichi Sawano won the men’s Pole Vault at 5.70m at a Mt. SAC facility at which he trains several weeks a year with USA Pole Vault Development Chairman Brian Yokoyama. Giovanni Lanaro (MEX), a coach at Mt. SAC and former California Community College champion for the Mounties, was second at 5.60m.

Felix posts two relay wins

Allyson Felix anchored relay wins in the Sprint Medley and 4 x 100m Relays. Felix ran the 400m anchor on a 800m Sprint Medley Relay with Ginnie Powell, Michelle Perry and Natasha Hastings that ran 1:38.77. The foursome also combined to run 43.98 in the 4 x 100m Relay.

In the men’s 4 x 100m Relay, a team of Rodney Martin, Kerron Clement, Craig Everhart and Shawn Crawford won in 39.50 after a strong challenge from Waseda (JAP), which finished second in 39.80.

A team with Dwain Chambers (GBR) on the lead-off leg was third in 39.90.Chambers also placed second in the 200m in 20.51.

Charonda Williams of Arizona State won the women’s 200m in 22.84 and placed second in the 100m to Jeter in 11.29. Victoria Barr (GBR) won the women’s 400m in 52.92.

Britain’s Tyrone Edgar outduelled Rubin Williams in the 100m, 10.20 to 10.22. Ireland’s David Gillick won the men’s 400m in 45.80 with Reggie Wyatt, a high school senior at Riverside La Sierra (Calif.) in second in 46.38.

McKinney’s first round 6.75m, wins women’s Long Jump

Akiba McKinney won the women’s Long Jump for the third time in four years at Mt. SAC with a first-round jump of 6.75m to beat 2005 World champion Tianna Madison (6.48m).

McKinney is hoping to elude the misfortune of recent years after breaking her right fibula at the Rio Grand Prix in Brazil after jumping a world yearly leading 6.82m at Mt. SAC. Last year, she injured her shoulder while lifting weights shortly before the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

“It was frustrating but at the same time I learned so many lessons during that time had to work on my patience,” McKinney said. “Everything comes full circle. I don’t feel jinxed. As an athlete, everybody ever competes healthy. You just have to roll with the punches.”

Shakeema Welsch edged Yvette Lewis to win the women’s Triple Jump, 13.92m to 13.82m. In the men’s Long Jump, JaRod Tobler jumped 8.01m on his final jump to overtake Matt Turner (7.90m). Brandon Roulac bounded 16.97m in the Triple Jump.

Acuff wins final Mt. SAC appearance in Women’s High Jump

Amy Acuff won her sixth title in the women’s High Jump in a jump-off with Romary Rifka (MEX) in her final Mt. SAC appearance before retiring at the conclusion of the season. Acuff, Rifka and Chaunte Howard all cleared 1.90m. Howard placing third on misses.

Jaime Nieto won the men’s High Jump at 2.25m on the count-back over Trent Arrivey of Washington State.

Record ninth title for Charfreitag in Hammer Throw

Slovak Libor Charfreitag  won a record ninth Mt. SAC title in the Hammer Throw at 77.49m  – the most by any athlete in any event - to win a two-man battle with 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials champion A.G. Kruger (75.05m).

Canada’s Jason Tunks won the Discus Throw for the sixth time at 62.88m and Chris Figures won the Shot Put at 19.94m.

In the women’s throws, Jillian Camarena won a competitive Shot Put at 17.96m with Liz Wanless in second at 17.83m and Michelle Carter in third at 17.82m. Suzy Powell won the Discus Throw at 59.67m and Sultana Frizell (CAN) won the Hammer Throw with 71.64m.

Kirby Lee for the IAAF

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