Four days of sunny weather, albeit often windy, brought out some fast sprinting and good jumping at the 84th Texas Relays which concluded on Saturday (9).
Texas A&M University’s sprinters led the way, winning the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m Relays. The A&M women took the 4x100 in 42.87 and the 4x400 in a world-leading 3:27.33, with Jeneba Tarboh and Jessica Beard running in both. Tarboh also won the University 100m in 10.94 (wind +2.9), edging Semoy Hackett of Trinidad & Tobago and Louisiana State (10.97), while Beard contributed anchor legs of 49.6 in the 4x400 heats and 49.68 in the final.
In the men’s 4x100m, Texas A&M had to go all out to edge Louisiana State, 38.71 to 38.77. And in the 4x400m, it took a world-leading 3:00.45 to beat Baylor (3:01.77), Louisiana State (3:02.23) and Southern California (3:02:87). A&M’s splits were remarkably even, thus: Bryan Miller, 45.2; Tabarie Henry (ISV), 45.0; Michael Preble, 45.3; and Demetrius Pinder (BAH), 45.0.
Gerald Phiri of Zambia, who ran on A&M’s 4x100m team, also won the University 100m in the only significant wind-legal time of the meeting, 10.06 (+1.3), tops in the world so far this year and a new national record.
Louisiana State won both 4x200m Relays in excellent and world-leading times. The LSU men won the men’s 4x200m in 1:20.45, and the women won by 12 metres in 1:30.88.
There was still more speed, both on the flat and in the hurdles. The Speed Divas, an all-star group, took the world lead in the women’s 4x100m, as Lauryn Willams, Sholanda Solomon, Bianca McKnight and Marshevet Myers swept around the track in 42.45. Jon Drummond, who coaches Myers, says he thinks the foursome can set a World record and possibly go sub-41. Myers (nee Marshevet Hooker) also won the Invitational 100m by inches from Alexandria Anderson, 10.90 to 10.91 (+3.2).
The men’s invitational 4x100m produced yet another world leader, as the Speed Unlimited team of Trell Kimmons, Mike Rodgers, Doc Patton and Wallace Spearmon ran 38.41.
The two men’s 110m Hurdles races were won by Barrett Nugent of Louisiana State, who beat Oso Osaghae of Texas Tech, 13.19 to 13.22 (+3.5), and Aries Merritt who won the invitational division in 13.16 (+4.6). The University women’s 100 Hurdles race was won by a centimeter or so by Tiffani McReynolds of Baylor over Nia Ali of Southern California, both running 12.74 (+3.6), while the invitational 100m Hurdles was almost as close with Kristi Castlin winning in 12.68 from Tiffany Ofili (GBR, 12.72) and Angela Whyte (CAN, 12.76), all helped by a 4.9 m/s tailwind.
Probably the most significant non-sprint on the track was a 2:04.41 800m victory by 20-year-old freshman Natoya Goule of Jamaica and South Plains College, who also anchored her 4x400 team with a 52.6 carry.
In the Pole Pault, Tina Sutej of Slovenia and JackWhitt of Oral Roberts continued their steady advance to world class with PBs. Sutej, a student at Arkansas, cleared 4.50m to defeat fast-improving Shade Weygandt’s 4.45m. Whitt, who won the high school vault here two years ago, was clean through 5.60m, and fearlessly took a shot at 5.80m.
In other field events, Zimbabwe's Ngonidzashi Makusha of Florida State rode a 4.0 m/s aiding wind to win the men’s Long Jump with a pop of 8.40m. A day later, his Florida State teammate Kimberly Williams of Jamaica continued her domination of the women’s Triple Jump, winning with a windy14.25m (+2.9) and setting a new meet record with a wind-ok 14.05m (+1.5). Michelle Carter, meanwhile, opened her 2011 Shot Put account with a winning 18.05m toss. In the men’s High Jump, Andra Manson, who usually starts his outdoor season here with a victory at 2.30 or better, was upset by Erik Kynard of Kansas State, 2.28m to 2.25m. Even the winner said the gusty winds made jumping difficult.
Finally, the Decathlon was won by Mike Morrison of the University of California, 7921w to the 7867 tally of Romain Martin of France and U. of Texas-Arlington; and the Heptathlon was won by Chelsea Carrier of West Virginia, who scored 5927w points to Ryan Krais of Kansas State’s 5848. In both cases, the wind-legal second-place finishers ended up at the top of their respective 2011 world lists. Never mind that his mark was wind-aided, said Morrison, “I feel I’m going to put up some big numbers for the rest of this year.”
James Dunaway for the IAAF
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