Razorbacks’ 4x400 qualifies for Texas Relays final
AUSTIN, Texas – The No. 12 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team continued action Friday at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays with a qualifying performance in the 4x400-meter relay. The Razorbacks also began competition at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.
Arkansas qualified for its second final of the weekend with its effort in the preliminary round of the 4x400-meter relay. The foursome of Chrishuna Williams, Gwendolyn Flowers, Sparkle McKnight and Regina George posted a time of 3:36.78 to win heat three and finish with the fourth-fastest qualifying time. The final of the women’s 4x400-meter relay will be the penultimate event on Saturday’s schedule.
The Razorbacks will enter Saturday’s final with 17 Texas Relays event titles in program history, including a victory in the 4x400-meter relay in 2010. That year, the team of George, Edina Brooks, Whitney Jones and Shelise Williams ran to a first-place time of 3:31.20. George has won three Texas Relays titles in her career (4x400m – 2010; 4x800m – 2010; sprint-medley relay – 2011).
The same quartet returned to the track for the sprint-medley relay and finished second overall with a time of 3:45.40. That performance is the second fastest in school history. The No. 1 and 2 times in school history in the event have both happened at Texas Relays. The school record of 3:44.40 was set in 2010 by the team of George, Whitney Jones, Shelise Williams and Stephanie Brown.
In the first race of the day, the 4x100-meter relay team of Flowers, George, McKnight and Tamara Myers combined for a time of 45.81 to win heat two of seven but did not advance to Saturday’s event final. Arkansas finished with the 10th-fastest time in the preliminary round, missing the finals by one spot. McKnight was scheduled to compete in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles—a would-be fourth race of the day—but did not make it out to the start line.
Competing in Section A of the triple jump, Myers finished in eighth place with a wind-aided mark of 12.91m/42-4.25. She had a previous all-conditions best of 40-4, a measurement from last year’s Texas Relays. Kirsten Hesseltine matched her effort from last weekend’s season opener with a final clearance of 1.75m/5-8.75 to finish second in Section B of the high jump.
Sam Humphreys captures third Texas Relays javelin title for Texas A&M
AUSTIN – Throwing events held center stage for the Aggies on the third day of the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays as Texas A&M won three events. Aggie totals for Friday included three gold, four silver and two bronze efforts at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Aggie senior Sam Humphreys claimed his third Texas Relays javelin title over a span of four years while A&M frosh Shelbi Vaughan captured titles in the discus and B division shot put. Vaughan’s discus victory is the first ever for an Aggie female in the Texas Relays and the first for Texas A&M since Randy Matson won the discus in 1967.
Runner-up efforts on Friday for the Aggies included LaQue Moen-Davis in the triple jump and Dave Brown in the men’s B division triple jump. In relay action the A&M men’s sprint medley and distance medley relays both placed second. The Aggie women finished third in the distance medley relay while the men were third in the 4x1500 relay.
Humphreys produced a winning throw of 257-9 (78.57) off a short approach and took only three of his six attempts. Teammate Devin Bogert finished fourth with a mark of 236-4 (72.04).
“It’s exciting to win three Texas Relays titles,” noted Humphreys. “I just missed winning it last year, so it’s nice to come back in my last year and win again. I’m pretty pleased with a 78 meter throw. On my first and third throw the javelin slipped out of my hand. Things happen like that during a meet, so I’m pleased with mark I had.
“This was a pretty strong tailwind for me. In practice I’ve thrown with a tailwind like this and haven’t thrown very well. It’s something you just have to deal with.”
Humphreys joins an elite group of Aggie track and field athletes who have won three Texas Relays titles in the same event. Others include Curtis Dickey, 100m Invitational (1978, 1979, 1980); Darrow Hooper, shot put and discus (1951, 1952, 1953); and Randy Matson, shot put and discus (1965, 1966, 1967).
Oregon’s Sam Crouser finished second in the competition with a 248-8 (75.80) on his final throw, moving from fourth to runner-up. Florida State freshman Morne Moolman placed third with a 242-3 (73.83).
“This is a great competitive field here and I’m sure we are going to see most of these guys here at nationals,” said Humphreys. “It helps to see how they are working early in the season and how you can prepare against them.”
Humphreys, who placed second a year ago, is just the second javelin thrower to capture three Texas Relays titles. Swedish thrower Dag Wennlund of Texas earned three consecutive titles from 1985 to 1987. It’s the sixth javelin title Texas A&M has won at the Texas Relays dating back to the first one claimed by Ty Sevin in 1994.
After winning titles in 2010 (245-9) and 2011 (251-9), Humphreys produced his best effort at the Texas Relays in his final season as a collegian. The 257-9 ranks as the No. 5 performance on the Aggie all-time. Bogert, meanwhile, came up just shy of his collegiate best of 238-5 (72.66) he set two weeks ago in Tempe, Arizona.
“It was like a tailwind and crosswind today, so it wasn’t too much in our favor,” noted Bogert. “Even with those conditions we were able to pull off some good throws. Sam and I have both been going relatively easy compared to our full out speed. From short approaches we’ve both been throwing great.”
Humphreys and Bogert will face Crouser against next weekend as the Aggies travel to Eugene for the Oregon Team Invitational with Washington and Washington State. Humphreys and Crouser finished first and second during the Olympic Trials held at Hayward Field in Eugene last summer with marks of 268-7 (81.86) and 265-1 (80.80), respectively.
“I’m definitely looking forward to facing Crouser again next week, since he likes to perform in Eugene, Oregon,” stated Humphreys.
Vaughan won the women’s discus on her first attempt, a throw of 183-9 (56.00) that topped the field by nine-plus feet. The runner-up was Kellion Knibb of Florida State with a 174-5 (53.17) while Baylor’s Skylar Dixon finished third with a 174-2 (53.08). A&M’s Jill Hydrick threw 147-2 (44.85) for 12th place.
“One difference from being in high school to college is I get to throw inside the stadium during the Texas Relays,” noted Vaughan. “Before I’ve been in the discus area outside of the stadium, so this time it was totally different winds to deal with and a different environment with a more competitive field.”
The series for Vaughan included marks of 183-9 (56.00), 176-5 (53.79), 173-11 (53.00), 169-4 (51.62), foul, and 178-11 (54.54).
“I should have been throwing the discus a little bit flatter,” said Vaughan. “Each time I was releasing it high and the wind caught it and threw it down. I try to start out with a decent throw and then improve on each round. I kind of did the opposite today.”
Earlier in the day Vaughan dominated the B division of the shot put, winning the event with a mark of 49-9.75 (15.18) that moves the Aggie frosh to No. 6 on the A&M all-time list. It’s also the first ever shot put title won by an A&M female thrower at the Texas Relays. The Aggie men have claimed 11 shot put titles at the Relays, the last being in 2004 when Ronny Jimenez won his second title.
Runner-up to Vaughan was an effort of 46-10.75 (14.29) by Janae Allen of Northwestern State. Aggie Jennifer Edwards placed seventh with a toss of 45-5.25 (13.85).
“I wish I could have competed with the A division shot put, just because it would mean having a bit more competition,” said Vaughan. “I had a really good throw today, the best I’ve had this season. So, I’m really happy about that.”
In the triple jump Moen-Davis placed second with an impressive mark of 44-2.75 (13.48), aided by a 3.4 wind. Andrea Geubelle of Kansas, the NCAA Indoor champion, won the event with a windy distance of 45-1.75 (13.76). Florida’s Ciarra Brewer finished third with a windy 43-5 (13.23).
“Going into the triple jump it wasn’t about who I was jumping against, I wasn’t thinking there is the NCAA champion,” stated Moen-Davis. “It’s about me going out and doing better or trying to put things together to get back on my feet.”
Moen-Davis held the lead when she produced her best mark in the fourth round, moving ahead of Geubelle by a quarter of an inch. Geubelle, who fouled in rounds four and five, hit her winning effort in round six.
“I didn’t know what place I was in each round, but my team was cheering me on so I knew I was doing well,” said Moen-Davis. “Not knowing was kind of good, since it kept me going and I needed to keep fighting for a longer jump.”
A time of 3:18.85 placed the Aggie sprint medley relay second to a 3:18.09 by Mississippi State while Sam Houston State finished third in 3:22.34. Running for A&M were Jermaine Davis, Ricky Babineaux, Carlyle Roudette and Josh Hernandez.
The distance medley relay turned into a duel between the Aggies and the Longhorns. Close throughout the race, Texas won in 9:40.42 with A&M second in 9:41.34. The Aggie foursome included Juan Blanco (3:00.98), Deon Lendore (44.44), Hector Hernandez (1:50.86) and Henry Lelei (4:05.06).
Lelei was in the lead on the anchor lap as Kyle Thompson sat on his shoulder. With 150m remaining Lelei tripped slightly. Then when they reached the homestretch Thompson managed to pull ahead and maintained his lead to the finish.
Brown registered a mark of 50-5.25 (15.37) for a runner-up finish in the B triple jump behind a 50-11.50 (15.53) by Jarard Bruner of Texas. The top six finishers bettered 50 feet among the field of 13.
The Aggie women’s distance medley relay consisted of Ashley Chamberlain (3:38.6), Donique’ Flemings (54.7), Aliese Hyde (2:11.1) and Sophie Blake (4:53.4). They moved from eighth to third over the course of the race, trailing only LSU (11:23.55) and Texas (11:30.78) at the finish.
A time of 15:44.28 placed the A&M men’s 4x1500 third behind Texas (15:36.86) and Kansas (15:40.78). The Aggies ran with a crew of C.J. Brown, MacLean O’Donnell, Colin Slattery and Isaac Spencer.
The women’s B triple jump featured three A&M jumpers. Haley Gooch led the trio with a mark of 39-8 (12.09) to place eighth. Jordan Wilson finished 11th with a 38-1.50 (11.62) while Melissa Mays had three fouls.
Three Gators Claim Event Titles on Third Day of Texas Relays
AUSTIN, Texas - Three Gators can call themselves Texas Relays Champions after the third day of competition at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
"I'm very pleased with both of our squads," Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. "We had a very good day. We had good qualifiers in the relays and the hurdles, both of which set us up well for tomorrow. I'm very pleased with the field event results. We had three titles today, so a good day all around."
Sophomore Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.) debuted in the 2013 outdoor season with his Texas Relays winning jump of 8.17m/26-9.75 in the men's long jump. Though not wind-legal, the jump goes down as an all-conditions best and the best qualifying jump for the NCAA Outdoor meet in 2013.
"I just want to continue to stay hungry and focused," Dendy said. "This is a whole new season. Yes, I won indoors and I'm very proud of that, but this is like a new beginning and to come out here and get the Texas Relays title, it means a lot. I'm definitely ready for this season and know there's room to improve."
"The long jumpers did a great job carrying over the momentum from the outdoor season," Holloway said. "Marquis continues to show great focus."
Senior Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas) captured the men's triple jump title with a collegiate-leading 16.43m/53-11 leap, giving the Gators their first men's triple jump title in the history of Texas Relays. Craddock now has 11 meet victories over the course of his career.
"This is my first time at Texas Relays since 2006, I think, and I love it," Craddock said. "I haven't competed in Texas in six years. I'm 21 now and I was 15 then. This is the first time that my family has gotten to see me compete in college. They can't get to Florida. This is the first time my grandma has gotten to see me compete, too. It's just a wonderful feeling and I can't complain. I came out here, got the win and I'm having a good time. I love Texas Relays and everything about it."
Sophomore Ciarra Brewer (Union City, Calif.) turned in a third-place finish in the women's triple jump, leaping 13.23m/43-5 on a windy day in the pit. Fellow female jumper Lorraine Graham (Springdale, Md.) jumped a new personal best in the women's long jump, leaping 6.23m/20-5.25 for the seventh-best jump in Florida program history.
"I'm incredibly happy for Omar competing in his first Texas Relays and winning the triple jump in front of his family and friends," Holloway said. "I'm also pleased with Ciarra's work in the women's triple jump. I'm very proud of Lorraine, coming back a day after the hept to PR in the long jump and compete well tonight. Coach (Nic) Petersen is doing a great job with the jump crew."
In the morning session, freshman Marija Vucenovic (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) won the first Florida title of the meet, throwing a personal best in the javelin to take home the Texas Relays title. Vucenovic's mark of 52.47m/172-2 goes down as third all-time in Florida program history and leads the collegiate ranks this year.
"I was really excited because it was my first meet ever here in the United States," Vucenovic said. "For me to win my first competition as just a freshman, it showed me that I can go far here at Florida. I'm really excited about next week at Florida Relays. I think I'll be even better."
Teammate Fawn Miller (Stoneboro, Pa.) also threw a personal best Friday, tossing 51.74m/169-9 in the women's javelin to finish third. Her mark is fourth all-time in program history and third in the NCAA in 2013.
"Marija and Fawn did a fine job in the javelin," Holloway stated. "Coach (Steve) Lemke continues to do a fine job with our throwers."
The Gator relays were out in full force Friday, as the women's 4x400-meter relay ran a collegiate-leading 3:33.44. The Florida foursome, consisting of Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.), Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.), Destinee Gause (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) and Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.) easily won their heat and edged Texas A&M by .31 seconds for the top spot heading into the finals.
Florida's men's 4x100-meter relay qualified second overall Friday, as Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.), Leonardo Seymore (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) ran the NCAA's third-fastest time of 2013 in 39.76. The Gators will compete in the finals of the event at 1:30 p.m. CT Saturday.
Lovett, the 2013 NCAA Champion indoors in the men's 60-meter hurdles, made his 2013 outdoor debut in fine form, running an all-conditions best of 13.47 in the men's 110-meter hurdles to turn in the top time of the preliminaries. Lovett races in the final of the event at 2 p.m. CT.
Also competing in the hurdles, senior Ugonna Ndu (Newark, N.J.) finished fourth in the finals of the women's 400-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 58.17. Her time is the third-fastest of her career and ties for seventh in the NCAA this year.
"I'm very pleased with the work of the hurdles today," Holloway said. "Eddie ran an NCAA-leading mark and Ugonna ran the third-fastest time of her career. Coach (Erin) Tucker is doing a fine job with that group."
The Gator women's 4x100-meter relay finished fifth in Friday's preliminaries with a time of 45.28, courtesy of Reynolds, Kyra Jefferson (Detroit, Mich.), Gause and Eutsey. The Gators will compete in the finals after the men's race at 1:30 p.m. CT.
"I'm looking forward to tomorrow and lots of great finals and chances for the Gators to get better," Holloway noted. "It's going to be very exciting and we need to match the excitement and intensity of the other teams here."
"It's great to be a Florida Gator," Holloway finished.
Ole Miss’ Sam Kendricks Soars To World-Leading Pole Vault
AUSTIN, Texas – Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus was the site of one of the most spectacular pole vault performances in NCAA history Friday night, as Ole Miss sophomore Sam Kendricks cleared 19-0.75 to claim the Texas Relays event title.
Kendricks, a native of Oxford, Miss., shattered his own school record and achieved the best pole vault in the NCAA since 1998 while moving to No. 5 on the all-time collegiate list.
“Before the meet, we talked about this being a special start to our outdoor season,” Ole Miss head coach Brian O’Neal said. “The Texas Relays is a prestigious event with some of the nation’s elite in every event. For the most part, we’ve competed well. We’ve set three school records so far with Haley Cutright in the steeplechase and Kayleigh Skinner in the 10,000 meters yesterday and Sam today.”
“Sam had an incredible night to say the least,” O’Neal added. “I’ve been involved in track and field for over 20 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen someone get a standing ovation after the competition. I’m proud for Sam and proud for how he represents Ole Miss. He has definitely worked hard to put himself in the position to be one of the elite jumpers in the U.S.”
Aside from SEC and NCAA Championships, Kendricks has now won six straight college pole vault competitions dating back to a fourth-place finish at the Drake Relays last April. He has 12 career college victories under his belt.
Senior Isiah Young made his 2013 debut on Friday in the 100 meter prelims. The 2012 Olympian clocked the fifth-fastest time of the day at 10.30 to qualify for Saturday afternoon’s final.
Other highlights for the Rebels on Friday included Taryn Hartfield’s personal-best 13.53 in the 100 meter hurdle prelims and Asia Cooper’s personal-best 11.62 in the 100 meter prelims.
Competition in the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays continues Saturday. Slated to compete for the No. 11-ranked Ole Miss men are Young in the 100 meter final and Onyi Afoaku in the discus.
MSU Sprint Medley Team Wins At Texas Relays
AUSTIN, Texas – Day three of the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays concluded Friday as two Mississippi State track and field relay teams qualified for Saturday’s finals, highlighted by a win from the 1600-meter sprint medley team at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
"To do so well on a big stage like the Texas Relays is impressive and shows that you can do anything you set your mind to,” MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “We came here to compete, and you have to have people in the finals if you want to do that."
The quartet comprised of Tavaris Tate, Scottie Hearns, Daundre Barnaby and Brandon McBride posted a time of 3:18.09 to win the sprint medley. Also clocking a top finish for the Bulldogs included the men’s 4x400-meter relay team. Tate, Hearns, Barnaby and Randy Patterson donned a third-place finish in the event. The foursome’s time of 3:09.84 will qualify them for tomorrow’s finals set for 4:05 p.m.
Later in the day, Nathan Arnett earned his ticket to Saturday’s 110-meter hurdles finals by finishing ninth and crossing the line in 14.13 seconds.
In field action, MSU saw a pair of eighth-place finishes, as freshman Pitor Antosik threw for 213-08 in the javelin and Jason Harper jumped 51-06.50 in the triple jump. Although he is just a newcomer on Dudley’s squad, Antosik’s performance in Austin ranks third on the school’s all-time list.
On the women’s side, Alyssa Hall cleared 5-07 in the high jump to warrant a fourth-place finish. Jody-Ann Muir, Kanishia Carey, Erica Bougard and Ocian Archer posted a time of 3:39.39 in the 4x400-meter relay prelims, a speed that ranks 5th in MSU history and placed them 12th.
Distance athletes Chloe Phillips, Brittany Covington, Fabienne Amrhein and Renee Masterson teamed up to earn a spot in sixth in the women’s distance medley with a time of 11:50.97.
Stay tuned for updates on the men’s 4x1500-meter relay, which is the last event of the evening. Action will resume tomorrow at 10 a.m. with the women’s discus throw and conclude with the 4x400-meter relay.
Ferrucci Claims Fourth Place on Day Two of NCAAs
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Kentucky junior divers Greg Ferrucci and John Fox took to the 3-meter springboard on day two of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Friday. For the second time in as many days, Ferrucci claimed fourth place in the event to claim his second straight top-five finish.
Ferrucci finished in fourth place on Friday, scoring 423.15 to grab fourth place for the second night in a row at the NCAA Championships.
“We had a good second day,” said UK dive coach Ted Hautau. “John Fox was a little off with his takeoffs on the end of the springboard but did a great job finding a way to get his dive straight in and competed very well.”
For the second consecutive day, Ferrucci found himself at the top of the leader board after preliminary action, but this time he found himself in second place instead of third heading into the 3-meter springboard finals. Ferrucci delivered an impressive showing in his best event with a preliminary score of 418.25 to put him in the top-eight group in the finals.
“I was really please with Greg’s performance today,” said Hautau. “He handled the moment well, stayed composed, and was mentally strong.”
Also for the second consecutive event, the entire field was looking up at Stanford’s super sophomore Kristian Ipsen who held first place after 3-meter preliminary action with a top score of 442.75. Ipsen also won the 1-meter springboard on Thursday night with a 473.75 to earn gold.
Fox was unable to break through into the top 16 with his preliminary performance in the event in which he qualified for the NCAA Championships. After finishing in 22nd place on Thursday on 1-meter springboard, Fox earned another top-25 finish with his six-dive score of 325.05.
In the finals, Ferrucci improved on his preliminary score with his 423.15, and he was just 2.35 points from medaling in the event. His second fourth-place finish earned UK 15 points and helped them to 23rd place at the NCAA Championships.
Ipsen won again Friday night with a final six-dive score of 450.60 to lead the field in the 3-meter championship.
Multiple Track & Field Wildcats Reach Texas Relays Finals
AUSTIN, Texas and PALO ALTO, Calif. and CINCINNATI – Multiple individual Wildcats and a UK relay teams reached event finals, with some of the program’s best all-time performances, on Friday at the Texas Relays.
Kayla Parker ran a personal record time of 13.39 in the 100-meter hurdles preliminary heat to qualify ninth into the Saturday final. Parker’s performance was fourth-best in UK history.
Keith Hayes also ran a season best 110-meter hurdles time of 13.79, while Keilah Tyson reached the 100 meters final in 11.50.
Tyson now owns both the third and fourth fastest times in the program’s annals. Hayes’ time was third-fastest in school history.
The women’s 4x100-meter relay team of Tamyah Pipkin, Parker, Morganne Phillips and Tyson qualified for the 100 meters final with a time of 45.19q.
Chelsea Oswald and Cally Macumber ran two of the four fastest 5,000-meter times in Kentucky track and field history on Friday at the Stanford Invitational.
Oswald smashed her personal-best 5K time by more than 30 seconds with a time of 15:49.57. The time makes Oswald the second-fastest Wildcat in the 5K in school history, behind only three-time 5K national champion Valarie McGovern.
Cally Macumber also ran a PR 5K posting a time of 16:04.24, making her the fourth fastest Wildcat all-time at the distance.
Oswald was the fourth collegiate competitor across the finish line in her heat, in which the top three competitors recorded “A Standard” times for the 2013 IAAF World Championships.
At the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational on the Cincinnati campus Joanne Imbert produced some impressive results in her first collegiate heptathlon. Those results were highlighted by Imbert’s outdoor PR high jump clearance of 1.71 meters/5’07.25”.
Rebecca Famurewa took third in section B of the women's shot put with a top mark of 14.26 meters/46’09.50” competing in the event for the first time outdoors collegiately.
At the Stanford Invitational Robert Scharold highlighted the afternoon session with a 1500-meter PR of 3:49.58.
Keffri Neal smashed his 1500-meter PR placing second in his heat with a time of 3:44.68.
Running the penultimate event of the evening, Anna Bostrom posted the fourth fastest 10K time in UK history crossing the line in 35:26.45.