SEC Track and Field Weekly Notebook (April 17, 2013)
Alabama will compete against the nation's best this weekend at the LSU Alumni Gold Meet in Baton Rouge, taking on a field led by host LSU and Texas A&M ... junior sprinter Diondre Batson earned SEC Men's Runner of the Week after he ran the fastest 100-meter dash time in the world thus far this season with a time of 10.06 seconds on April 13 at the Spec Towns National Team Invitational at the Spec Towns Track on the campus of the University of Georgia ... Batson's 10.06 was with a legal wind of 1.9 meters per second and eclipsed his previous personal best of 10.10. The performance ranks third in UA history in the outdoor 100, just behind the school record of 9.93 set by Calvin Smith in 1983 and a 10.04 clocked by Emmit King in 1983 ... Alabama athletes won four individual events and two relays at the Spec Towns Invitational while posting several performances that rank among UA's all-time top 10 lists ... freshman Callie Ives posted a best of 20 feet, 8 inches (6.30 meters) to win the long jump ... Ives' mark ranks third on the all-time UA outdoor list and is a personal best by exactly one foot over her previous PR of 19-8 ... four of Ives’ efforts in her six jumps in the competition rank among the UA all-time top 10 in the event as she also posted efforts of 19-11 (6.07m), 19-11 ½ (6.08) and 20-4 ½ (6.21m) ... senior Alexis Paine won the women’s invitational pole vault competition with a best clearance of 14 feet, 2 inches (4.32m). Paine’s winning height ranks third on all-time UA outdoor list and she also had an earlier clearance on Saturday of 13-6 ¼, an effort that ranks 6th on the all-time UA outdoor list ... freshman Kevin Shannon picked up another victory in the men’s javelin. Shannon’s winning mark of 206-1 (62.81m) is not only a personal best but ranks sixth on the all-time UA outdoor list. Shannon also had a throw of 200-6 (61.11m), an effort that ranks ninth on the all-time UA outdoor list ... sophomore Jonathan Reid won the men’s triple jump with a best of 51 feet, 3 ½ inches (15.63 meters) with freshman Imani Brown finishing second at 50-11 (15.52m) ... Reid’s mark ranks ninth on the all-time UA outdoor list and is the second-best leap of his outdoor career ... Brown’s mark ranks 10th on the all-time UA outdoor list and is a personal best ... overall UA's outdoor roster of 70 athletes on the combined men’s & women's team features 41 freshmen (26 men, 15 women), 7 sophomores (4 men, 3 women), 15 juniors (8 women, 7 men) and 7 seniors (4 women, 3 men) ... Several Alabama athletes rank among the nation's leaders in their respective events: Batson in the men's 100 (1st) and men's 200 (3rd); Alexis Paine in the women's pole vault (2nd); the Tide's men's 4x100 relay (3rd); Krystle Schade in the women's high jump (8th); Callie Ives in the women's long jump (11th); Yanique Malcolm in the women's 800 (12th); Jonathan Reid in the men's triple jump (14th) and Elias Hakansson in the men's hammer (16th).
Men - The No. 2 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team collected five wins on its way to a first-place tie in the team standings Saturday at the John McDonnell Invitational in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks were paced by two wins by Tarik Batchelor in the long jump and triple jump. At the end of the meet, the Razorbacks and No. 22 Minnesota were tied atop the scoreboard with 137 points each. Arkansas also had first-place performances from Akheem Gauntlett at 200 meters, Marek Niit at 400 meters and Anthony May II in the high jump. Through the first four weeks of the outdoor season, Kemoy Campbell still leads the NCAA at 5,000 meters with his time of 13:32.82 at the Stanford Invitational in March. Arkansas next travels to Eugene, Ore., for a dual meet with Oregon at Hayward Field. Women - The No. 12 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team racked up eight event wins Saturday at the John McDonnell Invitational in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks collected wins from Martine Borge at 800 meters, Grace Heymsfield at 1,500 meters, Kaitlin Flattmann at 3,000 meters, Gwendolyn Flowers in the 400-meter hurdles, Jessica Kamilos in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Kirsten Hesseltine in the high jump, Tamara Myers in the triple jump and the team’s 4x400-meter relay. In the overall team scoring, Arkansas finished in second place with 148 points. Through the first four weeks of the outdoor season, the Razorbacks have NCAA-leading marks from Sparkle McKnight at 400 meters (52.17) and Makeba Alcide in the heptathlon (5,882 points). Arkansas will next compete April 18-20 at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.
Auburn enjoyed a successful weekend that included four event wins and multiple new personal bests … Auburn sophomore thrower Valentina Muzaric won her second-straight shot put title with a top throw of 56-1.75 … The mark by Muzaric improves upon her Auburn record … She now owns the top three throws in program history … In the women's hammer throw Daina Levy finished third with a top throw of 182-8 (55.67m), which came on her sixth and final attempt … Tori Nwadiogbu was fourth with a career-best throw of 178-4 (54.35m) to improve upon her previous mark by more than 15 feet … DJ Smith earned the win in the men’s high jump with clearance at 7-0.50 (2.15m) … In the women’s pole vault, freshman Jessie Johnson finished first by clearing 12-11.5 (3.95m) … The mark ranks third in Auburn history to give the Argyle, Texas native the top three performances on the program list … Senior Jeremy Hardy set a new personal best in the men’s 100 meters with his third-place run in 10.34 seconds … The mark shaves nearly a full tenth off his previous best set last week at the Tiger Track Classic … In the men’s 200 meters, Harry Adams took the title in 20.90 into a head wind of -1.9 … Hardy was fourth in 21.13, his second personal best of the day … The Tigers are in action next when they host the second and final home meet of the year, the War Eagle Invitational, April 19-20 at Hutsell-Rosen Track.
The Florida track & field teams were off last weekend after two grueling weekends of competition at the Texas Relays and Pepsi Florida Relays. The Florida women’s 4x400-meter relay closed the 69th Annual Pepsi Florida Relays in stunning fashion, breaking the Florida school record in 3:27.43 to claim the collegiate-leading time for the second week in a row. The relay team of Robin Reynolds, Lanie Whittaker, Destinee Gause and Ebony Eutsey etched their names in Gator history, finishing as the top collegians in the event behind professional team One Goal Athletics in 3:24.58. The men’s 4x400-meter relay also turned in a runner-up finish at the Pepsi Florida Relays, crossing the line as the top collegians in the race at 3:04.39. The Gators still hold the top time in the NCAA from their race in Austin at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays (3:02.65). Florida’s Najee Glass and Marija Vucenovic were honored by the Southeastern Conference as the rookie duo swept SEC Freshman of the Week honors two weeks ago. Glass ran a personal best of 45.71 in the men’s 400 meters at the Pepsi Florida Relays, finishing second overall in the event. The freshman currently leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in the men’s 400 meters. Glass also ran the opening leg of the Florida men’s 4x400-meter relay, which finished as the top collegiate team in a time of 3:04.39 at the Pepsi Florida Relays, currently fourth in the NCAA. Glass is a member of the nation’s leading 4x400-meter relay that put forth a time of 3:02.65 at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, presented by State Farm. Vucenovic won her second crown in as many meets with her Pepsi Florida Relays title in the women’s javelin. In just her second collegiate competition, Vucenovic threw 55.43m/181-10 at the Pepsi Florida Relays to lead the nation in the event. The freshman, who also captured the women’s javelin title at the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays to earn her SEC Women’s Freshman of the Week, leads the nation by nearly five feet, bettering second-ranked Lauren Kenney of Penn State (53.93m/176-11). Vucenovic is the only collegian to eclipse 180 feet this year and her throw goes down as third-best in Florida program history. The Gators return home this weekend to compete in the sixth annual Tom Jones Memorial Classic. The single-day meet begins at 12 p.m. ET Saturday, April 20.
Men - The 12th-ranked Bulldogs completed an exceptional weekend of performances during the Bulldog Decathlon and the Spec Towns National Team Invitational in Athens over the weekend. True freshman Maicel Uibo swept the USTFCCCA National Male Athlete of the Week and SEC Field Athlete of the Week and SEC Freshman of the Week honors following his record-breaking win in the decathlon. He completed his first collegiate decathlon by breaking an 11-year-old school record with a world-leading tally of 8,223 points. This Olympic A-standard and World IAAF Championships qualifying score is No. 11 on the all-time NCAA list and eighth for a non-wind-aided score. Uibo highlighted his 10 events by winning four of them, including the long jump and the discus. In the long jump, he soared 25 feet, 8 inches, which is ranked eighth nationally and sixth in school history with the best effort for the Bulldogs since 1998. Sophomore Garrett Scantling also scored a career-best tally of 7,824, which ranks fourth nationally, to earn runner-up honors. The Bulldogs had a pair of throwers reach 62 feet to go 1-2 in the shot put. Junior Caleb Whitener had a season-best toss of 62-7.75 to win while sophomore Nick Vena reached a career-long distance of 62-5.25 to take second. With 800-meter run specialist Charles Grethen jumpstarting the group, senior Daniel Grass won the 800 with a personal-best time of 1:49.46. Sophomore Drew Branch also picked up a victory after clocking the fastest time of his career (50.60) in the 400 hurdles, which puts him No. 5 on the national list. Also on the track, junior Johnathan Smith scored a second-place finish in the 100 with a time of 10.23, which is the second-fastest finish of his career. In addition, Charlie Sparks won the steeplechase with a 9:43.23 and freshman Maurice Freeman jumped 6-10.75 to take third in the high jump. Georgia heads to Auburn, Ala., for the War Eagle Invitational and to Walnut, Calif., for the Mt. SAC Relays during the coming week. Women - The 12th-ranked Lady Bulldogs posted five outright victories and a series of season and personal-best performances during the Bulldog Heptathlon and the Spec Towns National Team Invitational in Athens over the weekend. Perhaps the most convincing showing came from true freshman sprinter Shaunae Miller. Miller opened her outdoor career in the 200-meter dash and left with the nation’s fastest time this year. She clocked a 22.41 to win by more than a half second with the fastest wind-aided (3.1 wind) time in the world this year and second fastest overall. This is the third-fastest time in school history and the fastest for the Georgia women since 1999. Miller also ran the third leg on the winning 4x100 relay team as the Lady Bulldogs finished in 44.25. This is the 12th-best time in the nation this year. Freshman Briana Vaughn, who ran a leg on the 4x100 relay, also won the 100 after crossing the finish line in 11.46. Senior Lucie Ondraschkova established five new personal bests, including her total score of 5,701, to win the Bulldog Heptathlon and earn SEC Field Athlete of the Week honors. Her score moves her to No. 3 on UGA’s all-time top-10 list and to No. 5 on the NCAA performance list, while also topping Makeba Alcide’s facility record of 5,646 set at the 2011 SEC Championships. Ondraschkova is also No. 10 on the IAAF world list after scoring the top tally for the Lady Bulldogs since 2005. She tallied four event wins during the competition, including all three on the second day. In the 1500, sophomore Carly Hamilton won the 800 after completing her laps in 2:08.44. Also of note, freshman Chanice Porter took a single attempt in the long jump as she continues her training and finished second with a mark of 20-4.50, which is ranked in the top 20 nationally and is tied for No. 10 in school history. A couple Lady Bulldog performances did not equal wins, but continued to show the program's progress. Freshman Leontia Kallenou and senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier both hit 6 feet in the high jump and sophomore Morgann Leleux reached 14-2 in the pole vault. Junior Elizabeth Tepe also had a personal-best mark of 195-2 to take second in the hammer. Georgia heads to Auburn, Ala., for the War Eagle Invitational and to Walnut, Calif., for the Mt. SAC Relays during the coming week.
Men - Kentucky enjoyed one of the best total team performances of the season at the "Kentuckiana" Border Battle on Saturday. Kentucky and Louisville defeated Notre Dame and Indiana 103-97. Kentucky and Louisville won the event for the second time. Commonwealth and Hoosierland are now tied 2-2 in the all-time event series. Ten Wildcats claimed event titles on Saturday. Raymond Dykstra started the day with a meet-record javelin throw of 63.51 meters / 208'04". Andrew Evans also set a meet record en route to the discus title as his top throw went 59.62 meters / 195'07". Evans and Dykstra, both 2012 outdoor All-Americans, continue to enjoy strong outdoor seasons as their top 2013 marks rank fourth and ninth in the discus and javelin respectively nationally as of Saturday evening. Bradley Szypka won the men's shot put with a top throw of 17.81 meters / 58'05.25". Kadeem Kushimo enjoyed a career-afternoon winning both the 100 and 200 meters. He crossed the line at 10.56 in the 100 and a meet-record 20.88 in the 200. Matt Hillenbrand led wire-to-wire in the men's 1,500 meters to post a personal best time of 3:46.92 while competing in his hometown. Adam Kahleifeh also ran a PR time of 3:49.30. Keffri Neal won the 800 meters with a PR time of 1:49.41, while Robert Scharold placed third with a personal best time of his own (1:50.84). Neal also leads the SEC at 1,500 meters this season. Keith Hayes won both the 110-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles. Luis Orta won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:00.94, and Mackay Wilson took third in the same race with a time of 9:04.27. Those performances rank third and fifth in the SEC respectively. Kentucky will host the first outdoor meet on the UK campus in over a decade, the Heart of the Bluegrass Classic, on Saturday, April 20. Women - Kentucky enjoyed one of the best total team performances of the season at the "Kentuckiana" Border Battle on Saturday. Kentucky and Louisville defeated Notre Dame and Indiana 101-99. Kentucky and Louisville won the event for the second time. Commonwealth and Hoosierland are now tied 2-2 in the all-time event series. Competing for the first time since breaking the UK freshman discus record two weeks ago in an event-winning performance at the Texas Relays, Rebecca Famurewa bettered the mark on Saturday. The freshman thrower set the Border Battle meet record reaching 57.09 meters / 187'04" to claim the event title. Famurewa's throw makes her the No. 2 discus thrower in school history, just four inches off the program record. Tamyah Pipkin became the third fastest Wildcat ever at 200 meters as she won race with a time of 23.67. Kayla Parker defended her 100-meter hurdles title with a meet record performance 13.28, while Devinn Cartwright and Danielle Sampley took third and fourth in the race respectively. Cartwright's time of 14.08 was a personal best. Keilah Tyson and Tamyah Pipkin went 1-2 in the 100 meters with times of 11.73 and 11.85 respectively. The women's 4x100-meter relay team of Pipkin, Morganne Phillips, Kayla Parker and Keilah Tyson defended its Border Battle title as Tyson crossed the finish line at 45.04. Cally Macumber and Chelsea Oswald posted respective PR times of 4:19.33 and 4:19.99 in the 1,500 meters. Those times rank first and third in the SEC respectively, while the duo also owns the top two 5,000-meter performances in the conference this season. Kentucky will host the first outdoor meet on the UK campus in over a decade, the Heart of the Bluegrass Classic, on Saturday, April 20.
Men - The Tigers tallied 140 points during Saturday’s five-team scored meet as they defended their team title at the third-annual Battle on the Bayou held at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium. Trailing the Tigers were Penn State (124) in second place, Arizona State (119) in third place, Connecticut (117) in fourth place and Mississippi State (90) in fifth place in the final men’s team standings at the Battle on the Bayou. Setting the pace for the Tigers during Saturday’s Battle on the Bayou were junior Shermund Allsop, sophomore Aaron Ernest and freshman Darrell Bush as each claimed multiple event titles during the competition. They followed the Lady Tigers with a title of their own in the men’s 4x100-meter relay while teaming with senior Damar Forbes for a narrow victory over Arizona State. With Forbes leading off, Ernest on the second leg, Bush on the third leg and Allsop running anchor, the Tigers crossed the finish line in 39.61 and a split-second ahead of the 39.69 by the Sun Devils for the crown. Bush set a lifetime PR in the 400-meter dash for the second week in a row as he surged into the lead with 40 meters to go and crossed the finish line in 46.15 for the No. 7-ranked performance in the NCAA for the year. Bush surged ahead of sophomore teammate Quincy Downing on the homestretch as Downing followed in second place with his run of 46.56. Ernest followed Bush’s effort by winning the 100-meter dash in the next event on the track with a wind-legal 10.32 (+1.1) ahead of Gabriel Mvumvure (10.42) of the Tiger Olympians. Allsop then added a win in the 200 meters by the narrowest of margins as he posted a wind-aided run of 20.95 (+2.7) to finish just two one-thousandths of a second ahead of the 20.95 by Arizona State’s Ryan Milus in the race. The Tigers will play host to the LSU Alumni Gold meet this weekend as the competition is set to run Saturday at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium in Baton Rouge. Women - Sophomore Tori Bliss smashed LSU’s 19-year-old school record in the shot put and senior Kimberlyn Duncan sprinted to a strong seasonal-best time in the 200-meter dash to lead the Lady Tigers to a defense of their team title at the third-annual Battle on the Bayou held Saturday at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium. Bliss stole the show with her victory as she uncorked a lifetime personal record of 55 feet, 11 inches to win the shot put crown with the NCAA’s No. 8-ranked shot put performance in 2013. The sophomore from Portage, Ind., took down the 19-year-old shot put school record of 54-6 ½ previously set by Lady Tiger great Danyel Mitchell in 1994. Bliss, who entered the meet with an outdoor PR of 51-7 set as a freshman last year and a lifetime PR of 52-11 set during the indoor season this year, let loose a throw of 55-11 in the third round Saturday as she eclipsed Mitchell’s school record by 16 ½ inches. Duncan followed by winning the 200-meter crown while taking her second title in as many weeks at the Battle on the Bayou. While opening her outdoor season with a run of 23.26 last weekend, Duncan took the title on Saturday with a run of 22.82 (-0.4) for the fifth-fastest wind-legal performance in the World this spring. Duncan also ranks No. 4 in the NCAA under all conditions and No. 2 in the NCAA among wind-legal times as she is off to a fast start in defense of her NCAA Outdoor crown. For her performance, she was named the SEC Women’s Runner of the Week for the fourth time in 2013 and 11th time during her Lady Tiger career on Tuesday. The Lady Tigers scored 188 points to defend their team title at the Battle on the Bayou as they were followed by Penn State (139) in second place, Arizona State (134) in third place and Mississippi State (96) in fourth place in the women’s team standings. The LSU women are now a perfect 7-0 in dual meet competitions in 2013. They will play host to the LSU Alumni Gold meet this weekend as the competition is set to run Saturday at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium in Baton Rouge.
Men - Ole Miss will host its second straight home meet this coming Saturday with the Mississippi Open at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex. The No. 11 nationally ranked Rebel men had a strong outing this past weekend at the Ole Miss Invitational, led by senior Isiah Young and sophomore Sam Kendricks. Young turned in a spectacular day of sprinting with a 100-200 double victory on Saturday, clocking two of the world’s best wind-legal times this year. Young defeated fellow Olympian and NCAA 100 meter leader Anaso Jobodwana of Jackson State and Missouri standout Markesh Woodson to win the 100 with a season-best time of 10.14. That time ranks him tied for third in the NCAA and in the world this year. He then blew away the competition with a 20.50 in the 200 meters, which is the second-best wind-legal time in the world this year and fifth-best for all conditions. It is second-best in the NCAA and the No. 1 wind-legal mark in the college ranks this year. Kendricks set a facility record with his clearance of 18-1 in his eighth straight regular-season pole vault victory. He is currently the world leader with a mark of 19-0.75 at the Texas Relays. Freshman Onyi Afoaku also claimed a pair of victories on Saturday, winning the shot put and discus competitions. Afoaku moved to No. 2 in the school record books with a season-best shot put of 56-10.75 and also won the discus with a mark of 167-7. He is the top-ranked SEC freshman in the discus (179-3) and ranks second among SEC freshmen in the shot. The following Rebels rank among the NCAA’s best this year: Kendricks in the pole vault (1st, 19-0.75), Young in the 200m (2nd, 20.50), Young in the 100m (3rd, 10.14), the 4x400m relay squad (26th, 3:09.27), Benjamin Lapane in the javelin (42nd, 216-5), Afoaku in the discus (46th, 179-3) and Morris Kersh in the triple jump (47th, 50-0.75). Women - Ole Miss will host its second straight home meet this coming Saturday with the Mississippi Open at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex. Junior Kayleigh Skinner set a school record in the 5,000 meters to lead the way last weekend at the Ole Miss Invitational. Skinner’s time of 16:39.63 bested her former teammate Logan Waites’ previous record of 16:48.64. Haley Cutright was right behind Skinner with a time of 16:44.70 in her first ever attempt at that distance in outdoor track. Skinner also broke the school record in the 10,000 meters earlier this year. Fellow distance runner Anne Threlkeld, a senior from Oxford, Miss., ran a personal-best 10:39.91 to win the 3,000-meter steeplechase, which moves her up to No. 3 in the school record books. Overall, the Rebel women had four victories at the home meet, including Asia Cooper in the 100 (11.82) and the 4x100-meter relay team (46.00). The following Rebels rank among the NCAA’s best this year: Fabia McDonald in the heptathlon (18th, 5,241), Marci Morman in the triple jump (20th, 41-8.5), Cutright in the 3000m steeplechase (21st, 10:21.60), Mary Ashton Nall in the heptathlon (22nd, 5,205), Allegra Wells in the long jump (28th, 20-2.5), the 4x100m relay team (32nd, 45.27), Taryn Hartfield in the 100m hurdles (36th, 13.53), Shari Russell in the long jump (39th, 19-11.75) and Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen in the 400m hurdles (43rd, 59.76).
Capturing 19 Top 3 finishes, the Mississippi State track and field team will return home from the Battle on the Bayou with a collection of quality performances. Highlighted by Nathan Arnett’s win in the 400-meter hurdles (51.26), the Bulldogs gained 90 points on the day to finish fifth. Similarly, the MSU women also posted 90 points, placing them in fourth. Both LSU squads claimed team wins at Bernie Moore Track Stadium on Saturday, the men with 140 points and the women with 179. The 13th-ranked Maroon and White men were led by strong showings in the field, as A.J. Ward long jumped 23-05.50 to boast a second-place finish, followed by teammates Jason Harper and Jarrett Samuels who tied for third after jumping 21-10.50. Harper’s momentum continued as he added points for the Bulldogs, leaping 49-09.00 in the triple jump to finish third. Later in the day, Marcus Jackson cleared 7-01.00 in the high jump, earning a second-place finish. The junior entered the competition as the second-ranked high jumper in the NCAA. Freshman Scottie Hearns helped pace the men on the track, finishing right behind Arnett in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking a 51.27. On the women’s side, Jody-Ann Muir and Kanishia Carey posted top speeds for the Lady Bulldogs. Muir’s time of 53.25 placed her second in the 400-meter dash, while Carey finished third in the 800-meter run, turning in a 2:11.24. Freshman pole vaulter Megan Walker garnered a second-place performance after she cleared 12-09.00. Ebony Brinker and Alyssa Hall also saw Top 3 finishes in their respective events. Brinker’s 40-08.25 landed her third in the triple jump and Hall cleared 5-07.25 in the high jump. Dudley’s 4x400-meter relay teams earned a pair of third-place finishes as well, as the Lady Bulldog quartet comprised of Muir, Ste’yce McNeil, Brittney Covington and Ocian Archer clocked a 3:40.11. The men’s foursome posted a 3:06.86 in the event. Tavaris Tate, Daundre Barnaby, Brandon McBride and Randy Patterson’s time on Saturday was just over a second more than their season-best 3:05.35, a time that ranks fifth in the NCAA. MSU track and field will stay on the road next weekend, traveling to Oxford for the Mississippi Open.
The Mizzou men and women were down in Oxford, MS, for the Ole Miss Invitational last weekend, and came out with some memorable performances from the Tigers' first multi-events competition. Sophomore Katrine Haarklau took the win in the women's heptathlon, earning three event wins and three new PRs in the process. Her final score of 5,374 puts her at No. 12 in the nation, No. 6 in the SEC, and No. 7 on the All-Time Top Ten list for Mizzou. Fellow-sophomore Ser Whitaker also had an impressive weekend, finishing 2nd in the men's decathlon with a final score of 6,865 for a 1,233 point PR. He earned PRs in nine out of the ten events, and had three individual event wins. He currently sits at No. 4 in the SEC and No. 7 on the All-Time Top Ten list. Sophomore Jill Rushin continued her string of PR performances, throwing 49.32m (161-9.25) to take the win in the discus. Other event wins came from junior Kyle Wessel, who hit a PR of 5.10m (16-8.75) in the pole vault, and sophomore Jonathan Ilori, who jumped 15.32m (50-3) to win the men's triple jump competition. Freshman Markesh Woodson matched up against some of the best sprinters in the nation in a field stacked with four of the top 20 in current rankings. He finished third overall in 10.31. Rounding out the meet for the Tigers was the women's distance squad, who emerged with huge PRs in the 5k including a 4th place finish by freshman Courtney Brown in 17:05.21. The Tigers will split up this week, with a distance contingent heading to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, CA, and the rest of the squad up to Iowa for the Iowa Musco Twilight.
The Gamecocks traveled to Athens, Ga., for the Spec Towns National Team Invitational over the weekend. Overall, the Gamecocks posted 29 top-five finishes over the two-day meet. Junior high jumper Jeannelle Scheper made an immediate impact in her 2013 outdoor debut on Saturday. Two weeks removed from her CARIFTA gold medal, Scheper reset her own school record with a clearance of 6-02.00 (1.88m). Scheper. the top collegiate finisher, was only bested by her fellow St. Lucian Levern Spencer. Sophomore Meredith Mill and the men’s 4x100-meter relay posted South Carolina wins on Saturday. Mill ran a personal-best 4:35.11 in the 1,500-meter run to post the victory. The quartet of freshman Kendall Kee, junior Chris Royster, senior Andre Carter and sophomore Eric Winfrey registered a season best 40.11 to take first place. Continuing his solid individual indoor season, Royster collected two top-five finishes with two season-best runs. In the 100-meter dash, Royster finished fifth with a time of 10.42. Later in the day Royster returned to run a 20.98, capturing second place in the 200-meter dash. Freshman Jermaine Collier had a strong weekend as well, finishing in the top four of both men’s hurdle events. Running a collegiate best 14.21 in the 110-meter hurdles, Collier took third place. In the 400-meter hurdles, Collier took fourth, running his second collegiate best of the day at 52.56. The Gamecock women’s relay teams placed second in both of their events on Saturday. The 4x100-meter team of freshman Tyler Brockington, sophomore Erika Rucker, junior Vashti Bandy and freshman Alexis Murphy clocked in at a season-best 45.01. The men’s 4x400-meter relay also posted a second-place finish, with Carter, Collier, freshman Dondre Echols and junior Clayton Gravesande posted a season-best 3:10.00. Junior pole vaulter Petra Olsen finished third in the invitational section, clearing a season-best 13-06.25 (4.12m). Sophomore vaulter Megan Wall took second in the women’s pole vault section, matching her personal best of 12-05.50 (3.80m). South Carolina takes the weekend off before head to the 119th Penn Relays April 25-27.
The University of Tennessee track & field team hosted the 47th annual Sea Ray Relays last week at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium. In a meet with over 60 teams and 1,200 athletes, the Big Orange dominated the headline events claiming eight event titles and 30 top-five finishes. With Penn Relays approaching, Tennessee will only send out 35 athletes to compete this weekend. A group of 10 throwers will travel west to California for a series of four meets in three, while the rest of the travel party will head to the state capital for the Vanderbilt Invitational. Men - The biggest mark of the 47th Sea Ray Relays came on Saturday night under the lights at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium as sophomore thrower Matthew Hoty jumped to the top of both the NCAA East Qualifier list and the SEC’s performance list in the men’s shot put. Hoty recorded a push of 62-feet, 8.75-inches (19.12m) on his sixth and final throw to win the men’s invitational section at propel himself to No. 3 in the nation with his new lifetime best. Thee Vol pole vaulters placed in the top four of the men’s invitational section, as freshman Jake Blankenship won the event with a mark of 18-0.5 (5.50m). His teammates Tyler Porter and Chase Brannon both hit 17-4.5 (5.30m) to finish third and fourth, respectively. The Vol 4x100m relay, which currently has the nation’s 12th-best time (39.75), comfortably won the event at Sea Ray Relays, crossing the line in 40.17. Reggie Juin, Jamol James, Jarael Nelvis and Arnez Hardnick make up that group. Hardnick had a big weekend, doubling up in the 200m and 100m Showcase races, where he finished third (21.33w) and eighth (10.87), respectively. In the 10,000m, Vols Peter Okwera and Stephen Derlath placed second and sixth, respectively. Okwera (30:10.54) and Derlath (30:37.60) both ran PRs in the event. Women - Lady Vol senior Nijgia Snapp highlighted the action for the Tennessee women, winning the Sea Ray Showcase 800-meter race with a season-best time of 2 minutes, 5 seconds. The Mays Landing, N.J., product then anchored the Lady Vols to a win in the 4x800m relays with a time of 8:42. 73. After a Senior Day presentation, Snapp became the sixth Lady Vol in Sea Ray Relays history to win the Tony Wilson Memorial Trophy, which is given each year to the most outstanding male and female athlete in both the running and field events at the meet. Snapp’s 800m time of 2:05 currently ranks ninth in the country and fourth in the conference. In addition to Snapp’s contributions, the Lady Vols carded three other first-place finishes on the final day of the meet. Senior sprinter Kia Jackson finished first in the 100m Showcase (11.56), while freshman Felicia Brown won the 400m Showcase (53.64). Tennessee’s distance medley relay team – comprised of Amber Zimmerman, Julia Petree, Kianna Ruff and Kelsey Kane – crossed the line in first at 11:44.88. In the field events, the Lady Vols had two pole vaulters go over 13-feet, as Linda Hadfield and Erin Champion both hit the 13-1.5 mark to place fourth and fifth, respectively. Freshman thrower Cassie Wertman also notched a fourth-place finish in the shot put (50-7.25).
Texas A&M will travel to Baton Rouge this weekend to participate in the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational. This past week the Aggie women won the John McDonnell Invitational while the A&M men finished third. The Aggies totaled 11 victories in the meet hosted by Arkansas, six for the men and five by the women. In totaling 189 points, the No. 3 A&M women defeated No. 12 Arkansas (148), No. 1 Kansas (91) as well as No. 24 Oklahoma (66) and Oklahoma State (31). Following a tie for first place between No. 2 Arkansas and No. 22 Minnesota with 137 points apiece, the No. 1 Aggie men scored 129 points with Oklahoma (73), Kansas (62) and Oklahoma State (32) rounding out the field. Men - Victories for the A&M men included Sam Humphreys (252-2 javelin), Dalton Rowan (185-7 discus), Ameer Webb (10.08w 100m), Henry Lelei (3:44.78 1500m) and both relays, the 4x100 (39.44) and 4x400 (3:06.88). Webb cruised in the 100 for a windy 10.08 season best and he led off the Aggie 4x100 victory. Humphreys remains undefeated in the javelin this season as he topped the field by 35 feet. Rowan answered a challenge in the discus to register a win with a 185-7 mark. After setting a world-leading mark in the steeplechase last week, Lelei set a career best of 3:44.78 to win the 1,500 meters. A school record in the hammer was established by Casey Strong, who placed third with a mark of 201-5 (61.40). In sweeping the relay events A&M held off challenges by the Razorbacks in each race, 39.44 to 39.51 in the sprint relay and 3:06.88 to 3:07.20 in the 4x400. Women - Winners for the Aggie women included Shelbi Vaughan (185-4 discus), Donique’ Flemings (13.15w 100H), Olivia Ekponé (11.27w 100m), Kamaria Brown (52.21 400m) and Kendall Munoz (141-3 javelin). The A&M women also turned in six runner-up efforts. Brown set a career best time in defeating the current collegiate leader in the 400 in Sparkle McKnight as well as the reigning SEC champion in Regina George. While Vaughan remains undefeated among collegiate competition in the discus, she set a career best in the shot put with a 51-9 ¼ (15.75) to place second to Oklahoma’s Tia Brooks (60-4/18.39), the indoor collegiate record holder. Olivia Ekponé produced a windy 11.27 victory in the 100 and finished second in the 200 with a windy 23.19. Flemings dominated the 100 hurdle field with a season best mark of 13.15 that was wind-aided. Munoz claimed her second win of the season in leading an Aggie 1-2-3-5 finish in the javelin. Career best efforts had Brea Garrett (170-0 hammer) and Sophie Blake (2:10.56 800m) each finishing second.
The Vanderbilt track and field team competed at the Sea Ray Relays (Tennessee) and the Spec Towns National Team Invitational (Georgia) last weekend. A trio of Vanderbilt's top distance/mid-distance runners went to the Sea Rays. Kristen Findley and Hannah Jumper finished second and third, respectively, in the 1,500 meters. Findley clocked a time of 4:29.04, while Jumper crossed the line in 4:34.11. They were the top two finishers running for an NCAA institution in the race. Sara Barron earned a fifth place finish in the 800 meters, posting a time of 2:11.29. Tennessee's Amirah Johnson won the 800 with a mark of 2:09.11. Jennifer Cannon scored 5,124 points in her first collegiate heptathlon. After winning the 100 meter hurdles and 200 meters on Friday, the freshman placed fifth in the long jump (5.26 meters/17' 3.25"), third in the javelin (28.89 meters/94' 9") and second in the 800 meters (2:23.47). She placed second in the heptathlon. Faith Washington won the 400 meter hurdles in 59.00 seconds. The time is not only a personal best for the freshman, but the third-best 400 hurdles time in program history. This weekend, the Commodores will send Liz Anderson to the Mt. SAC Relays, while the rest of the team will host the Vanderbilt Invitational.