Day one of the Florida Relays was a hard act to follow, but the rest of the weekend managed to hold it’s own starting with Day Two in Florida. Focused on relay events the men’s 4×1 and the women’s 4×4 produced some outstanding times. In the 4×1 a Pure Athletics team of Mookie Salaam, Keston Bledman, Travis Padgett, and Nickel Ashmead went 38.64 to win ahead of host Florida’s 38.91. The winning time equaled the #3 time in the world while Florida became the #3 collegiate 4×1 on the season. Notable in 4th place was Star Athletics which featured Trell Kimmons to Justin Gatlin on the first two legs. Notable because that was the first half of last year’s World Championships squad, so they’re getting some work together early – potentially a good thing for US relay hopes this summer.
As good as that race was the women’s 4×4 was even better as a One Goal Athletics squad of Moushami Robinson, Novlene Williams Mills, Jenna Martin and Natasha Hastings scorched to a WL 3:24.12, well up on Pure Athletics team of Kelly Ann Baptiste, Debbie Ferguson McKenzie, Shalonda Solomon, and Francena McCorory in 3:28.07 – #2 time this year. The times were scorching, but even better was seeing Shalonda Solomon work the 400 again as it has to bode well for her 200 later this summer. Solomon had last year’s WL time in the deuce at 22.15 and looks like she’s working on improving that this year.
Missing from the relay action in Florida was Auburn who was busy hosting their own invitational. They took the day off in the relays, but there were some hot times in the sprints. Manteo Mitchell took a lap in 45.25 for the #2 time in the world and top time by an American so far this year. He came back to work on his speed with a 20.60 deuce in zero wind (+0.0). Jamaican Kerron Stewart got her season started nicely with an 11.18 (+0.8) 100 – the #2 time in the world behind the 11.10 turned in by Octavious Freeman in Florida. Sheniqua Ferguson went one better turning in a WL 22.64 in the deuce as the Tiger Classic had a nice series of sprint races.
On the distance side of things Stanford did was it always does – produce some early season leaders. Jackie Aronson ran 5000 meters in 15:18.31 to take the WL in that event, While Britain’s Lennie Waite ran a WL 9:48.35 in the steeplechase. Stanford also produce an =WL in the high jump as Brigitte Barrett leaped 1.95m / 6’ 4.75”. Stanford also saw a Dathan Ritzenhein appearance on the track as he won the 10000 in 28:21.48. Notable because Ritz has spent most of the last several seasons running on the roads. So will we see him attempting to make the team over 10000 this year?
Finally, there was a Jeshua Anderson citing in Arizona at the Sun Angel Classic as he became the 3rd hurdler to run under 49 seconds this year with his 48.88 win. Speaking of hurdlers, high school prep Devon Allen (Brophy Prep, Phoenix) turned in one outstanding set of performances at the Arcadia Invitational winning the 110H in a nation leading 13.52, the 300 hurdles, in a national leading 36.39, the 200 in 21.10 and the second leg on the winning 4×1 (41.15)! Not a bad days work for the young man.