Now that’s the way to end a month of track and field – with some stellar competition! The Texas Relays officially signals the start of the relay season and went off in fine style. As is often the case, the it was the hot meet of the weekend – and as usual speed was on display. Take a look at the following results and comments.
On the other side of the country, the Stanford Invitational saw tons of very good high school action with a smattering of high level elite competition thrown in. Scanning the results sheets I also noted some interesting/outstanding performances from several other meets this weekend. Following is my list of performances that made me say “hmmmm”.
Texas A&M 38.64, Florida 38.99 – Two perennial NCAA finalists start out the season under 39.00. Expect to see both in this year’s final once again.
Texas A&M 42.56 – The aggie women also threw down a scorcher. Running a time that could easily win the event at the NCAA Championships.
Jonathan Cabral 13.33 (+2.6) – The former California high school champion got h his biggest collegiate win to date and marked himself as a contender for the national title. A serious surge late race carried him to the win.
Cameron Burrell, 10.07 (+3.2) – The son of former WR holder Leroy Burrell, the high school senior brought the crowd to its feet with his scintillating sprint. Yes it was wind aided, but the kid’s smooth acceleration and turnover left me believing that he’s capable without wind.
Ameer Webb, 10.14, Aaron Ernest 10.18 (+1.6)- The collegiate dash was dominated by a pair of sprinters better known for their results over 200 meters. Webb’s time was a PR and WL. Ernest’s mark was just off his personal best. Look for both to significantly drop their 200 meter bests this season.
Doc Patton 9.75, Wallace Spearmon 9.92, Mike Rodgers 9.93, Charles Silmon 9.94 (+4.2) – Not sure what to make of Patton’s time given the wind reading. I will say, however, that regardless of the wind, that mid race acceleration was the level that could make him competitive this year of he can repeat it when it matters. Nice run for Spearmon who was just under his PR 9.96 – now if he’ll just use that in the deuce. Rodgers looks recovered from last year’s injuries. Phenomenal breakthrough for Silmon if he can repeat with less wind.
Kimberlyn Duncan 11.06 (+2.8), Lauryn Williams, 11.02 (+2.3) – Great runs for both women. Duncan is going to need for her speed to be sharp to compete for a spot Moscow – and may need it against up and coming Aurielle Scott at NC’s. Williams looks to be attempting to regain the form that once made her very formidable in the big meets.
Florida 3:27.61 WL, Texas 3:27.65 – An outstanding race between two squads that have inserted themselves into the conversation for a potential title at the national championships. What makes this surprising is that neither squad has what one would call a major contender individually – though perhaps that will change.
Florida 3:02.65 WL , Texas AM 3:02.76 (Lendore 44.46 anchor) – Another outstanding race between two teams that met similarly indoors. Lendore won that one for A&M, but this time the Florida anchor held him off. This pair will go at it several times this year since both are in the SEC. I smell a potential sub 3:00 by seasons end – and Florida is running with 2 frosh and 2 soph!
Shalane Flanagan, 31:04.85 .8 WL, Kara Goucher, 31:46.64, Jordan Hasay, 32:46.68 – Flanagan appears to be in awesome early season shape. Even though she was only third here,I think Jordan Hasay may have found her race at this distance with a better than solid debut.
Georganne Moline 52.92/23.85 – Intermediate hurdler Moline had a nice cross training double showing decent speed and fitness.
Ashton Eaton 10.33 (+0.5) – Eaton continues to crank out superb times in speed events, which bodes well for more excellent opening days ahead in the Decathlon. He also had a long (26 ft area) foul in the long jump.
Brigetta Barrett 1.94m / 6′ 4.25" – Barrett is becoming very consistent/automatic at this level – bodes well for competition at higher heights. I expect to see her battling for a medal once again in Moscow.
Johnny Dutch, 13.77 (-0.7) / 46.97, 13.57 (+2.0) Heat – Nice cross training double for Dutch. Decent condition, but those hurdle times say his technique is very good. Hopefully that bodes well for his intermediate hurdling this year.
Rio de Janeiro
Usain Bolt 14.42 – Looks like Bolt’s session is progressing well running within .1 of his WB over 150 meters after opening the year with a pair of 46 second 400s (46.74/46.44).
Georgia Tech Invitational
Torrin Lawrence, 20.83 (+0.4) / 46.14 – Many have probably forgotten, but Lawrence was on the verge of being truly elite when he ran 45.03 in the 400 indoors in 2010 – faster than Kirani James that season. Injuries outdoors that year began to slow him down, and he’s been slowly working his way back to form. At his best he’s one of those long striding quartermilers that can do some damage. So nice to see him open his season well.
Remontay McClain 10.43 (+1.6), 20.71 (+0.7) – I’m sure some are saying "who", but this kid was double California high school sprint champ a couple seasons ago. Instead of going to a big school and playing football however, he chose to go to small, academic Azuza Pacific and stay in track. So keeping an eye on him and would love to see him end up with a solid sprint coach – John Smith is there in So Cal!
Next week’s top meets
We’re into April and hot meets will be coming fast and furious now. Here are what should be some of the hotter meets coming up next weekend!
Jim Click – Tucson
Sun Angel – Phoenix
Auburn Tiger – Auburn
Melbourne Classic – Australia
Florida Relays – Gainesville
Don Kirby – Albuquerque
Pepsi Team Invitational – Eugene
Rafer Johnson / Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational – Westwood