The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

March Closes Out in Style

Apr 1st, 2013
4:44 pm PDT

PlaceholderNow 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 Relays

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!


Stanford Invitational

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.


Raleigh Relays

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.


Cal/Neva Champs

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

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12 Responses to “March Closes Out in Style”

  1. Brandon says:

    Seeing Doc Patton run live in person for the past two weeks shows he is ready to retire on top. I believe this is going to be a career year for Doc also Silmon is looking better than ever. The NCAA 100 is going to be crowded

    • Anderson says:

      Note that Patton’s 9.75 makes him #6 all time under any conditions…

      • CHill says:

        True … Then again Nesta Carter’s 9.78 makes him #5 all time legal, but I’m not worried about him getting on the podium …

        • Anderson says:

          I agree, I wouldn’t even bet on Patton making the US team, maybe the relay pool again. But still a significant milestone none the less.

          • Waynebo says:

            If Doc joins the 9.7 club – and the way he’s running it looks very possible – he should make the team. But to PR and go 9.7 at 35? Who does that?! smh… I don’t even want to open that discussion…

          • CHill says:

            The last “old” sprinter making significant improvement that comes to mind is Linford Christie .. Before that Donovan Bailey .. Can’t think off anyone recent off the top of my head ..

          • CHill says:

            Very significant .. And I’d like to see him do it again .. Physically he’s always had the tools .. This sport however is as much mental as physical .. And in certain settings there are athletes that “change” competitively .. So far he’s been one of those ..

          • Waynebo says:

            Linford Christie also ended up testing positive…

            I don’t want to believe that about Doc. I want to believe that at 35, he’s finally figured “it” out and has learned to train and eat in a way that has preserved his body. Maybe the mental hurdles that prevented him from running faster before have been cleared. Unfortunately, history doesn’t support that. Doc gets the benefit of the doubt for now – innocent until proven guilty.

          • CHill says:

            Well, like I said, I’ve seen Doc run like this before .. I think his not performing at this level without wind has more to do with mental than physical … And not just him, several athletes … Look at guys like Tyson and Blake who have less “physical” when you look at them than someone like Doc … Yet look at what they accomplish … History is full of athletes that “should have” ..

    • CHill says:

      I’ve seen Doc start off the season well before .. If you remember back in ’09 when he was training with Tyson he looked really good .. Made the team for Berlin, made the final, and then 10.34 .. Finished the season with a 9.89 … Doc’s been fast before … Issue is how well he competes in hot traffic …

  2. Waynebo says:

    The most impressive thing I see on here is Doc Patton’s margin of victory. .17 in a 100m race is pretty large against sprinters that we would expect to be on his level. He looked really good indoors, apparently he’s stepping it up to the next level outdoors as well. He will definitely be one to watch this season… but still no relays – I don’t care if he runs 9.6 😛

    • CHill says:

      I like the squad we ran last year … Only change I might would consider is at lead off … Someone comes along well under 9.90 with some consistency I would consider for lead off … The rest of the squad can stay as is …

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