A Record-Fest At The NCAA Indoor

ONE OF—if not, the—greatest NCAA Indoor NCAA Championships ever featured a flurry of speed that had serious implications for the recordbooks.

On the men’s side, there were World Records in the 400 (Michael Norman of USC) and 4×4 (Texas A&M), as well as an American & Collegiate Records in the 200 (Elijah Hall of Houston) and a CR in the 4×4 (USC).

Grant Holloway again came up big for FloridaERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE

For their part, the women checked in with an AR/CR in the 400 (Kendall Ellis of USC), CRs in the 60 (Aleia Hobbs of LSU) and 200 (Gabby Thomas of Harvard) and World/American Junior marks in the 400 (Sydney McLaughlin) & 60H (Tara Davis of Georgia).

But as always, the team battles loomed ever-large (click to read women’s coverage).

Men: Gators Defend

The 4×4 was the perfect culmination to the men’s meet, as any of four teams— Florida 34 , Texas Tech 28, USC 27, Houston 26—still had a chance to win the team title, and all had quartets entered.

Tech finished 2nd in the first of four sections, only to be DQed, leaving the remaining three to battle in section 4.

USC leadoff Zach Shinnick controlled the first leg with his 46.24, then was succeeded by Rai Benjamin with the fastest carry in indoor history, a fantastic 44.35. Versatile Grant Holloway (click to read sidebar) ran 44.91 for Florida, but slipped farther behind, almost 5m back with A&M on the shoulder in 3rd.

Ricky Morgan maintained the Trojan lead, his 45.66 holding a 3m gap as Michael Norman took off on the anchor with Florida 2nd and A&M 3rd.

Norman (click to read feature) ran a 44.52 leg, USC holding on for the 3:00.77, followed by A&M at 3:01.39 (Mylik Kerley splitting 44.51) and Florida at 3:01.43, the 3 fastest times in history.

The race and a “world best” went to USC and the WR to A&M, but 6 points allowed Florida to claim the team title by 3 over USC in an amazing finish to an epic meet.

About the apparent non-WR status of the USC mark: IAAF rules say all members of a record squad have to be eligible to represent the same country, and Benjamin ran for Antigua in the World Youth Champs 5 years ago, even though he is U.S.-born, and a citizen. With the IAAF having frozen transfers between nations, he’s still apparently not U.S.-eligible.

Said Trojan head Caryl Smith Gilbert, “I don’t care what anyone says. USC owns the World Record in the 4 x 400m relay. No four men in the history of the world have run faster indoors than the Trojans did tonight.”

The meet had begun with no clear team favorite and many pretenders; no team having enough likely points to squander scoring opportunities.

Friday’s vault provided the biggest first-day potential for scoring swings, and Texas Tech took the biggest hit as Brandon Bray and Drew McMichael failed to score.

On the other hand, the quality of the field was markedly better than in most recent years and Bray can hardly be faulted as his 9th place came with an =PR 18-½ (5.50) and McMichael would have needed to equal his indoor PR to score.

The event was won by Kansas junior Hussain Al Hizam, who scored three Saudi Arabian Records, topped by the winning 18-8¼ (5.70).

He defeated defending champ Chris Nilsen (2nd, 18-4½/5.60) and reigning outdoor champ Matt Ludwig (4th, 18-2½/5.55), with Virginia Tech’s Deakin Volz 3rd at 18-4½.

Shot winner Mostafa Hassan successfully defended his title with a 68-5¼ (20.86) throw. The Colorado State senior turned back Denzel Comenentia, whose 66-7 (20.29) gave Georgia’s field-dominated squad a better-than-expected start.

The last of the three Friday field events was the long jump, a key to Florida’s chances.

Williams won an amazing first-day long jump battleERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE

Grant Holloway, double titlist in the LJ and hurdles a year ago, jeopardized his chances by opening with two fouls. A third-round 26-1½ (7.96) advanced him to scoring position, and two stanzas later he moved to the lead with a 26-8¼ (8.13) effort.

Within 10 minutes he was running his hurdle heat, which he won in 7.58. Returning for the final round, Holloway fouled and then saw final jumper Will Williams of Texas A&M win with a PR 26-10½ (8.19).

Charles Brown garnered 6 big points for Texas Tech with his PR 26-7¾ (8.12), while Florida’s KeAndre Bates reached 25-11 (7.90) in 6th.

Two running finals, the 5000 and distance medley, concluded Day 1, with Syracuse’s XC champion Justyn Knight running a 14:14.47 to defeat Alabama’s Vincent Kiprop (14:15.01).

The DMR was won by Virginia Tech on the strength of Patrick Joseph’s 1:46.23 third leg, which broke open a tight race, giving the Tech squad some 10m on the field at the final exchange. The margin was enough for anchor Neil Gourley to run 3:58.64 (sixth-fastest of the anchors) and win by 3m in 9:30.76 over Notre Dame (9:31.22) and Oregon (9:31.45).

The 10 points for Tech kept it in the team battle with this strong showing, as the three long legs of the team were doubling back from earlier qualifying to Saturday’s mile final.

So at Friday’s end Virginia Tech held a slim lead with 16 points to Texas A&M’s 15½, Alabama and Florida trailing with 11 each.

• • •

Day 2 began with the weight throw, won by Penn State sophomore David Lucas with a world-leading 78-9¾ (24.02), making him the =No. 4 in collegiate history. Behind him came Louisiana–Monroe’s Alton Clay at 75-4 (22.96) and Josh Davis of NC State at 75-3¼ (22.94). Comenentia took 6th at 73-8 (22.45) to help Georgia’s cause, but perhaps not as much as hoped.

The Bulldogs scored 7 more in the heptathlon when Johannes Erm (5988 PR) took 4th and Kari Saluri (5781) finished 7th. Kentucky senior Tim Duckworth won the event with a 6188 score, giving him a British Record and making him the No. 4 collegiate scorer ever.

The day’s running events began with the mile, won comfortably by New Mexico’s defending champ Josh Kerr, whose 3:57.02 took the measure of Virginia Tech’s 2-4-7 placing by Vincent Ciattei (3:58.36), Joseph (4:00.39) and Gourley (4:00.64.)

Tech’s 15 points ran their total to 31, but finished their scoring opportunities.

The 60 found Elijah Hall (click to read feature) topping a strong field in 6.52, equal to the fastest collegiate time this year. He barely beat Auburn’s Raheem Chambers, while Texas Tech suffered a hit when Divine Oduduru took only 6th (6.62).

Georgia sprinters Cejhae Greene and Kendal Williams finished 4th (6.61) and 7th (6.65) to boost their team’s score to 25.

The 2-section 400 saw Auburn’s Akeem Bloomfield storm to a world-leading 44.86, the No. 5 time in world history. Teammate Nathon Allen ran 45.27 for 2nd but that eventually placed him only 5th.

Norman, running in lane 5 as Bloomfield had done, tore down the track at the gun at a pace which was bound to win big or lose bigger after splitting 21.33 at the halfway mark.

Building on his 2m advantage heading into the second lap, Norman pulled away, winning by 5m with a stunning WR 44.52 to break the 44.57 set by Kerron Clement in this meet 13 years ago.

Bloomfield was 2nd overall, with A&M’s Mylik Kerley taking 3rd (45.16 PR) and Houston’s Kahmari Montgomery 4th (45.24 PR).

Florida improved its score to 21 with Holloway’s hurdle win in 7.47, bettered all-time collegiately only by himself and Olympic gold medalist Omar McLeod.

The 800 was won in a CL 1:45.15 by UTEP’s Michael Saruni, the third-fastest collegiate time ever, but it came in one of the few events not to have a bearing on the team outcome.

The high jump was moving to its final stages as the 800 was running. USC’s Randall Cunningham, having PRed at 7-6 (2.29) and ahead of Texas Tech’s Trey Culver (2nd) and Alabama’s Shelby McEwen (3rd) on misses, crumpled into the pit on his first attempt at 7-7¼ (2.32).

After a long delay while he was attended to, he was taken off the field, later diagnosed as having broken both the tibia and fibula in his takeoff leg.

Georgia scored its final points with Keenon Laine 6th and Darius Carbin 7th, both at 7-2½ (2.20) to give the Bulldogs 32 points and the team lead.

The 200, some 90 minutes after the 60, featured a second-section battle between list leader Oduduru in lane 6 and qualifying leader Hall (20.26 PR) in 5.

Hall took command at the outset and won by two full meters in a stunning 20.02, an AR and CR which moved him to No. 2 on the all-time world list.

The race was Texas Tech’s last chance at big points and Oduduru and Andrew Hudson came through solidly, with 2nd (20.21) and 6th (20.73) place finishes to give Tech 28.

The 3000 and triple jump were the concluding events before the 4×4. The 3000 had no effect on the team outcome as Northern Arizona’s Andy Trouard followed up his 5th in the 5000 by outkicking the longer race’s winner Knight. Trouard ran 8:04.94 to Knight’s 8:05.76, with Arkansas’s Cameron Griffith 3rd in 8:06.52.

The triple jump found Bates closer to past form with his 54-8¼ (16.67). While it was not enough to hold off Texas’s O’Brien Wasome, who won with a PR 55-2¼ (16.82), combined with Clayton Brown’s 4th-place 53-7½ (16.34) Florida raced up 13 more points to boost to the lead with 34 going into the 4×4.


— NCAA MEN’S RESULTS —

College Station, Texas March 09–10 (200m banked)—

Teams (64 scored): 1. Florida 40; 2. USC 37; 3. Georgia 32; 4. Virginia Tech 31; 5. Texas A&M 29½; 6. Texas Tech 28; 7. Houston 26; 8. Auburn 24; 9. Alabama 22; 10. tie, Penn State & Syracuse 18.

60:1. Elijah Hall (Hous) 6.52 PR (=CL) (=13, x C); 2. **Raheem Chambers’ (Aub) 6.53 PR; 3. Demek Kemp (SCSt) 6.55 PR; 4. Cejhae Greene’ (Ga) 6.61 =PR; 5. Jaylen Bacon (ArSt) 6.62; 6. ***Divine Oduduru’ (TxT) 6.62.

200(2-section time final): 1. Hall 20.02 AR, CR, MR (old records 20.10 Wallace Spearmon [Arkansas] ’05) (WL) (2, 2 W); 2. Oduduru’ 20.21 (x, =10 W; x, =6 C); 3. *Rai Benjamin’ (USC-Ant) 20.34 NR;

4. *Jaron Flournoy (LSU) 20.55 =PR; 5. Ncincilili Titi’ (SC) 20.65; 6. *Andrew Hudson (TxT) 20.73.

Heats: III–1. Hall 20.26 PR (AL) (=7, x W; =4, =7 A; =5, =7 C).

400(2-section time final): 1. **Michael Norman (USC) 44.52 WR, AR, CR, MR (old records 44.57 Kerron Clement [Fla] ’05) (21.33/23.19); 2. **Akeem Bloomfield’ (Aub-Jam) 44.86 NR (WL) (5, 6 W; 4, 4 C) (21.29/23.57);

3. Mylik Kerley (TxAM) 45.16 PR (10, x A; 9, x C; 6, x AmC) (21.56/23.60; 4. *Kahmari Montgomery (Hous) 45.24 PR (8, x AmC); 5. ***Nathon Allen’ (Aub) 45.27 PR; 6. Nathan Strother (Tn) 45.67.

800: 1. **Michael Saruni’ (UTEP) 1:45.15 PR (CL) (x, 3 C) (MR) (53.11/ 52.04); 2. *Isaiah Harris (PennSt) 1:46.08 PR (5, x AmC) (52.92/53.16);

3. *Robert Heppenstall’ (WF) 1:46.88; 4. Daniel Kuhn (In) 1:47.37; 5. Abraham Alvarado (BYU) 1:47.55); 6. *Dejon Devroe (MsSt) 1:47.69 PR.

Mile: 1. **Josh Kerr’ (NM) 3:57.02 (26.71, 54.22, 1:54.38); 2. Vincent Ciattei (VaT) 3:58.36 PR (27.51, 55.04, 1:55.29);

3. Sam Prakel (Or) 3:58.59 (28.02, 55.70, 1:55.78); 4. Patrick Joseph (VaT) 4:00.39; 5. **Kasey Knevelbaard (SnUt) 4:00.57; 6. *Cole Rockhold (CoSt) 4:00.61.

Knight won the 5K and just missed in the 3ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE

3000: 1. Andy Trouard (NnAz) 8:04.94 (26.22, 55.27, 1:56.82); 2. *Justyn Knight’ (Syr) 8:05.76 (27.04, 55.78, 1:57.34);

3. **Cameron Griffith’ (Ar) 8:05.91 (26.49, 55.47, 1:56.89); 4. **Grant Fisher (Stan) 8:06.52; 5. Dillon Maggard (UtSt) 8:06.69; 6. *James West’ (Or) 8:06.94.

5000: 1. Knight’ 14:14.47 (27.54, 56.63, 2:00.48); 2. *Vincent Kiprop’ (Al) 14:15.01 (27.93, 57.23, 2:01.15); 3. Hassan Abdi’ (OkSt) 14:15.38 (27.52, 57.29, 2:01.11); 4. Mike Tate’ (SnUt) 14:15.67; 5. Trouard 14:16.39 PR; 6. *Rory Linkletter’ (BYU) 14:16.88.

60H: 1. **Grant Holloway (Fl) 7.47 (x, =3 C); 2. Antoine Lloyd (Nb) 7.60 PR; 3. Ashtyn Davis (Cal) 7.63 PR; 4. **Jovaine Atkinson’ (Lib) 7.72; 5. *Chad Zallow (Young) 7.72; 6. ***Trey Cunningham (FlSt) 7.74.

4 x 400(4-section time final): 1. USC 3:00.77 WB, CR (old records 3:01.98 USC ’18) (Zach Shinnick 46.24, Rai Benjamin’ 44.35, Ricky Morgan 45.66, Michael Norman 44.52);

2. Texas A&M 3:01.39 AR (old AR 3:01.96 National Team ’06 (2W) (Ilolo Izu 46.57, Robert Grant 44.83, Devin Dixon 45.48, Mylik Kerley 44.51);

3. Florida 3:01.43 (3W) (Fasasi’ 46.42, Holloway 44.91, Sawyers’ 45.36, Vedel’ 44.74); 4. Arkansas 3:05.14 (Ejiakuekwu’ 47.40, Mowatt’ 45.83, Stephen’ 46.45, Igbokwe 45.16); 5. Auburn 3:05.30 (Allen’ 45.00, Bloomfield’ 45.14); 6. LSU 3:05.31.

DisMed: 1. Virginia Tech 9:30.76 (Ciattei 2:57.47, Chiles 48.43, Joseph 1:46.23, Gourley’ 3:58.64); 2. Notre Dame 9:31.22 (Dumford 2:56.73, Cheatham 48.30, Silva’ 1:49.29, Nuguse 3:56.90);

3. Oregon 9:31.45 (Haney 2:57.38, Stone 47.35, Stanovsek 1:48.74, West’ 3:57.98); 4. Stanford 9:31.95 (S. McGorty 2:56.95, Body 47.81, B. McGorty 1:49.71, Fisher 3:57.48); 5. Utah State 9:32.31 (Maggard 3:56.53); 6. Wisconsin 9:33.27 (Hoare’ 3:57.75).

Field Events

HJ: 1. Randall Cunningham (USC) 7-6 (2.29) PR (6-10¾, 7-½, 7-2½, 7-3¾, 7-5, 7-6, 7-7¼ [xpp]); 2. Trey Culver (TxT) 7-6 (7-½ [3], 7-2½, 7-3¾, 7-5, 7-6, 7-7¼ [xxx]);

3. **Shelby McEwen (Al) 7-6 PR (6-10¾ [2], 7-½, 7-2½ [2], 7-3¾, 7-5, 7-6, 7-7¼ [xxx]); 4. ***Vernon Turner (Ok) 7-3¾ (2.23); 5. *Tequan Claitt (EnKy) 7-2½ (2.20); 6. *Keenon Laine (Ga) 7-2½.

PV: 1. *Hussain Al Hizam’ (Ks-Sau) 18-8¼ (5.70) NR (17-4½, 17-8½, 18-½, 18-4½ NR, 18-6½ NR, 18-8¼, 19-¼ [xxx]); 2. **Chris Nilsen (SD) 18-4½ (5.60) (17-4½, 17-8½, 18-½, 18-2½ [2], 18-4½, 18-6½ [xxx]);

3. *Deakin Volz (VaT) 18-4½ (17-4½, 17-8½, 18-½ [2], 18-2½ [2], 18-4½ [2], 18-6½ [xxx]); 4. *Matt Ludwig (Akr) 18-2½ (5.55); 5. tie, Adrian Valles’ (Cinc) & Audie Wyatt (TxAM) 18-2½ =PR.

LJ: 1. Will Williams (TxAM) 26-10½ (8.19) PR (CL) (26-2¼, 25-8, 26-¼, 25-10¾, f, 26-10½); 2. **Grant Holloway (Fl) 26-8¼ (8.13) PR (f, f, 26-1½, f, 26-8¼ =CL, f);

3. *Charles Brown (TxT) 26-7¾ (8.12) PR (24-11¼, 26-1¾, 26-1, 26-1, f, 26-7¾); 4. Zack Bazile (OhSt) 26-1½ (7.96); 5. *Steffin McCarter (Tx) 26-¾ (7.94); 6. KeAndre Bates (Fl) 25-11 (7.90).

TJ: 1. **O’Brien Wasome’ (Tx) 55-2¼ (16.82) PR (53-3¾, 53-9¾, 53-5½, f, 55-2¼, 54-6); 2. Bates 54-8¼ (16.67) (54-2½, 54-8¼, 54-4½, 53-3¾, 49-9, 54-2¾);

3. ***Chengetayi Mapaya’ (TCU) 53-9 (16.38) PR; 4. **Clayton Brown’ (Fl) 53-7½ (16.34); 5. *Tuomas Kaukolahti’ (Cal) 53-7 (16.33) PR; 6. *John Warren (SnMs) 53-6¼ (16.31).

SP: 1. Mostafa Hassan’ (CoSt) 68-5¼ (20.86) (68-5¼, 65-7¾, 68-5, 66-6½, 68-4½, f); 2. *Denzel Comenentia’ (Ga) 66-7 (20.29);

3. Josh Awotunde (SC) 66-1½ (20.15); 4. Austin Droogsma (FlSt) 65-2¼ (19.87); 5. ***Jordan Geist (Az) 64-4½ (19.62); 6. *Kord Ferguson (Al) 64-3 (19.58).

Wt: 1. **David Lucas (PennSt) 78-9¾ (24.02) PR (WL, AL, CL) (=4, x C) (70-9, 73-1¾, 74-11¼, 75-6¼, 78-9¾, f); 2. Alton Clay (LaM) 75-4 (22.96); 3. Josh Davis (NCSt) 75-3¼ (22.94); 4. *Daniel Haugh (Al) 74-11 (22.83); 5. *Joseph Ellis’ (Mi) 74-¼ (22.56) ; 6. Comenentia’ 73-8 (22.45).

Hept: 1. Tim Duckworth’ (Ky-GB) 6188 NR (CL) (4, 5 C) (6.84, 25-4¾/7.74, 44-7/13.59, 7-1½/2.17 [3601–1], 8.23, 16-11/5.16, 2:56.23 [2587]);

2. Hunter Veith (Wich) 6090 PR (10, x AmC); 3. Tyler Adams (SHous) 6081 PR; 4. ***Johannes Erm’ (Ga) 5988 PR; 5. **TJ Lawson (Kent) 5934 PR; 6. *Gabe Moore (Ar) 5874 PR.

Features

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Which Event For Holloway?

T&FN INTERVIEW: Amy Cragg

Norman The New Indoor 400 King

Rupp Happy With Transition From Track To Road

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