Collegiate Digest — Year Opens On High Notes

Ayden Owens was ecstatic as his PR vault added to his big heptathlon score. (WALT BEAZLEY)

WITH 4 RECORDS TO REPORT the Pollock Invitational received its own separate story. Here, in capsule form, the highlights from selected other meets on the collegiate circuit:

Clemson Invitational: 300 CR For Jacory Patterson

In his time at Virginia Tech Jacory Patterson showed himself to be a great 300 runner, producing 3 of the 4 fastest collegiate times ever, topped by a CR 32.28 in ’20. Now at Florida, the Gator junior got better still, lowering the record to 31.99, good for No. 7 on the all-time world list.

The 200 was won by Georgia’s Matthew Boling at 20.49. The Bulldog soph also won the long jump, joining the 27-foot club with his 27-¾ (8.25).

On the women’s side, Florida frosh Talitha Diggs led the way, dashing to 7.26 and 36.37 wins. The 300 time moved her to No 4 on the all-time collegiate list.


Corky Classic: Apparent TJ Record Taken Away

It appeared almost too good to be true when Ruth Usoro tripled 48-5 (14.76) in her home pit in Lubbock. That would have added almost a foot to Keturah Orji’s Collegiate Record. It indeed turned out to be too good, as a few days later the official result was lowered by a meter. The Texas Tech senior nonetheless remains the NCAA fave.

There were no false-start blocks in play, so one can’t be sure, but after watching videos many observers were left thinking that Usoro’s teammate, Terrence Jones, had gotten away with a flyer in the 60.

Best known as a 20.36 long dasher, the Bahamian soph had made his 60 debut in the heats here, running a creditable 6.53 before he unleashed a 6.45 in the final. That equaled the CR set by BYU’s Leonard Myles-Mills in ’99 and equaled by Tennessee’s Christian Coleman in ’17.



Razorback Invitational: Good Meet For The Home Team

“My plan was to go out and put together a great seven events,” said Arkansas junior Ayden Owens after putting together the No. 2 collegiate heptathlon score, 6272. “I wasn’t too worried about the score, since I knew it was going to be big if I executed the events properly. It was a great heptathlon.

“From the work we put in all fall I knew a score over 6000 was coming. Honestly, for the last 13 years of my life I’ve been training for this moment and others in the future. I have the training, the strength and the emotional support from my family and my coaches to come here and set a more than 300-point PR.” His performances: 6.82, 24-4 (7.42), 48-4 (14.74), 6-8 (2.04), 7.88, 15-11 (4.85), 2:35.93.

The Hog women’s distance medley also sparkled, turning in the No. 7 time in history, 10:51.63. The quartet was Krissy Gear (3:22.47), Britton Wilson (52.37), Shafiqua Maloney (2:01.95) & Lauren Gregory (4:34.84).


Also Climbing All-Time Collegiate Lists…

Women — Shey Taiwo of Ole Miss to No. 2 (and No. 4 world & U.S.) with her weight toss of 82-1 (25.02)… In the shot, Ohio State’s Adelaide Aquilla to No. 5 (62-7¼/19.08 and then 62-7¾/19.09) and Arizona State’s Jorinde Van Klinken to No. 6 (61-11½/18.88).

Men — Hurdler Trey Cunningham of Florida State to No. 4 collegian with his 7.46… Bobby Colantonio of Alabama to No. 6 in the weight (79-2¾/24.15)… Oregon’s Micah Williams to =No. 6 in the 60 (6.48).


A Pair Of Fast 300s For Steven Gardiner

He’s no longer a collegian, but reigning world 400 champ Steven Gardiner used a pair of collegiate meets to good advantage over a lap and a half. First was the Blazer Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama, where he set a Bahamian Record 32.06 to move to No. 6 on the all-time world list.

Two weeks later at the South Carolina Invitational he ripped his way to a brilliant World Record of 31.56. The old best of 31.87 was set at altitude by Noah Lyles in ’17; the old low-altitude best was 31.88 by Wallace Spearmon in ’06.

“I’m in awe and I’m proud of the strides I’m making this season,” Gardiner posted. “So much more to come in the next few months.”

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