National Relays — Yet Another Recordsetting Day For Sydney McLaughlin

Fayetteville, Arkansas, April 27-28—“The pressure is still there,” Sydney McLaughlin told T&FN just before Arkansas’s inaugural National Relay Championships.

McLaughlin’s yearly debut in the long hurdles found her lowering her own World Junior Record to 53.60. (COURTESY UK ATHLETICS)

“My mindset has changed, which has made it a little bit more bearable. Making that transition from high school to college took a lot of mental and physical maturity. I’m still not completely there yet, but a lot of that pressure has been handled much better than it has in the past.”

That poise showed as Kentucky’s yearling sensation stepped up to her signature event, the 400H, for the first time this year. Running unchallenged in lane 5, the 18-year-old New Jersey native made up the stagger on the outer lanes in the first 200 and cruised to a massive win, her 53.60 topping the field by 4.28.

The time also bettered her World and American Junior Records and is a world leader, in addition to making her No. 4 collegian ever.

The question of whether it will hold up to paperwork scrutiny is another matter: doping control was on hand to make sure the necessary tests were done afterward; however, false-start-detecting blocks were not used. That will render the mark unratifiable by the IAAF, while USATF rules on the subject aren’t quite clear.

Not that it matters to the young Wildcat and her coach, who are looking to faster performances in the future.

“Sydney knows what she’s capable of,” said head man Edrick Floréal after her latest exploit. “She knows what’s at stake and she knows what she wants to get accomplished. She saw some stuff that she didn’t do well and obviously she’s not very happy.

“You look at the race, when she crossed the line and looked at the clock, you can tell by her reaction. She already knew halfway through the race that this was not what she wanted to get accomplished as far as the technical execution.”

The 400H, like all of the other individual running events, was scheduled for Friday. The initial race of the day saw McLaughlin’s training partner, ’16 NCAA 100H champ Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, demonstrate that she will be a formidable challenger to regain her crown. Her 12.53, pushed along by a 2.6 wind, made her No. 6 on the all-conditions collegiate all-time list.

There too, Floréal saw room for improvement: “She’s very disappointed that she wasn’t able to finish the entire race the way she wanted to. It kind of fell apart a little bit technically. We’ll go back to work and try to clean that up.”

Tennessee senior Shania Collins impressed with a double-PR 11.10/22.57 combo, the latter bringing her to the line just ahead of Camacho-Quinn’s PR 22.69. Florida’s Sharrika Barnett easily handled the 400 field with her 51.50.

The women’s field events saw twin sisters Lexi Jacobus and Tori Hoggard of Arkansas go 1–2 in the vault at 14-9½ (4.51), ahead of the American Junior leader of Virginia Tech frosh Rachel Baxter (14-3½/4.36). In the triple, Florida’s Yanis David moved to No. 9 among collegians with her 46-4¼ (14.13), as Kentucky junior Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile bounced 45-11¼ (14.00).

In the men’s individual events, Tennessee’s Nathan Strother ran a PR 45.01 lap ahead of Kentucky frosh Dwight St. Hilaire (45.48 PR).

Japan’s Hakim Sani-Brown scored his first collegiate win for Florida in the 200, 20.64. The high hurdles saw Daniel Roberts of Kentucky (13.53) top Florida State frosh Trey Cunningham (13.61) in a battle of lifetime bests.

On the field, Florida’s KeAndre Bates lost the long jump to Marquis Dendy, as the veteran leaped 26-1½w (7.96) to Bates’ 25-10 (7.87). The next day, Bates came back with a vengeance, winning the triple with an American collegiate leader of 54-9¼ (16.69).

Getting Down To Relay Business

Relays were the focus of the meet, however, and while some were thin (the men’s 4×2 had one finisher) they didn’t disappoint. On Friday night, Stanford’s Olivia Baker blitzed a 2:00.90 anchor to hand the Cardinal a 3:41.59 sprint medley victory, moving to No. 3 on the all-time collegiate list. Baylor, with Aaliyah Miller clocking 2:01.70, finished 2nd in 3:42.11, becoming the No. 6 school ever.

Florida barely held on to a men’s sprint medley win, as anchor Kyren Hollis held off fast-closing Ian Jones of Kentucky by just 0.001 as both teams clocked 3:16.94. The men’s 4 x 1500 was another thrilling race, Arkansas edging Kentucky, 15:14.18–15:14.38.

On Saturday, McLaughlin was back, leading off the Kentucky women as they crushed the 4×1 in 42.84, well ahead of Arkansas (43.38) and Tennessee (43.59). In the men’s 4×1, a spirited second leg by Grant Holloway was not enough to keep Florida ahead of Arkansas, as the Razorbacks triumphed 38.59–39.05.

The 4×8 saw Virginia Tech win both races, as Rachel Pocratsky finish with a 2:03.29 to seal an 8:25.24–8:29.98 win over Baylor. On the men’s side, the Hokies handily won in 7:25.97.

Texas took the women’s 4×2 in 1:33.46; Arkansas the men in 1:22.12. Michigan’s Jamie Morrissey anchored a big distance medley win in 11:07.49, while Texas won the men’s race in 9:34.70. Sam Worley closed in 4:00.57 but fans went to the edge of their seats as the Wisconsin anchor, Oliver Hoare, churned a 3:56.96 anchor to bring the Badgers close at the end with their 9:35.19.

In classic fashion, the 4 x 400s wrapped up the weekend. In the women’s race, Florida took the lead at the first exchange but Camacho-Quinn owned the backstretch for Kentucky. Her 50.4 gave McLaughlin a 12m lead at the halfway point. And while Barnett zipped a 50.86 for Florida, she steadily lost ground to McLaughlin, who produced an otherworldly 49.47.

By the time Kayelle Clarke closed with a 52.79, the Wildcats sported a 30m margin, winning in 3:27.07 to Florida’s 3:31.21. That helped Kentucky win the team crown with 42 points to the 28 of Arkansas.

Florida led the men’s race, with Holloway on anchor. After getting the stick he saw Arkansas’s Obi Igbokwe fly past. Holloway waited until the final turn before steaming past for the win, 3:02.68–3:03.36. Holloway split 44.54 to Igbokwe’s 44.90, though the fastest leg belonged to Baylor’s Wil London, who ran 44.01 to conclude the Bears’ 3:03.44 in 3rd.

Despite the Florida relay win, Arkansas had enough points to hold on for the overall team victory, 52–43.


NATIONAL RELAYS MEN’S RESULTS

Fayetteville, Arkansas, April 27-28—

(4/27—100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, St, 110H, 400H, 4×15, SM, LJ, JT)

Teams: 1. Arkansas 52; 2. Florida 43; 3. Kentucky 25; 5. Virginia Tech 17; 5. Texas 15.

100(1.7): 1. Kenzo Cotton (Ar) 10.19; 2. *Mustaqeem Williams (Tn) 10.23; 3. *Ryan Clark (Fl) 10.30.

200: IV(1.6)–1. Nathan Strother (Tn) 20.76 PR. V(1.4)–1. ***Hakim Sani-Brown’ (Fl) 20.64; 2. *Kwantreyl McConico (Tn) 20.68; 3. Williams 20.77.

400: 1. Strother 45.01 PR; 2. ***Dwight St. Hillaire’ (Ky) 45.48 PR; 3. **Derrick Mokaleng’ (TCU) 45.87; 4. *Obi Igbokwe (Ar) 45.91; 5. *Kunle Fasasi’ (Fl) 46.31; 6. ***Howard Fields (Bay) 46.38.

800: 1. **Bryce Hoppel (Ks) 1:48.64; 2. ***Justin Pacifico (Fl) 1:49.39 PR.

1500: 1. Vincent Ciattei (VaT) 3:42.59 PR.

St: 1. *Obsa Ali (Mn) 8:51.25.

110H(1.4): 1. **Daniel Roberts (Ky) 13.53 PR; 2. ***Trey Cunningham (FlSt) 13.61 PR.

400H: 1. Kemar Mowatt’ (Ar) 49.80; 2. Eric Futch (adi) 50.22;

3. ***Jayson Baldridge (Bay) 50.29 PR (AJL);

4. ***Cory Poole (Fl) 50.68; 5. *Taylor McLaughlin (Mi) 50.76.

Relay Events

4 x 100: I–1. Kentucky 39.35. II–1. Arkansas 38.59 (Ejiakuekwu’, Mowatt’, Harris, Cotton); 2. Florida 39.05 (Sani-Brown’, Holloway, Timpson, Clark); 3. Florida State 39.52; 4. Tennessee 39.63.

4 x 200: 1. Arkansas 1:22.12 (Schrage, Igbokwe, Harris, Cotton);… dnf—Florida.

4 x 400: 1. Florida 3:02.68 (Vedel’, Sawyers’, Fasasi’ 45.90, Holloway 44.54); 2. Arkansas 3:03.36 (Igbokwe 44.90); 3. Baylor 3:03.44 (London 44.01); 4. TCU 3:03.74 (Mokaleng 44.62); 5. Stanford 3:05.76; 6. Minnesota 3:07.80.

4 x 800: 1. Virginia Tech 7:25.97 (Yanga, Zarate, Mosavel-Lo, Ciattei); 2. Minnesota 7:28.66; 3. Florida 7:29.53.

4 x 1500: 1. Arkansas 15:14.18 (WL, CL) (Hosting, Bruce’, Dalquist, Griffith’);

2. Kentucky 15:14.38 (AL) (Fields, Thomson, Thomas, Young);

3. Oklahoma State 15:19.43; 4. Texas 15:19.46; 5. Wisconsin 15:32.54; 6. Florida 15:33.30.

SpMed: 1. Florida 3:16.94 (3:16.938) (Timpson, Clark, Vedel’, Hollis 1:49.96); 2. Kentucky 3:16.94 (3:16.939) (Duckworth, Dorsey, St. Hillaire’, Jones 1:49.11); 3. Arkansas 3:20.81.

DisMed: 1. Texas 9:34.70 (AL) (Rogers 2:54.03, Brown 47.44, Emery 1:52.67, Worley 4:00.56);

2. Wisconsin 9:35.19 (Hoare’ 3:56.96); 3. Florida 9:35.90.

Field Events

HJ: 1. ***Brandon Piwinski (Mi) 6-11 (2.11) PR.

PV: 1. Torben Laidig’ (VaT) 18-2½ (5.55); 2. Jake Albright (unat) 18-2½; 3. *Barrett Poth (Tx) 17-10½ (5.45); 4. ***Joel Benitez’ (VaT) 17-10½; 5. Nick Maestretti (unat) 17-6½ (5.35); 6. *Hussain Al Hizam (Ks) 17-6½; 7. Nick Meyer (Ks) 17-6½.

LJ: 1. Marquis Dendy (Nik) 26-1½w (7.96) (25-6¼/7.78); 2. KeAndre Bates (Fl) 25-10 (7.87); 3. Mohammed Abubakar’ (Ky) 25-8¾w (7.84); 4. Kenneth Fisher (FlSt) 25-5¼ (7.75); 5. Corion Knight (FlSt) 25-4¾ (7.74); 6. **Grant Holloway (Fl) 25-4 (7.72).

TJ: 1. Bates 54-9¼ (16.69) (AmCL, out CL);

2. Barden Adams (Ks) 54-5¼ (16.59); 3. Scotty Newton (TCU) 54-4½ (16.57); 4. **Clayton Brown’ (Fl) 54-1¾w (16.50); 5. **O’Brien Wasome’ (Tx) 53-11w (16.43); 6. *Armani Wallace (FlSt) 53-4½w (16.27); 7. ***Chengetayi Mapaya’ (TCU) 53-3¾ (16.25); 8. Montel Nevers’ (FlSt) 52-5½ (15.99).

SP: 1. **Andrew Liskowitz (Mi) 66-6½ (20.28);

2. ***Jordan West (Tn) 64-7¾ (19.70) out WJL, out AJL) (8, x AJ;

3. ***Tripp Piperi (Tx) 64-1¼ (19.54); 4. **Charles Lenford (Ky) 62-8¾ (19.12).

DT: 1. Nicolai Ceban’ (Ks) 182-1 (55.50).

HT: 1. *Joseph Ellis’ (Mi) 236-9 (72.16); 2. *Anders Eriksson’ (Fl) 235-7 (71.82); 3. ***Thomas Mardal’ (Fl) 229-10 (70.05); 4. ***Kevin Arreaga’ (Mia) 224-8 (68.48); 5. Grant Cartwright (Mi) 220-2 (67.12); 6. ***Georgios Korakidis’ (Tn) 220-1 (67.09); 7. *AJ McFarland (Fl) 217-8 (66.35).

JT: 1. Fabian Dohmann’ (Tx) 242-4 (73.86).

NATIONAL RELAYS WOMEN’S RESULTS

(4/27—100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 100H, 400H, 4×15, SM, HJ, LJ, DT, HT)

Teams: 1. Kentucky 42; 2. Arkansas 28; 3. Baylor 26; 4. tie, Oklahoma State & Texas 19.

100: III(1.1)–1. Shania Collins (Tn) 11.10 PR; 2. *Maia McCoy (Tn) 11.38 PR; 3. *Taylor Bennett (Bay) 11.41.

IV(1.6)–1. ***Ka’Tia Seymour (FlSt) 11.24 PR; 2. Javianne Oliver (Nik) 11.29; 3. ***Janeek Brown’ (Ar) 11.34 PR; 4. **Jada Baylark (Ar) 11.36; 5. *Kianna Gray (Ky) 11.40; 6. *Kiara Parker (Ar) 11.47; 7. ***Jayla Kirkland (FlSt) 11.48.

200: V(1.4)–1. McCoy 23.21 PR. VI(1.6)–1. Collins 22.57 PR; 2. *Jasmine Camacho-Quinn’ (Ky) 22.69 PR; 3. Kayelle Clarke’ (Ky) 23.08; 4. Baylark 23.12; 5. Bennett 23.12; 6. *Kiana Horton (Bay) 23.37.

400: 1. *Sharrika Barnett (Fl) 51.50; 2. **Serenity Douglas (Tx) 52.20 PR; 3. ***Taylor Manson (Fl) 52.26 PR; 4. *Zola Golden (Tx) 52.48.

800: 1. Chrishuna Williams (unat) 2:05.67; 2. **Laurie Barton (VaT) 2:05.90; 3. *Marleena Eubanks (Ks) 2:06.05; 4. Jamie Morrissey (Mi) 2:06.20.

1500: 1. *Rachel Pocratsky (VaT) 4:17.79.

St: 1. ***Alissa Niggemann (Wi) 10:36.25.

5000: 1. Sophie Linn (Mi) 16:35.20 PR.

100H: III(2.1)–1. ***Tiara McMinn (Mia) 13.22w; 2. **Brandee Johnson (Fl) 13.23w.

IV(2.6)–1. Camacho-Quinn’ 12.53w (a-c CL) (a-c: 6, =8 C);

2. ***Janeek Brown’ (Ar) 12.73w; 3. **Rushelle Burton’ (Tx) 12.73w; 4. Taliyah Brooks (Ar) 12.82w; 5. Jacklyn Howell (Ky) 12.94w; 6. Pedrya Seymour’ (Tx) 13.04w; 7. **Cortney Jones (FlSt) 13.27w.

400H: II–1. **Faith Ross (Ky) 58.28.

III–1. ***Sydney McLaughlin (Ky) 53.60 WJR, AJR (old records 53.82 McLaughlin [NJHS) ’17) (WL, AL, CL) (15, x A; 4, 4 C) (no false-start blocks);

2. *Samantha Gonzalez (Mia) 57.88 PR; 3. Ariel Jones (Tx) 58.32; 4. **Brandee Johnson (Fl) 58.73.

Relay Events

4 x 100: 1. Kentucky 42.84 (McLaughlin, Camacho-Quinn’, Clarke’, Gray); 2. Arkansas 43.38 (Brown, Parker, Baylark, Burks Magee); 3. Tennessee 43.59; 4. Miami 43.91; 5. Texas 44.12; 6. Florida State 44.42; 7. Baylor 44.49.

4 x 200: 1. Texas 1:33.46 (Burton’, Seymour’, Golden, Daniels); 2. Baylor 1:34.29; 3. Kentucky 1:34.89.

4 x 400: I–1. Virginia Tech 3:36.95; 2. Oklahoma State 3:39.51. II–1. Kentucky 3:27.07 (Ross, Camacho-Quinn’, McLaughlin 49.47, Clarke’ 52.78); 2. Florida 3:31.21 (Manson, Sharpe, Barnett 50.86, Stephens); 3. Stanford 3:31.65 (Wilson, Gayles, Mongiovi, Baker 51.89); 4. Tennessee 3:32.63 (Dyer, Majors, Collins, McCoy); 5. Arkansas 3:34.70; 6. Miami 3:34.81; 7. Kansas 3:35.46; 8. Baylor 3:38.62.

4 x 800: 1. Virginia Tech 8:25.24 (Kennedy 2:09.32, Barton 2:06.23, Edwards 2:06.40, Pocratsky 2:03.29); 2. Baylor 8:29.98; 3. Oklahoma State 8:31.84; 4. Texas 8:40.53; 5. Kansas 8:41.64; 6. Michigan 8:44.50.

4 x 1500: 1. Oklahoma State 17:45.75 (Ballner, Johnson, Dodd’, Sughroue); 2. Arkansas 17:46.87; 3. Kentucky 18:22.51; 4. Wisconsin 18:45.65.

SpMed: 1. Stanford 3:41.59 (WL, CL) (3 C; #3 school) (Gayles, Best’, Wilson, Baker 2:00.90); 2. Baylor 3:42.11(AL) (7 C; #6 school) (Bennett, Horton, Powell, Miller 2:01.70);

3. Florida 3:47.48; 4. Kentucky 3:47.93; 5. Miami 3:52.70.

DisMed: 1. Michigan 11:07.49 (Meier 3:24.20, Harrison 51.90, Borchers 2:07.93, Morrissey 4:43.46); 2. Arkansas 11:19.84; 3. Virginia Tech 11:28.21.

Field Events

HJ: 1. **Ellen Ekholm’ (Ky) 6-0 (1.83) =PR.

PV: 1. *Lexi Jacobus (Ar) 14-9½ (4.51); 2. *Tori Hoggard (Ar) 14-9½;

3. ***Rachel Baxter (VaT) 14-3½ (4.36) (AJL) (x, =10 AJ);

4. Kally Long (Tx) 14-3½; 5. **Kaitlyn Merritt (Stan) 13-9¾ (4.21); 6. Taylor Amann (Wi) 13-9¾; 7. **Andrea Willis (Ks) 13-9¾.

LJ: 1. Sha’Keela Saunders (adi) 21-7½ (6.59); 2. Darrielle McQueen (Fl) 21-5½ (6.54); 3. *Yanis David’ (Fl) 20-9¼ (6.33); 4. *Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile’ (Ky) 20-7¾w (6.29); 5. Brooks 20-7¼ (6.28).

TJ: 1. David’ 46-4¼ (14.13) (9, x C) (43-10¾w, 45-5¼w, 45-10, 46-4¼, f, 40-6¼) (13.38w, 13.85w, 13.97, 14.13, f, 12.35);

2. Ebwea-Bile’ 45-11¼ (14.00); 3. McQueen 43-10½w (13.37) (43-5/13.23); 4. *LaChyna Roe (Tn) 43-1½ (13.14); 5. *Latavia Coombs’ (Ky) 42-5¼w (12.93).

SP: 1. Lena Giger (Stan) 57-¼ (17.38); 2. Lloydricia Cameron (Fl) 55-6¼ (16.92); 3. ***Alexranda Emilianov’ (Ks) 54-7¼ (16.64).

DT: 1. Emilianov’ 178-9 (54.49); 2. **Zakiya Rashid (Mia) 174-6 (53.18); 3. **Elena Bruckner (Tx) 174-0 (53.05).

HT: 1. *Stamatia Scarvelis’ (Tn) 215-11 (65.82); 2. Valarie Allman (Stan) 204-3 (62.26) PR.

JT: 1. Avione Allgood (Fl) 182-10 (55.73); 2. *Mackenzie Little’ (Stan) 178-10 (54.50).

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