NCAA Men’s 400H — Burrell Returns To Form

He came to town without a sub-50 clocking on the year, but successful defender Sean Burrell got all the way down to 48.70. (MIKE SCOTT)

BEST-LAID PLANS can indeed sometimes go awry. Defending champ Sean Burrell can attest to that. He had a great lane for the final (7) and he was physically peaking after a slow start to his year.

“My plan was to attack the first 5 hurdles aggressively,” said the LSU soph, “but I didn’t execute properly. I stuttered just before the first hurdle.”

That wasn’t a good situation since most of the top collegians were behind him and he couldn’t key off them: Houston’s favored Quivell Jordan-Bacot was in 2, Baylor’s Nathaniel Ezekiel in 4, Oklahoma’s Isaiah Levingston in 5 and Texas Tech’s Malik Metivier in 6. But Burrell, whose 47.85 winner here in ’21 set a World Junior Record, didn’t panic.

“Every day in practice, we focus on hurdles 8-9-10. Even though I stuttered again at 6, I was ready,” said Burrell, who was implementing Plan B already… and then he shifted gears.

The Canadian Metivier, who finished 5th in ’21, had an early lead down the backstretch but Ezekiel, who had set a Nigerian Record 48.42 to win the Big 12, edged past him to take the lead. Close behind were Levingston and Jordan-Bacot. Burrell was in 5th.

But by hurdle #9, Burrell — who hadn’t broken 50 in ’22 until his semi race here (49.19) — was in charge. He looked the strongest over the final two barriers and won in a season best 48.70. Only 0.11 separated the next 3: Metivier 49.13, Levingston 49.20, Ezekiel 49.24.

Metivier wasn’t totally dissatisfied, saying “I gave it all I had.”

Offered Ezekiel, “The race didn’t go exactly like I expected. I struggled on hurdles 3 and 4. In the final 100m, I felt like everyone was leaving me.”

Jordan-Bacot slipped to 5th down the homestraight and Montana State senior Drake Schneider, who was nearly even with Burrell at hurdle 5, couldn’t match the others’ finishing speed and was 6th at 49.75.


MEN’S 400H RESULTS

FINAL (June 10)

1. **Sean Burrell (LSU) 48.70;

2. Malik Metivier’ (TxT-Can) 49.13;

3. Isaiah Levingston (Ok) 49.20;

4. ***Nathaniel Ezekiel’ (Bay-Ngr) 49.24;

5. Quivell Jordan-Bacot (Hous) 49.52;

6. Drake Schneider (MtSt) 49.75;

7. Colten Yardley (BYU) 50.10;

8. *James Smith (TxAM) 50.19;

9. Rivaldo Leacock’ (NM-Bar) 50.84.

SEMIS (June 08)

I–1. Levingston 49.52; 2. Yardley 49.82; 3. Leacock’ 49.86; 4. **Caleb Cavanaugh (Ga) 49.99; 5. *William Spencer (SC) 50.27; 6. **Bryce Anthony (David) 50.61; 7. Justin Young (Army) 50.94; 8. Charles Brockman (Tx) 56.42.

II–1. Burrell 49.19; 2. Ezekiel’ 49.44; 3. Jordan-Bacot 49.52; 4. *Julien Gillum (Ia) 50.84; 5. Moitalel Mpoke’ (TxAM-Ken) 51.58; 6. **Rasheeme Griffith’ (Tn-Bar) 51.93; 7. Kenroy Williams’ (Ky-Jam) 54.74;… dq—*Caleb Dean (Md).

III–1. Metivier’ 48.89; 2. Schneider 49.08; 3. Smith 49.38; 4. **Corde Long (Al) 49.98; 5. *Cass Elliott (Wa) 50.50; 6. *Aveon Reid (NCAT) 52.02; 7. *Jameson Woodell (Rut) 52.79;… dnc—Cory Poole (NCAT).

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