NCAA Men’s 4×4 — Gators Scare Their CR

Champion Allison & Jacob Miley handled the last two legs on Florida’s meet record 2:58.88. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

FLORIDA’S CR-HOLDING FOURSOME went to their marks favored to win and with the team title already clinched. The quartet of Jacory Patterson, Ryan Willie, Jacob Miley and Champion Allison proceeded to run 2:58.88, a meet record and the second-fastest time in college history, surpassed only by the CR of 2:58.53 they ran earlier this year. USC also broke 3:00, running 2:59.98, with Alabama 3rd in 3:00.17 and Texas 4th at 3:01.69.

Leadoff Leg
Patterson, running in lane 7, put Florida in good shape, making up the staggers on both runners to his outside, Alabama’s Leander Forbes and North Carolina A&T’s Reheem Hayles, catching the latter only 10m into the homestretch. Handing off early in the zone, Patterson had run 44.8 — the fastest leadoff in meet history — well ahead of Brian Herron of Texas, who touched off after a 45.8 carry.

Second Leg
Willie took the Florida baton in the middle of the exchange zone and set out quickly, running comfortably around the turn and reaching the backstretch break line 10m ahead of UT’s Willington Wright. A&M’s Chevannie Hanson slid past Wright halfway down the straight to gain the pole at the halfway. Hanson had closed to within 8m of Willie with Wright close behind and A&T’s 400 champion Randolph Ross closing quickly.

Ross caught Wright early in the turn, but Hanson, running on the outside of the pole lane, was holding Ross out. In so doing he allowed Wright to slip through on the inside. At the top of the homestretch, Wright was 7m back of Willie, but a half step ahead of Ross with another half-step back to Hanson.

Willie pulled away to close out a 44.2 leg and turn over a lead of 10m on Wright, whose 44.6 gave him a meter over Ross’s 44.1.

Third Leg
Miley took up the running for the Gators, followed by Caleb Hulbin for Texas and Aveon Reid for A&T. Moving quickest through the zone was USC’s Johnnie Blockburger after a great homestretch run by Zach Shinnick’s 44.6 put the Trojans in the mix. Blockburger, who had anchored SC’s winning 4×1, moved past A&T into 3rd at the 200, then swept past Texas midway through the turn.

Coming into the straight Miley’s lead was down to 7m, having surrendered 3 around the turn and giving away all but another 3 on the run-in. His 45.85 held off Blockburger’s 44.26.

Anchor Leg
Allison took off under control letting SC anchor Kasaun James run the first 200 some 2m back. Allison, running the final turn on the outside of lane 1 and yet controlling access to the pole, padded his margin another 4m and then floored it coming into the final straight.

Allison reached the finish 8m ahead, having run 44.06 to James’s 44.78. Behind them, Alabama’s Khaleb McRae produced a 44.28 to hold 3rd throughout his leg.

Finishing 4th was the UT foursome, anchored by a ferocious 43.24 by 400m 4th-placer Jonathan Jones, who had moved the Longhorns up from 7th. His split was the second-fastest in meet history, trailing only Maurice Peoples’ legendary 43.1 (actually 43.4 for 440y) for Arizona State in ’73.

The prelims were brutal. In semi I Kansas State ran 3:04.33 for 6th, becoming the meet’s fastest non-qualifier ever. That lasted until semi II, where Georgia took the honor at 3:03.73. But wait: Tennessee then ran 3:03.54 in semi III and failed. In all, 6 teams ran faster than the previous cutoff point, 3:04.64 by Illinois in ’05. Brutal.


MEN’S 4×4 RESULTS

FINAL (June 10)

1. Florida 2:58.88 MR (2C)

(Jacory Patterson 44.8 [fastest NCAA leadoff ever], Ryan Willie 44.2, Jacob Miley 45.85, Champion Allison 44.06);

2. USC 2:59.98 (=11 NCAA)

(Nicholas Ramey 46.4, Zach Shinnick 44.6, Johnnie Blockburger 44.25, Kasaun James 44.78);

3. Alabama 3:00.17

(Leander Forbes 46.5, Demetrius Jackson 44.6, Corde Long 44.77, Khaleb McRae 44.27);

4. Texas 3:01.69

(Brian Herron 45.8, Willington Wright 44.6, Caleb Hulbin 48.03, Jonathan Jones’ 43.24 [No. 2 NCAA split ever]);

5. Texas A&M 3:01.72

(Ashton Schwartzmann 46.3, Chevannie Hanson 45.0, Brandon Miller 45.01, Omajuwa Etiwe 45.40);

6. Kentucky 3:02.98

(Dwight St. Hillaire’ 46.7, Lance Lang 45.2, Kennedy Lightner 46.59, Brian Faust 44.52);

7. Iowa 3:03.04

(Everett Steward 47.0, Chadrick Richards 45.0, Spencer Gudgel 45.98, Julien Gillum 45.10);

8. North Carolina A&T 3:03.15

(Reheem Hayles 46.5, Randolph Ross 44.1, Aveon Reid 47.01, Shemar Chambers 45.51);

9. LSU 3:03.40

(Dorian Camel 46.6, Ashton Hicks 45.9, Aaron Smith 46.27, Sean Burrell 44.63).

(best-ever mark-for-place: 9; best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 8–9)

SEMIS (June 08)

I–1. Texas 3:00.31 (Wright 44.34, Herron 44.72); 2. Alabama 3:00.42 (Long 44.43, McRae 44.06); 3. LSU 3:01.67 (Smith 46.01, Hicks 44.92); 4. Kentucky 3:01.68 (Lightner 45.42, Faust 44.49); 5. Iowa 3:01.79 (Gudgel 45.58, Gillum 44.71); 6. Kansas State 3:04.33 (fastest non-Q ever) (Lambert 46.05, Gayle 45.12); 7. North Dakota State 3:05.24 (Roder 45.13); 8. Penn State 3:06.90 (Desmueles 46.18).

II–1. Texas A&M 3:02.49 (Miller 45.48, Etiwe 45.63); 2. North Carolina A&T 3:02.74 (Reid 47.22, Chambers 45.39); 3. Georgia 3:03.73 (McCray 46.28, Godwin 44.86) (fastest non-Q ever); 4. Clemson 3:03.97 (Rose 45.86, Thornton 45.44); 5. Florida State 3:04.70 (Rivera 46.46, Butler 46.07); 6. TCU 3:05.00 (Matiyenga’ 44.70); 7. New Mexico 3:06.71 (O’Bryant 45.62); 8. Houston 3:07.60 (Booker 46.52).

III–1. Florida 3:01.30 (Miley 46.19, Allison 44.74); 2. USC 3:02.58 (James 45.39, Blockburger 45.39); 3. Tennessee 3:03.54 (fastest non-Q ever) (Bynum 45.58, Bailey 45.70); 4. Ohio State 3:03.68 (Olatoke 46.20, Fajardo 45.24); 5. Arkansas 3:04.01 (Farr 46.53); 6. Colorado 3:06.12 (McCoy 46.05); 7. Princeton 3:09.26;… dq—Baylor [3:02.61] (Moorer 45.82, Bedell 45.13). ◻︎

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