NCAA Men’s 4 x 100 — An Upset… Not

No stranger to the in-your-face star, Godson Oghenebrume got some of his own medicine though LSU got the win. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

THE OPENING RACE of the men’s final day was thrilling, featured a huge upset, and had big team title implications. But as will happen in relays, appearances were not what they seemed.

Texas Tech’s foursome of Adam Clayton, Courtney Lindsey, Don’dre Swint, and Terrence Jones got the stick around first, putting paid to any thoughts that LSU’s favored Collegiate Record quartet (37.90 at the SEC) was invincible. But within minutes, word came down that Clayton and Lindsey’s pass happened beyond the zone, erasing Tech’s 37.93 and lifting LSU’s 38.05 to the top of the podium.

The first clue should have been that LSU’s pass from Brandon Hicklin to Dorian Camel came noticeably earlier than the Clayton/Lindsey connection, despite running even with Tech.

Then Camel and Lindsey matched strides down the backstretch, passing simultaneously in the second exchange.

It was Swint’s third leg that opened up the advantage for Tech, as he mastered the curve far quicker than LSU’s Da’Marcus Fleming and executed a perfect pass to Red Raider anchor Jones. That gap opened even more when LSU’s pass was just slightly off, with Godson Oghenebrume needing a minor look-back. In full flight, Jones held that edge down the stretch and even had time for a stare-down of his rival at the finish line.

But LSU had the last laugh and the gold after the video review.

Fleming was straightforward about the Tigers’ late-recognized win. “It wasn’t our best race,” he said. “It was fast, but it wasn’t our best. We will take the win, and we will come back faster and stronger. It’s fun and it’s competition. We’re just having fun, and we love it.”

Florida’s 3rd-place 38.26 was then elevated to silver. While those 2 extra points didn’t make the full difference for the Gators’ team title defense, it did give them a little more breathing room.

The victory markedly improved upon last year’s showing for the Tigers, when their own out-of-zone problems at the East Regional kept their 4×1 from even getting to the final meet.


FINAL (June 09)

1. LSU 38.05 (4 C, 2 NCAA)

(Brandon Hicklin, Dorian Camel, Da’Marcus Fleming, Godson Oghenebrume’);

2. Florida 38.26 (10 NCAA)

(Ryan Willie, Jacory Patterson, PJ Austin, Robert Gregory);

3. Florida State 38.29

(Taylor Banks, Ismael Kone’, Amir Willis, JoVaughn Martin);

4. Arizona State 38.54

(Jalen Drayden, Jeremiah Curry, Trevin Moyer, Justin Robinson);

5. Alabama State 38.79

(Victor Smith, Matthew Clarke’, Justus Trainer, Jamarion Stubbs);

6. Louisville 38.81

(Nolan Macklin, Cameron Miller, Jeremiah Willis, Sterling Warner-Savage);

… dq[zone]—[1]Texas Tech [37.93]

(Adam Clayton’, Courtney Lindsey, Don’dre Swint, Terrence Jones’);

… dnf—Georgia

(Keshaun Black, Matthew Boling, Christopher Morales Williams’, Elija Godwin);

… dnf—Iowa

(Kalen Walker, Austin Kresley, Gratt Reed, Damoy Allen).

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 3, =4)

SEMIS (June 07)

I–1. Florida 38.22 (6 C, 4 NCAA); 2. Florida State 38.27 (7 NCAA) (Banks, Kone’, Willis, Feagin);

3. Alabama State 38.56; 4. Minnesota 38.70 (fastest non-Q ever) (Hosten’, Benjamin’, Schirmer, Augustine’); 5. Nebraska 38.91 (Senior’, Kerr’, Paissan’, Kaalund); 6. Arkansas 39.23 (Lang, Washington, Gilbert, Benson); 7. Alabama 39.36 (Rhetta, Crisco, Weaver, Scott); 8. Louisiana 39.38 (Pond’, Jones, Crockett, Booth).

II–1. LSU 38.06 (4 C; 2 NCAA);

2. Louisville 38.49; 3. Georgia 38.62; 4. Iowa 38.64; 5. USC 38.75 (Okonkwo, Stewart, Borzor, Allen); 6. Texas A&M 38.81 (Mount, Martin, Teer, Chopane); 7. UCLA 39.43 (Misener-Daley’, Nortje’, Reynolds, Wright); 8. South Florida 39.82 (Mahautiere’, Reid, Croal’, Lincoln).

III–1. Texas Tech 38.20 (7 C, 5 NCAA);

2. Arizona State 38.67; 3. Clemson 38.72 (Roberts’, Rose, Joanus’, McCoy’); 4. Texas 38.73 (Garland, Shelvin, Hulbin, Moore); 5. Oregon 38.93 (Mulholland, Williams, Nairne’, Ize-Iyamu); 6. Campbell 39.05 (Miller, Bent’, Miller, Alexander); 7. Arizona 39.10 (White-Austin, Limage, Hicks, Onanubosi); 8. Purdue 39.36 (Riley, Becker, Czajkowski, Young).