Spring News Digest — Records And More

At the adidas Road To Records Festival Emmanuel Wanyonyi bested road mile world champ Hobbs Kessler and his WR. (COURTESY ADIDAS)

THE ARRIVAL OF the outdoor season along with spring’s burst of competitions on the roads saw a profusion of records and noteworthy performances of various stripes.

Atascocita Demolishes 4×1 HSR

Houston, March 23 — At the Victor López Classic at Rice, a foursome from Atascocita High (Humble, Texas) destroyed the High School Record for the 4 x 100 with a blistering 38.92. That sliced a massive 0.84 off the standard of 39.76 that Wyatt (Fort Worth, Texas) ran in ’98. The team of Tory Blaylock, Landon Fontenot, Jordan Parker and Jelani Watkins needed to run the record to win over the 39.65 of Duncanville in 2nd.

According to coach Elton Ervin, the team had been targeting the record, even writing “39.6” on the track in chalk prior to the gun. Said anchor Watkins, an LSU signee who has run 10.22 this season, “We got [the stick] pretty much at the same time, but you know me being me, I am always going to pull away from whoever gets the stick.”

Miller’s 100 HSR Is Also World Leader

Clermont, Florida, April 21 — Christian Miller (Creekside, St. Johns, Florida) delivered a stunning 9.93 to win the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational. Run with a 1.6 wind, that bettered the accepted HSR of 10.00 set by Trentavis Friday (Cherryville, North Carolina) in ’14. The pending mark of 9.89 set by Issam Asinga (Academy, Montverde, Florida) last year is in limbo as his doping case has not yet been resolved.

The world-leading time is also an American Junior (U20) Record, breaking Trayvon Bromell’s 9.97 from ’14. Among World Juniors, Miller is now only behind Asinga and Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo (9.91).

The Georgia signee, who led the national list as a junior last year with his 10.06, a mark he tied in the heats here, defeated a field of pros led by Indiana alum Rikkoi Brathwaite, who set a national record for the British Virgin Islands with his 10.03.

“I’m just excited to see where it takes me,” Miller told a local news station. “I hit the Olympic standard so I know I’m well-qualified for that meet and I can run at that high of a level. I honestly feel I have a lot more left in the tank.”

Fraley Snags American CR In Discus

Ramona, Oklahoma, April 13 — When the winner throws the longest on the planet in 35 years and the next day the men’s winner breaks the World Record, a runner-up might not get much attention. Such was the case for Veronica Fraley, the Vanderbilt senior, who topped the American CR in the discus twice in the big winds of Ramona. She opened with a PR 210-3 (64.09), then her round 2 toss of 214-11 (65.50) went past the record of 214-0 (65.22) that had been set by UCLA’s Suzy Powell in ’97. In round 5 she went even farther, the platter touching ground at 220-4 (67.17). She moved to No. 7 all-time among Americans.

Fame has not followed for the 23-year-old grad student. Although it’s fine by T&FN standards, the Ramona competition offered too few events to satisfy NCAA guidelines, so her mark is basically invisible on the college scene, not appearing on the TFRRS lists nor being mentioned on the Vanderbilt website.

Ross Matches Her Shot CR

Tucson, Arizona, April 27 — Oregon’s Jaida Ross had already set a Collegiate Record of 64-8 (19.71) three weeks earlier, but at the Desert Heat Classic, she tied that mark in the best collegiate series ever. She opened at 62-3¾ (18.99), hit the record in round 2, and followed with throws of 63-4 (19.30), 62-2½ (18.96), 62-4½ (19.01) and 63-8¼ (19.41)

“You wish you had one more centimeter on it,” she told the Eugene Register-Guard. “But at the same time, I think that’s the best follow-up I could’ve had to a Collegiate Record, just showing that I can throw 19 and be consistent at it.”

Bor Breaks 10M AR

Washington, DC, April 07 — The annual Cherry Blossom race saw Kenyans Wesley Kiptoo (45:54) and Raymond Magut (45:55) take the top two places. The race was also the USATF 10M Championship again, and Hillary Bor defended that title in style, knocking his American Record down 15 seconds to 45:57. Close behind came Nathan Martin in 46:00, also going under the old best.

“The fitness is there,” Bor told Race Results Weekly. “Ten miles has been good to me.”

Sarah Chelangat of Uganda won the women’s race in a course record 51:14: “It is hard when you are running alone, but I’m happy because I won the race.” Emily Durgin, 2nd in 51:26, took the USATF title.

Korir Comes Up Short

Rotterdam, Netherlands, April 14 — After placing 3rd in the Trials Marathon, Leonard Korir had one chance to make the Olympic team, by bettering the Olympic standard of 2:08:10. It’s a time he had surpassed when he ran his PR 2:07:56 in Amsterdam in ’19. Still, it was a tall order.

The 34-year-old Iona alum stayed right on schedule through his halfway split of 1:03:57, then he lost his grip on the pace after 25K. He eventually faded back to 19th in 2:12:47.

Up front, Olympic silver medalist Abdi Nageeye won in a Dutch Record 2:04:45. Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere won the women’s race in 2:19:30.

Wanyonyi Breaks Mile Road Best

Herzogenaurach, Germany, April 27 — Competing at adidas’s Road To Records Festival for its distance stars, Kenyan teenager Emmanuel Wanyonyi defeated world road mile champ Hobbs Kessler and stole his World Record to boot, his 3:54.56 bettering the 3:56.13 that Kessler ran last October. In 2nd, Kessler hit 3:56.18 to stay ahead of South African Ryan Mphahlele (3:56.45).

In other races, Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha ran 13:00 for 5K to beat countryman Addisu Yihune (13:05). In the 10K, Kenyans Nicholas Kipkorir (27:05) and Sabastian Sawe (27:06) edged ahead of Burundi’s Rodrigue Kwizéra (27:07) and Italian Yemaneberhan Crippa (27:08).

In a rare road 800, world champion Marco Arop beat Bryce Hoppel, 1:44.3–1:45.6.

Nelly Chepchirchir of Kenya took the women’s mile in 4:30.93. Medina Elsa of Ethiopia won the 5K in 14:38, and Agnes Ngetich cruised 30:03 to win the 10K by 36 seconds. ◻︎