Report18 Apr 2015

Prandini’s sprint double highlights Mt SAC Relays


Jenna Prandini on her way to victory at the Mt SAC Relays (© Kirby Lee)

Jenna Prandini may be the indoor and outdoor NCAA champion in the long jump, but the University of Oregon student is fast making a name for herself as a sprinter.

On the fourth and final day of the Mt SAC Relays in the Californian city of Walnut on Saturday (18), Prandini successfully defended her title in the 100m, winning in 10.92 (1.4m/s) to equal the world-leading mark set by Jamaica's Elaine Thompson.

Behind her, Brazil’s Ana Claudia Silva broke her own South American record with 11.01 to finish 0.01 ahead of USA’s multiple world and Olympic finalist Muna Lee.

It was the third year in a row in which Prandini had set a 100m PB at the Mt SAC Relays. Two years ago she clocked 11.31 when finishing seventh, and then at last year’s edition of the meeting she improved to 11.11; a time she went on to equal later in the season in the semi-finals of the NCAA Championships.

On Saturday, little more than two hours after her 100m victory, she was back on track for the 200m. Once again she came away victorious, reducing her PB to 22.42 (0.1) to beat US indoor 400m record-holder Phyllis Francis (22.70) and 2013 US 100m champion English Gardner (22.74).

There was also a notable double in the men’s sprints. Canada’s Andre DeGrasse, representing the University of Southern California, first won the 100m in a heavily wind-aided 9.87 (4.0m/s). But the conditions calmed down for the 200m later on, which he won in 20.16 (0.3) to equal the Canadian record.

Jeff Henderson was the stand-out performer on the infield. In his first long jump competition of the year, the US champion flew out to a world-leading PB of 8.50m (1.8m/s). Job done, he wisely passed his remaining five attempts.

In second place, Yohei Sugai broke his five-year-old PB with 8.18 (1.3m/s) to move up to third on the Japanese all-time list. India’s Prem Kumar Kumaravel was third with 8.04m, just five centimetres shy of his own national record.

High jumpers Zhang and Cunningham in PB form

China's Zhang Guowei, four times a finalist at global championships, improved his PB to win the men's high jump with 2.35m.

After leading early in the competition, Canada's Mike Mason snatched the lead with a first-time clearance at 2.28m. But after getting over that height on his third attempt, Zhang cleared 2.33m at the first time of asking before ending his series with a third-time clearance at 2.35m.

In the girls' high school high jump, 17-year-old Vashti Cunningham smashed the US youth record with a leap of 1.94m, adding four centimetres to the mark she shared with Amy Acuff and Lisa Bernhagen, both achieved long before Cunningham was born. The performance also puts her at equal fourth on the world all-time youth lists.

Canada’s Christabel Nettey won the women’s event with a second-round leap of 6.98m, but the wind gauge wasn’t working for the first half of the competition.

Aleec Harriss successfully defended his 110m hurdles title, equalling his own world-leading mark of 13.23 in the process. He finished 0.09 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Mikel Thomas. World silver medallist Ryan Wilson and world indoor champion Omo Osaghae finished fifth and eighth respectively.

World junior silver medallist Dior Hall comfortably won the women’s 100m hurdles, clocking a PB of 12.89 (1.8m/s). That performance moves her to equal fourth on the world junior all-time list and is just 0.02 shy of the US junior record.

World bronze medallist Brenda Martinez won the 800m with relative ease, coming through strong on the second lap to take the victory in 2:00.83.

In the women’s shot, won by Jeneva Stevens with 18.63m, world junior silver medallist Raven Saunders broke her own US junior outdoor record with 18.23m to finish third.

Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF