News29 Apr 2012

Spearmon, Lowe and Wilson break meet records at Drake Relays


Chaunte Howard Lowe of the United States competes in the Women's High Jump qualification during day one (© Getty Images)

Des Moines, USAMeet records from Wallace Spearmon, Chaunté Lowe and Ryan Wilson helped turn a cold Saturday (10-11 C) into a hot afternoon at the 103rd Drake Relays.

The 27-year-old Spearmon, whose forte at 200m has always been a relatively slow curve and fast straightaway, has learned a new trick. He came out of the turn in the lead and kept on charging to win the invitational 200m by three metres and finish in 20.02 (+1.7), breaking Michael Johnson’s 15-year-old meet record of 20.05.

World Indoor champion Chaunté Lowe, who set the women’s High Jump meet record here at 1.96m two years ago, raised it to 1.98m. Lowe, who is 28 and has two daughters, had no misses until 2.01m. If there’s anyone who combines athletics and entertainment, it’s Lowe. She enjoys what she’s doing and shows it, and the people in the stands eat it up. Second at 1.85m was the ageless Amy Acuff, now going for her fifth Olympic Games.

Ryan Wilson, 31, set a meet record in the 110m Hurdles, his 13.20 (+1.0) chipping 0.01 off the previous mark which he set in 2009. He beat a strong field which included Omo Osaghae (13.24), Terrence Trammell (13.36 at age 33), Antwon Hicks (13.41) and Ty Akins (13.43).

Wilson’s wasn’t the only outstanding hurdles race of the meeting. In the women’s 100m Hurdles, Kristi Castlin set a personal best of 12.76 (+1.0) to beat Nia Ali (12.83) and Canada’s Angela Whyte, who finished third in 12.97. And in the men’s 400m Hurdles, Puerto Rico’s two-time World silver medallist Javier Culson out-leaned Johnny Dutch, 49.02 to 49.06.

Texas and Lincoln set relay meeting records

Best of the relays were Lincoln University’s men’s 4x100m team, which set a meet record of 39.57. They bettered the best-ever marks of universities with more than 10 times as many students; much of the credit goes to coach Victor Thomas, who was inducted into the Relays Hall of Fame during the meet.

The women’s 4x100m was also won in meet-record time, by the University of Texas, four of whom carried the baton once around the oval in 43.58. Running their second leg was Allison Peter, who also won the women’s individual 100m by two metres in 11.23 (+ 1.7). The men’s individual 100m was won in a slightly windy but quite fast 10.08 (+2.2) by Isiah Young, who also took second in the 200m with 20.34 behind Spearmon’s 20.02.

The most competitive relay was the men’s 4x400m, which was won by Florida. Tony McQuay’s low-44 anchor leg brought them home first in a sizzling 3:02.41, a step ahead of Arkansas’ 3:02.47.

World Indoor champion Whiting in good form

There was some excellent early-season throwing. World Indoor champion Ryan Whiting won the men’s invitational Shot with 21.31m, while the university event was won in 19.69m by Canadian Tim Nedow of DePaul University. Nedow also won the university Discus with a throw of 58.30m, but the best throw of the day was 63.26m by guest Russ Winger.

Jeremy Poston of Florida, who has improved his PB by 10 metres this year, threw 70.73m to win the Hammer, while in the Javelin his Florida teammate, Croatian Stipe Zunic, upset 2011 NCAA champion Tim Glover with a winning throw of 74.61m.

The best women’s throwing was in the Hammer, which was won by Jeneva McCall of Southern Illinois with a throw of 66.15m. She was followed by Brittany Smith of rival Illinois State (65.28m), and Latvian Laura Igaune (62.50m).

Tia Brooks of Oklahoma set a personal best in the women’s Shot with a winning put of 18.47m. Her teammate, Brittany Borman, won the Javelin with 54.56m, while guest Kara Patterson, the American record-holder, was bothered by swirling wind gusts but managed the longest throw with 56.58m. Morgan Wilken of Nebraska won the Discus with a first-round throw of 55.95m.

Suhr breaks meet Pole Vault record

American record-holder Jenn Suhr won the women’s Pole Vault, setting a meeting record with a clearance of 4.65m. The best men’s Pole Vault came from France’s Michael Viken of Eastern Illinois, winner of the university vault at 5.40m, while Scott Roth won the invitational vault at 5.37m.

The men’s Triple Jump was won by Iowa’s Troy Doris with a final-round effort of 16.41m that eclipsed the 16.40m of Florida’s Omar Craddock. The men’s Long Jump, won by Missouri’s Malcolm Pennix with 7.71m, was more noteworthy for guest competitor Fabrice Lapierre of Australia, but the 2010 World Indoor champion could produce no more than 7.27m in his four attempts. High jumpers Jamie Nieto and Ricky Robertson both cleared 2.24m, with Nieto winning on count-back.

The multi-events were won by Daniel Gooris – whose Decathlon personal best of 7624 was 300 points clear of the runner-up – and Peaches Roach-Findlay, who edged Poland’s Olimpia Novak in the Heptathlon, 5709 to 5686.

Jim Dunaway for the IAAF

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