Tara Davis sails 7.14m at the Texas Relays (© Kirby Lee)
Tara Davis broke the US collegiate record in the long jump with a leap of 7.14m at the Texas Relays in Austin on Friday (26).
Davis, 21, opened the competition with fouls in the first and second rounds, but sailed 6.97m in the third, surpassing both her outdoor best of 6.73m set back in 2017 and her absolute best of 6.93m set two weeks earlier at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Her 7.14m (1.0m/s) big leap came in the fourth round to break the legendary Jackie Joyner-Kersee's 6.99m collegiate record set 36 years ago.
The jump moved Davis, who was an age group star in the event since her mid-teens, into the No.5 spot all-time among US athletes and was the longest jump in the world since the 2019 World Championships final.
Two weeks after his second-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships, Terrance Laird kick-started his outdoor campaign by winning the 200m in 19.81 (0.8m/s), finishing half a second clear of his nearest opponent. The 22-year-old smashed his previous outdoor PB by 0.60 (though he had clocked a wind-assisted 19.64 in 2019) and now moves to 15th on the US all-time list.
Gabby Thomas – who had also enjoyed a strong indoor season with PBs at 60m, 200m and 300m – won the women’s 200m in a PB of 22.17 (0.7m/s), finishing comfortably ahead of Jenna Prandini (22.43) and Morolake Akinosun (22.53).
World indoor bronze medallist Ronnie Baker produced his fastest time since the 2018 Diamond League final to win the men’s 100m in 9.94 (1.4m/s). The 27-year-old was just 0.07 shy of his lifetime best and finished a couple of strides ahead of Bryce Robinson (10.10).
In the heats of the 100m on Friday, Benjamin Azamati sped to the year's first sub-10 second performance, clocking 9.97 (1.5m/s) to clip 0.01 from the Ghanaian record held by Leonard Myles-Mills since 1999. It was a major improvement for the 23-year-old, whose previous best was 10.32 set in Naples in 2019.
Bryce Deadmon smashed through the 45-second barrier for the first time in his career to win the men’s 400m in 44.62. The 24-year-old finished exactly a second ahead of runner-up Will London.
Hurdles specialist Shamier Little also produced a lifetime best to take the women’s one-lap sprint. The 2015 world 400m hurdles silver medallist clocked 50.19 to win by 1.55 seconds.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Tonea Marshall topped the women’s 100m hurdles with 12.75 (1.6m/s) and world indoor champion Sandi Morris won the women’s pole vault with 4.80m.
Anderson Peters won the javelin on Thursday (25) with an 82.51m effort in his first competition since his triumph at the World Championships on 6 October 2019.
Steffin McCarter won the men's long jump with an 8.17m leap and KC Lightfoot topped 5.80m to win the pole vault. And Valarie Allman reached 66.46m in the first round to win the discus.
Malone leaps 7.08m
Chantel Malone of the British Virgin Islands became the latest addition to the long jump’s seven-metre club when sailing out to a national record of 7.08m at the Florida International Pro Addition meeting in Miramar on Saturday (27).
Darya Klishina took an early lead with a wind-assisted 7.05m, while Malone landed a wind-legal 6.83m in round two. After a foul in the third round, the Pan-American champion jumped 7.08m (1.4m/s) in round four to add 18 centimetres to her previous best, becoming the second Caribbean woman to jump beyond seven metres.
Klishina backed up her first-round leap with a wind-legal 7.01m in round three before passing the final three rounds. Heptathlete Akela Jones of Barbados jumped a marginally wind-aided 6.58m to finish third.
Elsewhere in Miramar, Marquise Goodwin won the men’s long jump with 8.12m, while 17-year-old Jaylen Slade won the men’s 200m in a wind-assisted 20.27 (2.5m/s), finishing 0.02 ahead of 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell. Hurdles specialist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won the women’s 200m in 22.60.
Bob Ramsak and Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics