Kendra Harrison in action in the 60m hurdles (© Victah Sailer)
There comes a point each January where early season performances make people sit up and take notice.
For 2022, that point happened this weekend.
In the United States, the country that will host the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 later this year, there was a flurry of impressive performances – some by established stars of the sport, and others by relatively new names.
Perhaps the most surprising came at the Corky Classic in Lubbock on Saturday (15) as Bahamian sprinter Terrence Jones – who, up until now, has been more of a 200m specialist – stepped down in distance to win the 60m.
After winning his heat – in what was the first 60m race of his life – in a national record of 6.53, he went even quicker in the final, stopping the clock at 6.45. Jacolby Shelton was second in 6.59.
🚨 NEW SCHOOL RECORD 🚨 @sprintertj goes 6.45 in the 60m final, in the process also tying the @NCAATrackField indoor record ‼️#WreckEm pic.twitter.com/vLZbFYWepJ— Texas Tech Track & Field (@TexasTechTF) January 15, 2022
The performance from Jones – who last year set a national U20 record of 20.36 for 200m – moves him to equal ninth on the world indoor all-time list for the distance.
Nigeria’s Ruth Usoro produced the field event highlight of the meeting. The Texas Tech student bounded out to a 14.76m victory in the triple jump, not only smashing her own outright national record but also breaking the collegiate indoor record. Earlier in the meeting, Usoro had also won the long jump with 6.48m.
World indoor champion and outdoor world record-holder Kendra Harrison sped to victory in the 60m hurdles at the Clemson Invite in Clemson on Friday (14).
The world and Olympic silver medallist won her heat in 7.91 and then ran 7.81 to win the final, just 0.11 shy of her own North American indoor record. Twenty-year-old Grace Stark was second in a PB of 7.86.
Matthew Boling earned a pair of victories, taking the long jump with a huge outright PB of 8.25m and backing it up with a 20.49 run in the 200m. US Olympian Steffin McCarter was second in the long jump with an indoor PB of 8.10m.
Randolph Ross, the outdoor world leader over 400m last year, was a convincing winner of the men’s 400m in 45.37. Jacory Patterson was similarly impressive in the 300m, winning in 31.99 to become just the seventh man in history to break 32 seconds for the distance indoors.
Talitha Diggs won the women’s 300m in 36.37, having also won the 60m in 7.26 after clocking a PB of 7.24 in the heats. Double European U20 sprint champion Rhasidat Adeleke was second in the 300m in an Irish record of 36.87, the fastest time ever by a European teenager for the indoor 300m.
Elsewhere in Clemson, Don’drea Swint won the men’s 60m in 6.53 and Trey Cunningham triumphed in the 60m hurdles in 7.57 after clocking 7.56 in the heats. Kameron Jones moved up to 11th on the world indoor all-time list for the 600m, winning in 1:15.27.
There was a trio of national indoor records set over 300m at the UAB Blazer Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday (14).
World and Olympic 400m champion Steven Gardiner won the men’s race in a Bahamian record of 32.06 with Matt Hudson-Smith setting a British record of 32.80 in second place. Olympic 100m hurdles champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn did some over-distance flat speed work and came away with victory in the women’s 300m in 36.63, a Puerto Rican record.
World 5000m bronze medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen opened her season with a pair of victories at the Ted Nelson Invitational in College Station, Texas. Just 40 minutes after winning the 800m in 2:07.47, the German record-holder won the 3000m in 8:39.36. Jess Hull was a close second in 8:39.79, breaking Benita Willis’s Australian indoor record, and Ella Donaghu was third in 8:48.79.
Elsewhere in the States, Micah Williams won the men’s 60m at the Cougar Classic in Spokane in 6.48, and Aleia Hobbs won a high-quality women’s 60m race at the LSU Purple Tiger meeting in Baton Rouge. The 2018 US 100m champion won convincingly in 7.10 from Mikiah Brisco (7.17) and Jamaica’s Briana Williams (7.18).
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics