I was hoping that these two meets would kick off the season, and kick it off they did! If yesterday was hot (and it was) today's action was blazing.
Florida got things going in fine fashion as the host Gators sizzled to a nice early season 39.22 in the 4x1 - sending notice to the other would be contenders for June's national title notice. Notice taken in Texas. Having "warmed up" in the prelims on Friday, we got that final in the men's 4x1 after some impressive preliminaries. They did not disappoint as Florida St (38.75), Texas AM (38.85), LSU (39.10), and Baylor (39.25) gave strong indication that it could take a record run to win in June. Not to let the spotlight fall completely on the collegiates, open athletes from Nike (38.55) and TGE (38.61) showed that there is still plenty of speed to burn here in the US!
The women in Texas decided that they wanted to get in on the fast running too as Gabby Mayo (TxAM) and Tiffany Townsend (Baylor) ran world leading 11.13's in the final of the women's collegiate 100 meter dash. Only to watch Alexandria Anderson (Texas) take over the world lead in the Invitational race with an 11.09, with Porsha Lucas (TxAM) just off the pace at 11.12. Another hot one seems to be shaping up for June's NCAA meet! Texas AM's results in the 100 were not unexpected as earlier Lucas and Mayo teamed up on a 42.91 4x1 effort that just fell short of the 42.62 of the USA Elite Squad featuring Bianca Knight and Marshavet Hooker.
Back in Florida the women hurdlers made their mark as the Mitchell All Stars ran 52.95 in the shuttle hurdle relay. While the time at first notice doesn't seem meaningful, as the event is not run often except in some relay meets, the mark is the 5th fastest in history (World Best 52.00 by Russia).
Both meets capped off swift weekends with excellent 4x4 performances. Florida was up first as once again the host Gators were slightly rude to their guests as they dominated the event with a 3:02.84 effort lead by Calvin Smith (45.19) and super freshman Christian Taylor (44.94). Back in Texas Baylor showed why they are always a contender for the NCAA title as they were a hair better at 3:02.68 with LaJerald Betters (44.78) and Quentin Summers (45.78) leading the way for the Bears. With these two squads running this fast so early in the season we're almost guaranteed that this year's NCAA Championships will close with a BANG!
NOW it feels like the season is underway.