Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

The BIG noise was made at Penn in the USA vs the World races as they sat center stage and had the attention of the world. But there were other top level marks turned in at Penn in some of the collegiate races as well. Texas AM won both men's and women's 4x1 AND 4x2 events to serve notice that their relay teams

On the men's side their 38.79 in the 4x1 was the #2 time collegiately this year behind Florida State's list leading 38.75. Florida State was second at Penn in 38.82. In the 4x2 Texas AM's 1:20.32 was not only the fastest time in the world this year, but the 7th fastest time in collegiate history and made them the 2nd fastest school ever!

On the women's side, their 1:30.28 win in the 4x2 was a collegiate leader on the season, and their 43.10 win in the 4x1 is only behind two marks they themselves had run prior to Penn, marking them as a very strong favorite at this year's national championships.

In the longer 4x4 Florida State took over the yearly lead from Baylor with a sizzling 3:01.54 just ahead of St Augustine's 3:02.10 which was also faster than Baylor's previous yearly lead. Florida State was lead by the Borlee twins Kevin (45.1) and Jonathon (44.4), while St Augustine's anchor Josh Scott (44.5) was flying as well. I'm looking forward to these two squads joining Baylor (3:02.68) and Florida (3:02.84) for what should be one hot close to this year's National Collegiate Championships.

Elsewhere, this weekend's other major meet was in Des Moines Iowa at the Drake Relays. Unfortunately the weather played a typical roll in things in Iowa as rain and cold temperatures kept things down for the most part. The big downer being an injury to home town favorite Lolo Jones in the 100H. Not sure how serious the injury (hamstring?) is at this point, but at the very least it will slow down her training and racing schedule.

In spite of the weather a couple of sterling efforts were turned in on the track as Jeremy Wariner (400, 45.06) and Ryan Wilson (110H, 13.21) both ran the 2nd fastest times in the world in spite of the poor conditions. Wilson started cautiously in the outside lane of the track in his event, but closed with a rush to record his time. Wariner took off in the 3rd 100 of his race, as he typically does, and simply ran away from the field.

Watching this Wariner's race in Drake and Lashawn Merritt's anchor leg at Penn I'll go out on a very short limb and say that the 400 is going to be one of the highlight races this year. Both athlete's seem very fit and intent on improving on last year's performances. Which can only be a treat for us!

Speaking of fitness, was nice to see Wallace Spearmon in the 4x4 at Penn (45.50) and Tyson Gay in the open 400 in Arizona (46.34). Carmelita Jeter ran a few 400's before opening up in the 200 (22.59) and then the 100 (10.96). Hopefully this kind of strength work will pay the same dividends for the men.

And before I forget, Penn recorded a "first" (at least to my knowledge) in the announcing booth this weekend, as they had an all black announcing crew (Ato Boldon, Carol Lewis, and Lewis Johnson) for the first time. Props to CBS for this unique first.

Now that the Relay Carnivals are done it's on to Doha, Osaka, Kingston, New York and Carson. Let's get this party started!

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