Friday, June 12, 2009

Collegiate Record & Rupp Double Highlight Third Day of NCAA Championships

Track and Field: NCAA Championships

Friday and Saturday of the NCAA Championships showcase the majority of finals in the meet. And the Texas A&M women got things going in fine style as they won the opening event on the track - the 4x1 relay - going away in a Collegiate Record 42.36! This shattered a 10 year old record set by LSU in 1989 of 42.50 - and is the current world leader. The squad of Khrystal Carter, Porscha Lucas, Dominique Duncan and Gabby Mayo, was fast and passed the baton flawlessly as they put on a clinic in winning by nearly a full second.

On the men's side, Florida did not set a record, but they too put on a relay clinic in outrunning the competition to win in 38.59. Florida was an early season favorite but lost top recruit and high school record holder Jeff Demps at the Conference meet to injury. Replacing Demps with hurdler Dennis Martin and shifting personnel, Florida still managed the gold in Arkansas. They started well and stayed just ahead of the competition with superb passing in the zones. In contrast, third place Texas A&M was disqualified for passing outside the zone. Losing valuable points and putting their bid for the team championship in jeopardy.

America's newest distance darling, Jenny Barringer (CO) kept things going by following up last weekend's 3:59.90 1500 with a meet record in the steeplechase as she cruised to victory in 9:25.54 breaking her own meet record of 9.29.20 set last year. The more I watch Barringer the more I'm convinced that she is our best hope, men or women, for a medal above 400 meters in Berlin.

The 100 meter finals followed similar form, as the semis best performers came through in the finals. For the women, Alexandria Anderson (Texas) stormed past the field in the final 20 meters to claim her first ever title in the event. Anderson had a horrible start but held form throughout the race and burst through in the final meters. For the men, Trindon Holliday (LSU) has been a prohibitive favorite all season. And though several threats have arisen throughout the season, in the end it was Holliday running away from the field in the second half of the race to record his second 10.00 of the meet to win over USC's Ahmad Rashad's 10.10.

Sophomore Jesua Anderson (WSU) gave us another highlight with his repeat victory in the 400H. Anderson entered the meet as the defending champion having won this meet last year. He did not disappoint, running a well paced race that found him leading entering the final stretch and holding off the determined drive of Johnny Dutch (S Car) 48.47 to 48.62.

And Galen Rupp (ORE) closed out the day with his second victory of the meet as he followed up last night's 10000 win with a title in the 5000 winning the event in 14:04.12. Rupp's double wins have propelled Oregon to 36 points and the overall team lead heading into tomorrow's final day of competition - with LSU (30), Southern California (22) and Florida (21) in hot pursuit.

For the full results of today's events click here.

Tomorrow should be a real barn burner and can be watched live on CBS starting at 10am Pacific.

Track and Field: NCAA Indoor Championships

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