The main excitement during this portion of the track season is at the collegiate level, with conference championships on tap in about 4 weeks time and the NCAA Preliminary rounds set for May 26 – 28. Which means that action will be heating up in the collegiate ranks any minute.
For Texas A&M apparently that minute was this past weekend, as both the men’s and women’s squads laid down some very quality marks at the Texas Relays. Both squads will head to Iowa in June as defending NCAA champions. The men took a 1 point victory over Florida last year (55 to 54), while the women had a bit easier time with a 72 to 57 point victory over Oregon.
In Texas both squads appeared sharp and ready to rumble, laying down marks that would be potential winners come June. The men’s squad had several world leading marks – 38.71 (4x1), Gerald Phiri (10.06, 100), 3:00.45 (4x4), 7:19.57 (4x8), and 3:15.18 (Sprint Medley). Throw in a 251’ 9” in the javelin, a 26’ 5.75”w long jump, and a 54’ 8.75”w triple jump and you have a squad that is putting itself in a solid position to make another run at a title. The women’s squad was also in mid season form with marks of 10.94w (100, Tarmoh), 42.87 (4x1), 3:27.33 (4x4).
On this day only the LSU squads were able to give the Aggies a decent run with the men turning 38.78 (4x1) then winning the 4x2 in a world leading 1:20.45. While the women also turned in a world leader in the 4x2 with a 1:30.88.
The Texas wind played havoc with times all day but there were some other performances that I feel were noteworthy. Erik Kynard continued his fine high jumping with an outdoor PR of 7’ 5.75” – and took shots at 7’ 7”. Although the race was windy, Marshavet Myers won the 100 in a nice 10.90 (+3.2). What really impressed me, however is the second place finish of Alexandria Anderson in 10.91. Anderson began to show promise indoors with a 7.12 60 meter win over Carmelita Jeter at US Nationals. It looks like she may be ready to impress outdoors as well.
Finally it was nice to see American sprinters getting some relay work together as squads of Trell Kimmons, Mike Rodgers, Darvis Patton and Wallace Spearmon (38.41) and Laryn Williams, Shalonda Solomon, Bianca Knight and Marshavet Myers (42.45) turned in a couple of early world leaders.
There should be more hot relaying in store with MtSAC, Sea Ray, The Freedom Games, Tom Jones Invitational, and UTEP Invitational all slated for this weekend. And what should be a hot collegiate dual meet with Oregon taking on UCLA.