Tia Brooks unleashes a throw of 19.22m to win the women's Shot at the NCAA Indoor Championships (© Kirby Lee)
US collegiate records by Tia Brooks in the women’s Shot and Arkansas in the men’s 4x400m relay highlighted the NCAA Indoor Championships at the Randal Tyson Center in Fayetteville on Friday and Saturday (March 8-9), while Lawi Lalang broke the meeting records in the mile and 3000m within the space of two hours.
Brooks threw 19.22m in the women’s Shot to crush her PB of 19.00m set at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships. She broke by seven centimetres the collegiate and meeting record set by Laura Gerraughty in 2004, and in doing so moved up to fifth on the US indoor all-time list. All five of the Oklahoma student’s valid throws would have been enough to win.
In the 4x400m Relay, the final event of the weekend, the Arkansas quartet of Marek Niit, Neil Braddy, Caleb Cross and Akheem Gauntlett clocked a world-leading 3:03.50. They turned back Florida by 0.21 and shaved a hundredth of a second off the collegiate record of 3:03.51 by a 2005 Florida team that included two-time World 400m Hurdles champion Kerron Clement. The triumph also put the finishing touches on Arkansas’ 74-59 victory over Florida for its 20th national indoor title and 41st overall.
The Oregon women defeated Kansas, 56-44, for their fourth indoor title in a row led by American junior 100m record-holder English Gardner, who placed second to Aurieyall Scott of Central Florida in the 60m, 7.13 to 7.15m, and ran the opening leg of Oregon’s victorious 4x400m relay that ran 3:30.22.
Lalang’s record-breaking double
The Kenyan-born Lalang was a one-man show, winning the mile in 3:54.74 and the 3000m in 7:45.94 with just one hour and 45 minutes between events. Lalang turned the mile into a solo effort with a hard-charging Ryan Hill of North Carolina taking the runner-up spot in 3:55.25. Both Lalang and Hill were under the 1995 meeting record of 3:55.33 set by Canadian Kevin Sullivan.
In the 3000m, Lalang pulled away to win over Kemoy Campbell of Arkansas, 7:45.94 to 7:46.59. Lalang’s time broke the meeting record of 7:46.03 set in 1998 by Adam Goucher. Campbell’s time is an outright Jamaican record, smashing the 7:55.78 outdoor best set by Mark Elliot in 1989.
NCAA cross country champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech, who just missed Lalang’s collegiate record by 0.27 in the 5000m, finished ninth in the 3000m.
The last runner to accomplish the mile and 3000m double was Bernard Lagat in 1999. Lagat, coincidentally, is a volunteer assistant coach at Arizona and training partner of Lalang. Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth completed a 3000m and 5000m double on the women’s side with times of 9:01.08 and 15:28.11, while US Steeplechase champion Emma Coburn of Colorado won the women’s mile in 4:29.91.
In the 60m Hurdles, Eddie Lovett of Florida won the men’s final with a meeting record 7.50. World-leader Brianna Rollins of Clemson won the women’s race in 7.79, just 0.01 off the 7.78 PB she set earlier in the year. Rollins now holds the top three times in the world in 2013.
Olympic medallist Drouin and Barrett prevail in High Jump
The men’s High Jump featured Olympic silver medallist Eric Kynard of Kansas State and bronze medallist Derek Drouin of Indiana. Drouin won his third national indoor title in a row with a Canadian record 2.35m. The mark was the second-best collegiate mark in history, just two centimetres off the record. Drouin had first-attempt clearances at his first seven heights, including his winning effort, before having two narrow misses at a collegiate record of 2.38m.
The unheralded Marcus Jackson of Mississippi State raised his PB by six centimetres to finish second on count-back ahead of Kynard, both jumping 2.29m.
In the women’s High Jump, Barrett won with a season’s best of 1.95m to become the first three-time NCAA indoor winner in the event. In all, Barrett has won the last five national collegiate titles indoors and out.
American junior record-holder Andrew Irwin of Arkansas won the Pole Vault at 5.70m and Natalia Bartnovskaya of Kansas was the women’s winner at 4.45m on count-back over Jade Riebold of Eastern Illinois and Martina Schultze of Virginia Tech.
In the horizontal jumps, Marquis Dendy of Florida won the Long Jump with a PB of 8.28m to extend his US-leading mark of 8.25m set last month. Bryce Lamb of Texas Tech won the Triple Jump with 16.96m. Andrea Geubelle of Kansas won the women’s Long Jump with 6.55m on count-back over Christabel Nettey, then won the Triple Jump the following day with 14.18m.
World lead for Webb in the 200m
Ameer Webb of Texas A&M won the 200m in a world-leading 20.37 to successfully defend his title and join an illustrious group of two-time winners in the event that includes Walter Dix (2006 and 2007), Leo Bookman (2003 and 2004), Shawn Crawford (1998 and 2000), Obadele Thompson (1996 and 1997), Chris Nelloms (1993 and 1994) and Michael Johnson (1989 and 1990).
US leader D’Angelo Cherry of Mississippi State won the 60m in 6.54 after false starts in the prelims that claimed Dentarius Locke and Marvin Bracy of Florida State. Errol Nolan of Houston won the 400m over Mike Berry of Oregon, 45.75 to 45.83, in two separate timed finals.
Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU beat Scott of Central Florida to win the women’s 200m, 22.58 to 22.70, to become the first three-time men’s or women’s indoor winner in the event. Duncan, however, finished seventh in the 60m to Scott.
Shaunae Miller, the 2010 World junior champion and 2011 World youth champion, won the women’s 400m with an outright PB of 50.88. Her time is a world indoor age-18 best, but just missed the World junior indoor record (50.82) set by Sanya Richards-Ross in 2004. Regina George of Arkansas was second in 51.05 and World junior champion Ashley Spencer was third in 51.27.
Elijah Greer won the men’s 800m in 1:47.13 to become Oregon’s first champion in the event. Jamaican Natoya Goule of LSU won the women’s race in 2:02.00.
Clarke wins fourth consecutive men’s Shot title
Jordan Clarke of Arizona State defended his title in the men’s Shot with an effort of 20.50m. It was the fourth consecutive national title for Clarke, who won the 2011 outdoor title and swept the indoor and outdoor titles in 2012. In the Weight Throws, Andrew Ziegler of Virginia Tech was the men’s winner at 22.46m, while Felisha Johnson of Indiana State, who won in 2011, was the women’s winner at 23.52m.
Kevin Lazas of Arkansas and Erica Bougard of Mississippi State were the winners of the combined events. Lazas won the Heptathlon by just 10 points over Japheth Cato of Wisconsin with a score of 6175 for the smallest margin of victory since the event was introduced in 2004. Lazas, who had personal bests in four of seven events, posted marks of 6.90 in the 60m, 7.55m in the Long Jump, 15.00m in the Shot, 1.99m in the High Jump, 8.27 in the 60m Hurdles, 5.40m in the Pole Vault and 2:49:00 in the 1000m.
Lazas had a 50-point lead over Cato entering the 1000m in the final event but had to endure several tense moments while the scores were calculated after Cato ran 2:45.26 to cut the final margin to 10 points.
Bougard won the Pentathlon with 4399 points with marks of 8.34 in the 60m Hurdles, 1.75m in the High Jump, 11.00m in the Shot, 6.11m in the Long Jump and 2:10.80 in the 800m.
Kirby Lee for the IAAF