Andre De Grasse in action at the NCAA Championships (© Kirby Lee)
Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse, representing the University of Southern California, produced two of the fastest times in history under any conditions to win the 100m and 200m double at the NCAA Championships in Eugene on Friday (12).
Within the space of 50 minutes, he sped to a 9.75 (2.7m/s) clocking in the 100m and a 19.58 (2.4m/s) triumph in the 200m. And he wasn’t even regarded as the pre-race favourite for either event going into the championships.
World junior record-holder Trayvon Bromell had impressed in the semi-finals with a PB of 9.90. Aided by a tailwind over the allowable limit, the 19-year-old went even faster in the final, but was no match for De Grasse, who opened up a winning margin over the second half to stop the clock at 9.75.
Bromell finished second in 9.88, just 0.02 ahead of Jarrion Lawson, who had finished second in the long jump two days prior. Senoj-Jay Givans of Texas and world junior champion Kendal Williams ran 9.97 and 9.98 respectively in fourth and fifth.
Less than an hour later, De Grasse, Bromell and Williams were back on track for the 200m to take on defending NCAA champion Dedric Dukes. Once again, De Grasse was a class apart. The 20-year-old was already in front at half way and extended his lead through to the finish, winning in a wind-assisted 19.58.
Bromell was caught by Dukes on the line. Both clocked 19.86 but Dukes was awarded second place.
Under all conditions, De Grasse’s performances in Eugene have only been bettered by seven men in the 100m and five men in the 200m. It is also the fastest one-day sprint double in history.
Dendy achieves triple double
This season has been deemed by many as the year of the jumps and Marquis Dendy proved that’s the case, winning his third NCAA horizontal jumps double.
Having won the long jump with a wind-assisted 8.43m two days ago, the Florida student opened his campaign in the triple jump with a PB of 17.50m (1.2m/s). The wind picked up in the second half of the competition and he improved to 17.54m (3.6m/s) in round four before ending his series with a wind-assisted 17.71m (2.4m/s).
Dendy’s winning mark, although wind assisted, was significantly beyond the collegiate record of 17.57m that has stood since 1982. Bahamian Latario Collie-Mimms, representing Texas A&M, finished second with 17.01m.
Like De Grasse and Dendy, Jamaica’s Omar McLeod was denied a potential championship record in the 110m hurdles due to a strong tailwind.
The Arkansas student won by two metres in 13.01 (3.9m/s), adding the outdoor NCAA title to the one he won indoors in the 60m hurdles.
Another Oregon 1-2
After taking the top two spots in the 10,000m on the opening day of the championships, Oregon duo Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins replicated those positions in the 5000m on Friday.
Once again, Cheserek came out on top, winning his eighth individual NCAA title in 13:48.67 with Jenkins just 0.25 behind. With the points accrued in this event, they effectively secured the overall team title for the University of Oregon in the men’s competition.
Defending champion Deon Lendore pulled up during the 400m final, leaving the way clear for LSU’s Vernon Norwood to cruise to victory in 45.10.
Michael Stigler was another comfortable winner over one lap of the track, winning the 400m hurdles in 48.84.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF