Grant Holloway in the 60m hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships (© Kirby Lee)
Setting a national record in the hurdles is to the USA what a national record in distance running is to Ethiopia or Kenya. In other words, it is a rare, and memorable, achievement.
Grant Holloway (world 110m hurdles rank: 19) broke a 32-year-old North American indoor record in the 60m hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday night (9), moving to third on the world indoor all-time list. That should have been enough, but he also won the 60m, finished third in Friday’s long jump final with 7.95m, and ran a 46.00 leg in the 4x400m.
No wonder his University of Florida team won the men’s title in the NCAA Indoor Championships at Birmingham, Alabama, where attendance figures for the second day of the championships exceeded 5,500.
“I put my mind to something, I went out there and accomplished it,” Holloway said. “No matter how many times I fell, no matter how many people told me I can’t do it, you can do anything as long as you’ve got God behind your back and a great support system.”
Holloway’s time of 7.35 in the hurdles broke the North American record of 7.36 set by Greg Foster in Los Angeles in 1987. That mark was tied by Allen Johnson in Budapest in 2004 and by Terrence Trammell in Doha in 2010.
Britain’s Colin Jackson set the world record of 7.30 in 1994 in Sindelfingen, Germany. The only other hurdler faster than Holloway is Cuba’s Dayron Robles, who clocked 7.33 in Dusseldorf in 2008 and 7.34 in Doha in beating Trammell at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships.
“I’ve been chasing it, running after that time, for so long,” Holloway said. “Now that my name is finally under it, it’s perfect. I’m shell-shocked.”
Holloway’s time was a collegiate and championship record and, of course, fastest in the world this year.
Florida coach Mike Holloway (no relation) credited Daniel Roberts (world 110m hurdles rank: 44) for pushing his hurdler. Roberts finished second in 7.41, which was under Holloway’s former collegiate record of 7.42 and moved him to equal 15th on the world indoor all-time list.
Grant Holloway won the flat 60m in 6.50, consolidating his position at No.2 on this year’s world list. Mario Burke (world 100m rank: 42) was second and 20-year-old Hakim Sani Brown of Japan third, both in 6.55.
Holloway became the third man to win the NCAA sprint/hurdles double after Willie Gault (1983) and Trammell (2000). Holloway is the first man to win the NCAA hurdles three times.
Richard wins high-quality 400m
Elsewhere, Tyrell Richard (world 400m rank: 34) climbed to No.5 on the world indoor all-time list by winning the 400m in 44.82. Oddly, he enrolled at South Carolina State University to play American football but learned he is better on the track.
Kahmari Montgomery (world 400m rank: 25), who had been the world leader, lowered his time by .01 to 45.03 and finished second. Wil London (world 400m rank: 30), silver medallist at the 2016 World U20 Championships, was third in 45.16 and Quincy Hall rounded out the faster string of the final in 45.25. The times set by Montgomery, London and Hall are the fastest ever marks for second, third and fourth in an indoor 400m race.
Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru won the 200m in 20.46, well off his world lead of 20.08.
Other champions on the oval were Bryce Hoppel (world 800m rank: 58), 1:46.46 in the 800m; New Zealand’s Geordie Beamish, 4:07.69 in the mile (with a 53.58 last 400m), and Australia’s Morgan McDonald, 7:52.85 in the 3000m.
McDonald became the fifth man in six years to win a 3000m/5000m double. Grant Fisher was second in 7:53.15. McDonald ran the closing 400m in 54.76 and Fisher in 54.85.
Payton Otterdahl (world shot put rank: 27) became the first to win both shot put and weight throw, taking the latter at 24.11m. Other champions in the field were Shelby McEwen (world high jump rank: 37), 2.29m in the high jump, and Jordan Scott (world triple jump rank: 35), 16.89m in the triple jump. Harrison Williams (world decathlon rank: 43) scored 6042 to win the heptathlon.
Florida’s team championship was its fifth in 11 years. The Gators have finished second four times in that span.
USC sprint double
In women’s events, Kayla White (world 200m rank: 85) nearly pulled off an unconventional double in the 60m hurdles and 200m. Chanel Brissett (world 100m hurdles rank: 49) edged her in the hurdles, 7.90 to 7.92, but White responded with a world-leading 22.66 in the 200m.
World U20 100m silver medallist Twanisha Terry (world 100m rank: 35) won the 60m in a PB of 7.14. Her University of Southern California teammate, Kaelin Roberts (world 400m rank: 71), took the 400m in a world-leading 51.50. Lynna Irby (world 400m rank: 24), who nearly set a collegiate outdoor record with a time of 49.80 last year, faded in the stretch and was fifth in 52.38.
Australia’s Jessica Hull (world 1500m rank: 65) won a third NCAA gold, taking the 3000m in 9:01.14 with a last lap of 31.26. She won the outdoor 1500m last year and anchored the University of Oregon to victory in the distance medley relay on Friday night.
Alexis Jacobus (world pole vault rank: 20) led a 1-3-4 finish by the University of Arkansas with a pole vault of 4.61m. Arkansas won the women’s team championship.
Sade Olatoye’s winning weight throw was 24.46m. She became the seventh woman to exceed 80 feet.
Roy Jordan for the IAAF