Canadian pole vaulter Shawn Barber (© Getty Images)
World champion Shawn Barber set a world lead of 5.91m when winning the pole vault at the Texas Relays, which came to a conclusion on Saturday (2). His clearance was a stadium and meeting record, though just like at the IAAF World Indoor Championships two weeks ago, the Canadian's path to upper heights wasn’t without setbacks.
He needed two attempts at 5.60m and three tries at 5.50m, but it smoothed out from there with first attempt clearances at 5.70m, 5.80m and ultimately 5.90m. Barber then took two unsuccessful tries at 6.01m, which would have been a lifetime best.
The women’s pole vault competition ended without two of its biggest stars. Jenn Suhr scratched from the competition because of tightness in her calf, while fellow American Demi Payne broke her pole on the first attempt of the competition and dislocated her thumb. Amidst all the absences, Tomomi Abiko of Japan won with a second attempt clearance of 4.33m.
Collegian Tevin Hester of Clemson ran a wind-aided (3.0m/s) 9.99 in the men’s 100m. The professional heats didn’t have as much help from the conditions. Abdullah Mohammed won the first heat in 10.12 with a 2.1m/s wind, while in the second heat, Yoshihide Kiryu ran 10.24 into a -1.4m/s wind.
World lead for Akinosun over 100m
Competing on her home track, Morolake Akinosun ran the fastest time of the year to date when taking victory in the women’s 100m. The senior from the University of Texas ran 11.07 (1.9m/s), just off her personal best of 11.04 from 2014, to come home well clear of Savannah Carson (11.50). Fresh off her fourth place finish in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships, Michelle Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago won the professional heat in 11.25. Alexandria Anderson finished second in 11.32 and Khalifa St. Fort took third in 11.39.
In the women’s 200m, Natasha Hastings won with a wind-aided time of 22.84 (2.7m/s). Ashley Spencer and Kelly Ann Baptiste finished in second and third with both timed at 23.50. The day before the 200m, Spencer won the 400m hurdles in 56.80. That is her first time racing the hurdles since 2013.
Former world champion David Oliver opened his season with a win, running 13.44 to win the 110m hurdles ahead of Tyler Mason (13.64) and Marcus Maxey (13.65).
Kevin Sully for the IAAF