Rollins & Barrett Earn Gold & Silver to Lead 2013 Collegians at IAAF World Championships
NEW ORLEANS – Led by 100 meter hurdles World Champion Brianna Rollins of Clemson, 2013 collegians made their presence known during the past week at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, by bringing home a combined ten medals with many more just missing the medal podium.
Athletes who were on collegiate rosters during the 2012-13 academic year accounted for 24 top-12 finishes in finals of their events with an individual championship by Clemson’s Rollins (USA), and high jump silver and bronze by Arizona’s Brigetta Barrett (USA) in the women’s competition and Indiana’s Derek Drouin (Canada) in the men’s, respectively.
Given their prominence on the world stage, it should come as no surprise that all three are finalists for collegiate track & field’s top honor, The Bowerman, and that all three won NCAA indoor and outdoor titles in 2013.
Collegians also played a significant role on medal-winning relay teams. Florida’s Arman Hall and George Mason’s David Verburg each ran legs of USA’s World Championship-winning men’s 4×400 team, along with 2012 The Bowerman finalist Tony McQuay, also of Florida.
UCF’s Octavious Freeman, anchoring the USA women’s 4×100 team, recovered from a poor handoff earlier in the race with a blistering final 100 to overcome a handful of teams and bring home silver for the stars and stripes. Oregon’s English Gardner, a two-time NCAA 100 meters winner, also ran a leg of the relay.
Illinois’ two-time outdoor NCAA 400 meters champ Ashley Spencer — now with Texas after transferring over the summer — ran a leg of USA’s silver-medal 4×400 relay, and NCAA 100 meter champ Charles Silmon of TCU opened for the USA men’s 4×100 team en route to a silver.
Rollins overcame a poor start that saw her cede nearly a tenth of a second to most of the field — including Olympic Champ Sally Pearson of Australia and 2010 The Bowerman winner Queen Harrison — only to storm back over the final few hurdles to win by .06 over Pearson in 12.44 (-0.6m/s).
The world title is the capstone of a season that saw Rollins set collegiate records and win NCAA titles in both the indoor 60 hurdles and outdoor 100 hurdles; win a USA championship in the 100 hurdles; and post a world-leader and American record in 12.26, placing her third in the history of the world.
Collegians also flexed their muscles in the high jump, where, between men and women, three 2013 student-athletes posted top-five finishes. With a clean sheet through 6-6¾/2.00m, Barrett of Arizona looked to be in control of the high jump competition after Russian rival Anna Chicherova went out at the same height. Barrett would settle for silver, however, after missing her three attempts at 6-8/2.03m.
Drouin figured prominently into an exceptionally deep and competitive men’s competition that saw defending world champ Jesse Williams (USA) not even qualify for the finals and Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko take a shot at the world record. The Canadian was on fire through his first five heights, advancing on without a miss at each, and only needed two attempts to set a new personal record and Canadian National Record of 7-9¾/2.38m to secure the bronze medal. Just as in the Olympics a year ago, Bronze is where Drouin would finish as he could not clear 7-10¾/2.41m to continue on.
Drouin’s long-time rival Erik Kynard of Kansas State (USA) finished fifth overall in the competition after clearing 7-7¼/2.32m.
Gardner and Georgia’s Shaunae Miller (Bahamas) finished just off the podium in fourth in their respective individual events. Gardner, the US champion and two-time NCAA champion at 100 meters, finished fourth in the 100 in Moscow in 10.97 (-0.3m/s) — just .03 behind teammate Carmelita Jeter. Freeman finished eighth in 11.16.
Miller, the surprise 400 meter NCAA indoor champion in 2013 as a freshman, was the first woman out of the medals at 200 meters, finishing fourth in 22.74 (-0.3m/s).
The men’s 200 also saw a collegians taking a shot at the medals as Jackson State’s Anaso Jobadwana (South Africa) finished sixth in the final in 20.14 (0.0m/s) after running side-by-side with 100/200 champ and sprinting legend Usain Bolt (Jamaica) in his semifinal heat.
The high jumpers weren’t the only field event collegians battling for medals. Indoor and outdoor NCAA women’s shot put champ Tia Brooks of Oklahoma (USA) finished eighth with a mark of 59-4¼/18.09m to conclude her dominating season; and outdoor long jump NCAA winner Damar Forbes of LSU (Jamaica) also finished eighth with a leap of 26-3¾/8.02m (+0.1m/s).
The Bowerman finalist Julian Wruck of UCLA (Australia) took 11th in the men’s discus final with a toss of 204-8/62.40m.
Likewise, the sprinters weren’t the only track-based collegians in on the top-level competition. Wisconsin’s Mo Ahmed (Canada) finished ninth in the men’s 10,000 in 27.35.76, while Oregon’s Jordan Hasay (USA) was 12th in the women’s competition in 32:17.93.
The fastest and third-fastest indoor male milers in collegiate history were in action throughout the week, albeit in different events. Record holder Chris O’Hare of Tulsa (Great Britain) took 12th in the men’s 1500 final in 3:46.04, while NC State’s Ryan Hill (USA) took 10th in the 5000 in 13:32.69.
Collegians also made an impact in the women’s 4×400 relay, where UMES’ Lenora Guion-Firmin helped France to a fourth-place finish and Arkansas’ Regina George anchored Nigeria to a sixth-place finish.
Photo Courtesy: Image of Sport