#DidYouSeeThat: College Track & Field Weekend’s Best Moments (Jan. 26)
Collegiate records, NCAA Division I records, U.S. Junior records, head-to-head battles atop the national descending order lists, comeback victories: this collegiate track & field weekend had a little bit of everything and a lot of #DidYouSeeThat moments.
Running down all of that weekend’s action in detail might be the journalistic equivalent of Track & Field Superfan Jesse Squire’s experience at a meet this weekend (see tweet below), so we’ll keep it brief and keep it moving.
"Now time for 200 heats." "Heats of the 200?" "No. 200 heats."
— Jesse Squire (@tracksuperfan) January 24, 2015
Let’s run down the weekend’s top #DidYouSeeThat moments. You can take a look at everything that happened this weekend in the world of collegiate track & field over at TFRRS.
Or, if you want an event-by-event breakdown of the top performers from all collegians across all events, take a look at our weekly "Best Marks of the College T&F Weekend" page.
Be sure to cast your vote for this weekend’s top #DidYouSeeThat moment at the bottom of the page.
Demi Payne Does it Again
The reaction to clearing 15-7, breaking own NCAA record and moving to No. 3 on the all-time U.S. indoor list. pic.twitter.com/yN5nY5VdkK
— SFA T&F/XC (@SFA_TFXC) January 25, 2015
What more is there to say about Stephen F. Austin women’s pole vault sensation Demi Payne? We dedicated nearly a thousand words to Payne’s achievement on Saturday, but here are the highlights:
- She broke the collegiate record not once but twice Saturday at New Mexico (at altitude), both times on first attempts. She cleared 15-3 (4.65m) and then 15-7 (4.75m) before calling it a day.
- She is equal to third on the all-time U.S. Indoor performers list, tied with Kylie Hutson and sitting behind Olympic champions Jenn Suhr and Stacy Dragila. No American has ever jumped higher in the month of January.
- She is tied for the No. 11 spot on the all-time world indoor performers list. Only three women in world history have ever jumped higher in the month of January.
Want to know more? Again, we broke it down in our increasingly weekly "Year Of The Vault" column Saturday.
Michael Lihrman’s Historic 2015 Weight Throw Debut
What Demi Payne was to collegiate pole vaulting on Saturday, Michael Lihrman of Wisconsin was to the men’s NCAA Division I weight throw. In his season debut in a dual meet against Minnesota, he toppled his own NCAA DI record in the event with a mark of 80-3½ (24.47m) to inch him ever closer to the 82-3½ (25.09m) overall collegiate record of the legendary Kibwe Johnson of Division II’s Ashland.
He became just the second man behind Johnson to surpass 80 feet in collegiate competition, and just the eight American man in history to do so. What’s more, only four collegians have ever surpassed 24 meters in the weight throw, and even Johnson only ever did it twice wearing the purple, black and gold of Ashland. Lihrman threw 24 meters or better five times on Saturday, nearly doubling the total of all-time collegiate 24-meter heaves.
What’s next for Lihrman? His goal is clear:
Kendell Williams Posts No. 2 Pentathlon Score in College History
It was also an all-time weekend for Georgia’s reigning NCAA Division I pentathlon national champion and collegiate record holder Kendell Williams. The sophomore didn’t quite break her collegiate record in the event, but she came close with a score of 4609 in her first pentathlon of the 2015 season at Kentucky’s Rod McCravy Memorial.
That score is the second-best in collegiate history, the No. 10 mark in U.S. Indoor history, and the best-ever score by a collegian that was not recorded at altitude. How’d she do it? She was just shy of her career-bests in the 60 hurdles in 8.25 and the high jump at 1.85m, and she earned significant personal records in the long jump (6.46m) and shot put (12.77m). In fact, she ranks national at the moment in the long jump (No. 2), the high jump (No. 4) and the 60 hurdles (No. 8).
The mark overshadows the also-impressive early-season score of 4419 posted by Erica Bougard of Mississippi State on Wednesday at Samford. Bougard defeated Williams at the SEC Championships a year ago.
Edward Cheserek & the Oregon Distance Crew
Friday and Saturday marked the Return of the King, as 204 The Bowerman Finalist Edward Cheserek of Oregon made his 2015 debut at the Kentucky Rod McCravy Memorial. Friday night he ran a dominant 1600-meter leg of the distance medley en route to anchoring the Ducks to the win in a collegiate-leading 9:32.61.
One day later, Cheserek took to the track for his individual debut at 3000 meters, and again he didn’t disappoint. He ran a collegiate-leading 7:49. 56 to defeat teammate Johnny Gregorek and Arkansas’ Kemoy Campbell by more than five seconds.
Those with access to the SEC Network can watch the replay of that 3000 meters race here at the 1:20:30 mark.
Ches wasn’t the only impressive distance Duck on the weekend. Eric Jenkins made his indoor Oregon debut Friday with a 13:31.76 over 5000 meters, followed by teammates Parker Stinson (13:38.68) and Will Geoghegan (13:43.22), the latter of whom was also making his indoor Oregon debut.
Dominique Scott‘s Distance Double
Cheserek’s wasn’t the only impressive distance double at McCravy this weekend, as Dominique Scott of Arkansas also netted two collegiate leaders through her efforts.
Friday night, she took the baton as the final 1600-meter leg for the Razorbacks’ distance medley relay team in fourth place. She ran down the anchor legs from Oregon, Baylor and Florida and pulled away for a convincing five-second win over Florida in 11:02.80.
The next day, she lined up for the mile and once again blew away the field. Her margin of victory was even bigger in her individual event, as she torched a collegiate-leading 4:32.48 to win by nearly seven seconds over multiple-time All-American Colleen Quigley of Florida State.
Florida Women Win All-Time Fast 4×400
McCravy was billed as a sort of analog to the cross country season’s "Pre-National" weekend, and perhaps no event lived up to that billing more than the women’s 4×400 relay. Florida broke it open early and Claudia Francis anchored the Gators to the win in a collegiate-leading 3:29.58, just ahead of Arkansas and Texas separated by just three-hundredths of a second, 3:30.50 to 3:30.80.
Florida’s time is No. 12 on the all-time list of indoor collegiate performances (including oversized tracks) and is the fastest ever run by a collegiate team in the month of January. Arkansas’ and Texas’ times are the second- and third-fastest ever in the month of January.
Those with access to the SEC Network can watch the replay of that 4×400 relay here at the 1:44:50 mark.
Florida 4×400 Men Hang On To Beat LSU
The men’s 4×400 at McCravy was just as exciting, as two NCAA favorites in Florida and defending indoor national champion LSU squared off. Florida broke away early, but LSU’s anchor Vernon Norwood was able to reel in Florida’s Arman Hall on the final leg. Norwood ran out of real estate, however, allowing Hall and Florida to escape with a narrow 3:04.22 win by just six-hundredths of a second over LSU, 3:04.28.
Those with access to the SEC Network can watch the replay of that 4×400 relay here at the 2:08:20 mark.
Trayvon Bromell Dominates 60 Meters at McCravy
In the biggest sprints showdown of the season thus far, it was Trayvon Bromell who emerged victorious, running a 6.54 that tied him for the collegiate lead with Big 12 rival John Teeters of Oklahoma State. Florida State frosh Trentavis Friday was third in 6.60, and USC’s Andre De Grasse was fourth in 6.61.
Meanwhile at Vanderbilt, former collegiate leader Jalen Miller of Ole Miss cruised to a win in 6.58.
Morolake Akinosun Takes Down Collegiate-Leading Jasmine Todd
Entering the weekend, Jasmine Todd of Oregon was riding high after a collegiate-leading 7.15 at Washington – the best ever by a collegian in the month of January – but it was Texas’ Morolake Akinosun who owned this weekend at McCravy. The Longhorn won in 7.22 to not only take down top-ranked Todd but also No. 2 Ky Westbrook of USC and No. 4 Jenna Prandini of Oregon. Todd was runner-up in 7.26, just fractions of a second ahead of teammate Prandini, and one-hundredth of a second better than USC’s Alexis Faulknor.
Meanwhile at Vanderbilt, defending 60-meter indoor and 100-meter outdoor champion Remona Burchell of Alabama debuted with a win in 7.25.
U.S. Junior Indoor Triple Jump Record for Keturah Orji
Not bad for her first collegiate triple jump: Keturah Orji of Georgia set the U.S. Junior record in the event with a leap of 45-10½ (13.98m) at the McCravy Memorial to move her up to No. 9 on the all-time collegiate indoor performers list. The mark su rpassed the former record of 45-7.1/4 (13.90m) held by Stanford great Erica McLain.
She also notched jumps of 13.80m, 13.79m, 13.75m and 13.62m, giving her four of the five best indoor marks in U.S. Junior history.
It took an all-time performance to win for Orji; runner-up Ciarra Brewer of Florida jumped 45-2¼ (13.77m), a mark that’s just 11 centimeters shy of the all-time top-10 collegiate performers list.
Jarvis Gotch Extends Collegiate Long Jump Lead
Already the collegiate leader entering the weekend, Louisiana Tech’s Jarvis Gotch continued to build on his impressive 2015 campaign by joining the "eight-meter club" with a Vanderbilt Invitational-winning leap of 26-7¾ (8.12m) on his first attempt.
He now leads all collegians by nearly a foot.
Long Jumper Sha’Keela Saunders Takes Collegiate Lead & McCravy Win on Final Attempt
The women’s long jump at McCravy may not have been as historically significant as the triple jump, but it was perhaps even more exciting. Jenna Prandini of Oregon jumped a collegiate-leading 21-2½ (6.46m) on her third jump and decided to pass on her three finals jumps to prepare for her 60-meters competition. Sha’Keela Saunders of Kentucky came close to surpassing it in the fifth round, falling just two centimenters shy.
Prandini’s mark stood until the sixth and final round of attempts, when Saunders uncorked a collegiate-leader of her own with an impressive 21-5¼ (6.53m) leap to take the win. It was an 18cm improvement from her only other competition this year, and a 12cm career PR.
Bralon Taplin Crushes the Men’s 400 at Texas A&M
A Texas A&M Aggie set a huge collegiate lead of nearly half a second over 400 meters at his home quadrangular against Arizona State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma – and it wasn’t The Bowerman winner Deon Lendore. His teammate Bralon Taplin crushed the field with a 45.78 on his two-lap circuit around Texas A&M’s banked track, surpassing the No. 2 collegiate time of 2015, a 46.26 by Eastern Michigan’s Tyler Brown.
If not for Lendore’s 45.74 in a dual meet last season, his would have been the fastest in indoor dual-meet history.
Later in the day he closed the Aggies’ 4×400 relay with a 46.11 split – a tenth-of-a-second faster than Lendore.
Those with access to the SEC Network can watch the replay of that 400 race here at the 00:33:33 mark.
Baisden Edges Wimbley for Collegiate Women’s 400 Lead at McCravy
Though we didn’t see outdoor collegiate record holder Courtney Okolo of Texas or two-time outdoor NCAA champion Ashley Spencer of Texas, we did still see an exceptional 400-meter competition between Texas’ Kendall Baisden and Miami’s Shakima Wimbley – teammates on last summer’s gold-medal-winning 4×400 relay at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
Baisden just managed to edge out her former international teammate at the line to take the win and the collegiate lead, 51.81 to 51.82. The duo was more than a second-and-a-half clear of the rest of the field.
Shelby Houlihan Dominates 3000 at Texas A&M
Running essentially by herself for most of her 3000-meter race at Texas A&M, Arizona State’s Shelby Houlihan set the collegiate lead in 9:03.71, which also stands as the comprehensive dual-meet record in the event.
Those with access to the SEC Network can watch the replay of that 3000 meters race here at the 1:26:08 mark.
Blankenship & Irwin Impress in Men’s Pole Vault
Two-time national indoor champion Andrew Irwin of Arkansas took shots at the collegiate lead at 5.81m, but settled for 5.61m.
Meanwhile at Vanderbilt, Jake Blankenship of Tennessee cleared a personal-best 5.70m (18-8¼) to join all-time top 10 performers list tied at No. 10.