#DidYouSeeThat: College T&F Weekend Recap – Collegiate Records ARE NOT SAFE
NEW ORLEANS – If you’re a collegiate indoor track & field record holder and you’re reading this article, you know that – based on this weekend – this season is going to be a worrisome one for you.
If you’re just a fan of track & field with nothing at stake in the collegiate record books, it’s going to be a great one.
In the span of the past two days, the women’s pole vault record nearly fell twice over the course of an hour, the men’s pole vault record nearly (officially) fell the next night, the Texas A&M men came agonizingly close to their own 4×400 relay record, and the multiple chases for the distance medley world/collegiate records produced an instant-classic race at Penn State.
As always, check out TFRRS for the full picture of what happened in college T&F this weekend.
Here’s how it went down:
The record books went on red alert beginning Friday afternoon in Houston, where Stephen F. Austin’s Demi Payne looked to extend her streak of weekends with collegiate women’s pole vault records to three in a row.
In a sign that she is in fact fallible, she brushed the bar and cleared 4.62m on her second attempt before moving the bar straight up to 4.76m – just one centimeter higher than her current collegiate record.
Though fans have come accustomed to seeing her get up and over whichever height she attempts on her first try, Payne went out on three consecutive misses
In clearing 4.62m, she became the first collegian to surpass the 4.60m threshold and not set a collegiate record.
That all concluded at approximately 4:50pm CT. Less than an hour later in Fayetteville, Arkansas, former collegiate record holder Sandi Morris of Arkansas was on the runway with a chance to reclaim the collegiate record at – what other height could it be? – 4.76m.
After clearing three heights – including a career-best 4.65m – on her first attempts and passing on one other, Morris could not quite make the bar for a new collegiate record, knocking it off the standards three times in a row.
She ended the weekend with a win not only at the Razorback Invitational, but also in what has become a weekly cross-country showdown with Payne, and the best height ever cleared by a collegian NOT at altitude. The mark tied Payne’s former collegiate record of 4.65m as the second-best jump in collegiate history.
The duo of Morris and Payne now account for each of the top seven heights in collegiate history. Remember when Texas’ Kaitlin Petrillose held the collegiate record at 4.60m earlier this season? Yeah, that mark has been surpassed seven times in the month of January.
One night later, the men’s collegiate record in the pole vault was in similar danger as Shawn Barber of Akron had sealed a win at the Armory in NYC and was jumping for the record books.
After third-attempt clearances at 5.67m and 5.80m – the latter of which tied him with his collegiate best as the No. 4 vaulter in collegiate history – he raised the bar to 5.86m, just one centimeter higher than the current collegiate record set by Jacob Davis of Texas in 1999.
As a refresher, Barber has actually gone higher even this month in a 5.87m performance at the Texas Vault Expo, but his mark did not count for collegiate record purposes since he was competing unattached and it was not achieved at a full track & field meet.
Back to the present. Barber couldn’t get over that height on this night with three consecutive misses to end his night. But he did get another win over former collegiate rival Sam Kendricks, and he became the first man to clear 19 feet at the Armory. All while "a little bit injured and a little bit under the weather."
The pole vault was not the only event with its collegiate record in jeopardy this weekend, however. Relay records were tested with similar vigor over the course of the past two days.
At that same Razorback Invitational where Morris landed her historic jump, one day later another collegiate record came agonizingly close to falling: the men’s 4×400 record.
Like pole-vaulting Payne, the Texas A&M men who ran on Saturday – Bowerman Trophy winner Deon Lendore, Shavez Hart, Bralon Taplin and Gregory Coleman – were chasing after their own collegiate record from a year ago (3:03.20 at the SEC Championships) and came up just short.
Propelled by a 44.74 second leg from Taplin ("I thought I was Deon Lendore out there," he said afterward to 12thMan.com) and a 45.13 anchor leg from Lendore with no one within four seconds of him, the Aggies clocked a very impressive 3:03.23 for the second-fastest time in collegiate history. The earliest any other team had run a 3:03.xx relay prior to Saturday was the 2012 Arkansas men on February 11 in 3:03.76, also in this facility.
Coincidentally, Texas A&M also missed the collegiate outdoor 4×400 relay record by just .01 at last year’s NCAA Championships.
The night before, Lendore ran a 45.58 leg of the distance medley relay (after teasing that he might run the 800-meter leg on Twitter) – presumably one of the fastest splits in collegiate history – to mow down five guys during his section of the relay. But it wasn’t the Aggies’ DMR team or even any team at Arkansas that made the most noise nationally this weekend (though Oklahoma State‘s 9:30.65 win over traditional powers Stanford and Arkansas is certainly nothing to scoff at).
That’s because both the men’s collegiate record (also the world record) of 9:25.97 and the women’s collegiate record (also the world record) of 10:50.98 were both in jeopardy at points throughout the weekend.
The Georgetown women took the first crack at the record books, running a dominant collegiate-leading 10:57.71 that put them just over a second outside the all-time top-10 performances list. FloTrack Pro subscribers can check it out here.
Just minutes later, the most dramatic DMR (and perhaps overall race) of the weekend unfolded as the Penn State men, looking to improve their No. 2 all-time performance from a year ago, were upset by the Georgetown men. The Hoyas’ winning 9:28.22 moved them to No. 4 on the collegiate all-time top-10 performers list with the fourth-fastest time ever, while PSU finished just behind at 9:28.36 for the No. 5 spot on the all-time performances list.
After trading the lead back and forth during the 1200 and 400 legs of the race, Georgetown opened up a significant four-second gap over PSU to start the final 1600-meter leg after a bad handoff between Za’Von Watkins and Robby Creese. Creese made up the difference quickly, and managed to open up a lead of his own with about 600 meters to go.
He held that lead for nearly the rest of the race, down to the final short straightaway, but couldn’t hold off a hard-charging Amos Bartelsmeyer who clipped him at the line.
The world record did fall in the DMR the next night at the Armory, just not to a collegiate team. The Team USA quartet of Matt Centrowitz, Mike Berry, Erik Sowinski and Pat Casey ran 9:19.93 to shatter the 9:25.97 set by Texas in 2008.
Other Notable Performances
- Najee Glass of Florida nearly joined the collegiate all-time top-10 performers list at 400 meters, missing the cut by just .01 with his 45.34 to win at Arkansas. He did move up to the No. 7 spot among American collegians all-time. His Gators didn’t run the 4×400, but teammates Hugh Graham, Jr., and Nick Uruburu went 45.98 and 46.75, respectively.
- In separate meets this weekend, collegiate men’s 60-meters leader John Teeters of Oklahoma State and former collegiate leader Jalen Miller of Ole Miss both went 6.55 – .01 off the collegiate lead – in their early rounds on Friday. Teeters went on to run a 6.56 in the semifinal the next day but did not contest the final. Miller also won the meet with a 6.59 despite slipping out of the blocks. He has now run sub-6.60 six times this season. Also running 6.56 was TCU’s Ronnie Baker at the New Mexico Team Invitational.
- A pair of long jumpers joined the eight-meter club for 2015 in defending outdoor champ Marquis Dendy of Florida and Arkansas State’s Roelf Pienaar – and both did so competing in the same state at different meets. Dendy won at Arkansas with a leap of 26-3¾ (8.02m), while Pienaar reached 26-1¾ (7.97m) at Arkansas State.
- The Ryan Crouser shot put train is starting to pick up momentum, as the defending national champ Texas Longhorn threw 68-9 (20.95m) in New Mexico and logged the collegiate season’s four farthest throws.
- In her first race over her signature 800-meter distance in a Clemson uniform, 2013 NCAA champion Natoya Goule ran a collegiate-leading 2:02. 78 to finish sixth in the invitational section of the event at the Armory.
- Leah O’Connor of Michigan State won the mile at the Michigan-Michigan State dual in 4:34.28, which is No. 2 in the country and, per Jesse Squire of the Daily Relay, the second fastest ever in a dual meet.
- How about some Division II love? Erika Kinsey, a frosh at Central Missouri, took the collegiate lead in the high jump with a clearance of 6-2¾ (1.90m) at her home Mule Relays this weekend, and Shanice McPherson of New Mexico Highlands notched the No. 2 long jump of the collegiate season at 21-3½ (6.49m).