WEEKEND ROUNDUP (ITF): Collegians Shine On Conference Championships Weekend

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Conference Championships Weekend always brings the best out of collegiate track & field athletes.

This year is no different.

We saw a number of incredible performances over the weekend.

Allow us to take you through them.

Usoro Stars At Big 12 Championships

Two is always better than one – not just with conference titles, but also in national leads and all-time performances.

Ruth Usoro showed that at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in Lubbock, Texas.

On Friday, Usoro held the lead after three rounds in the long jump with a seasonal best of 6.53m (21-9), then saw Tara Davis of Texas take over at 6.68m (21-11) in Round 4. Usoro waited until her final jump to win the event with a PR 6.82m (22-4½) – not only taking the national lead, but tying her for No. 6 on the all-time collegiate list.

Usoro followed with another PR to win Saturday’s triple jump. She improved her national lead – and No. 2 standing on the all-time list – becoming just the second TJer over 47-feet with a jump of 14.36m (47-1½).

That’s A Fast Wildcat

Abby Steiner put the nation and the collegiate record book on notice a few weeks ago.

It was at the Tiger Paw Invitational where Steiner went 22.52 over 200 meters to cement her collegiate lead and equal the 10th best performer in collegiate indoor history.

Consider the notice served after her performance this past weekend at the SEC Indoor Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Steiner broke the meet record and tied the No. 3 performer in collegiate history with her 22.41 effort in Friday’s preliminary rounds. Read that again: Steiner went 22.41 in the prelims, which also marked the fastest qualifying mark ever recorded in collegiate history.

Make It Double For JuVaughn … Again

Two events? No problem.

Two events on the same day? Bring it on.

JuVaughn Harrison of LSU became the third man in SEC Indoor Championships history to win both the high jump and long jump at the same meet. He joined Thomas Dukes of LSU way back in 1957 and Michael Morrison of Florida, who was the last to do so in 2006.

Harrison started off the afternoon with an easy victory in the high jump at 2.20m (7-2½), but truly starred in the long jump. It was an incredible competition that saw seven of the top-9 men hit a personal best, including Harrison’s 8.33m (27-4) winner that not only matched the collegiate lead by Isaac Grimes of Florida State, but equaled the fifth best performer in collegiate history.

Gittens Bounces Back In A Big Way

It took some 24 hours, but the real Tyra Gittens returned to her Texas A&M uniform, winning the high jump and long jump at the SEC Championships on Friday.

Gittens put a disappointing sixth-place pentathlon effort on Thursday behind her and concentrated on her two best individual events.

The high jump featured the nation’s three best, and everything was tied until Gittens – the national leader – took the lead with a first-attempt clearance at 1.86m (6-1¼). Anna Hall of Georgia and LSU’s Abigail O’Donoghue followed with second-attempt makes.

Gittens was the only one over 1.89m (6-2¼) – second only nationally to her own 1.91m (6-3¼) – but that meant she needed to hurry over to a long jump already heating up. She made the final on her third attempt, tied for the lead in Round 5 and then won – and equaled her PR – with a 6.62m (21-8¾) effort on her last jump of the competition.

LSU’s Aliyah Whisby was second at 6.61m (21-8¼) as seven of the top-8 jumpers matched or set PRs.

Fahnbulleh, Laird Trade SEC MRs In 200

Meet records don’t last as long as they used to, especially at the SEC Indoor Championships.

In the first final of the Men’s 200 Meters, Joseph Fahnbulleh of Florida went 20.32 to break a four-year-old standard set by Jareem Richards of Alabama in 2017. It also took the national lead from Matthew Boling, who went 20.37 in the prelims on Friday afternoon.

In the second final, just three minutes later, Terrance Laird of LSU rocketed to a 20.28 to put Fahnbulleh at No. 2 on the NCAA and SEC chart. Laird also became the 10th-best performer in collegiate history with that effort.

There Must Be Something About SPIRE

You have to see these finishes at the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, to believe them.

Here is the dramatic end to the Men’s 800 Meters…

Here is the how the Men’s 60 Meter Hurdles wrapped up…

See? We told you.

Bassitt, Eagles Fly at GLIAC Championships

Trevor Bassitt and the Eagles hit a new level of fast in the postseason.

After equaling his best of 7.68 in the 60H prelims, Bassitt won the finals with a new PR and GLIAC meet record of 7.67. Already the No. 2 performer all-time in divisional history, his winning time also matches the third fastest mark in NCAA DII history.

Bassitt later returned to the track and shattered the GLIAC meet record in the 200 in 20.40. It is also the NCAA DII all-conditions best, demolishing the 20.67 set by Mobolade Ajomale in 2018.

In terms of the 2021 All-College List, Bassitt is ranked No. 5 in the 200, No. 6 in the 400 (45.27) and t-No. 6 in the 60H.

The Eagles closed out the meet with the second fastest all-conditions time in the 4×400 relay. Bassitt teamed up with Tim rums, Keshun Jones and Channing Phillips as they got the baton around in 3:08.23 – just 0.02 off of the all-time NCAA DII record of 3:08.21 set by St. Augustine’s in 1995.

Vaulters Hit New Heights On NCAA Division II All-Time List

In a battle for the MIAA pole vault supremacy, Haven Lander took home the crown.

Lander and Madi Wulfekotter both cleared 4.22m (13-10) – a height that makes them the No. 7 performers all-time in NCAA DII history. Lander earned the win with fewer missed clearances, as she cleared the height on her first attempt compared to Wulfekotter’s third.

The winning height also surpassed the previous MIAA record of 4.21m (13-9¾) by Emily Presley in 2018.