44.12 for Wariner in April


With the meet’s namesake, former Baylor and Olympic legend Michael Johnson, looking on, the highlight of the meet for the fans was watching Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner run 44.12 to finish ahead of former Baylor teammate and fellow 4x400-meter relay gold medalist Darold Williamson, who ran 44.88. The Bears finished 1-2-3 in the 400 meters as junior Reggie Witherspoon (Marietta, Ga.) won the 400 meters with a regional qualifying time of 46.36, lowering his previous best from 46.99, while freshman Quentin Iglehart-Summers (San Antonio, Texas) ran a regional qualifying time of 47.16 and freshman R.J. Anderson (Big Pine Key, Fla.) finished third just missing the qualifying mark with a time of 47.34.

Licensed to Baylor University Hy-Tek’s Meet Manager 4/22/2006 08:58 PM
Michael Johnson CLASSIC - 4/21/2006 to 4/22/2006

Event 40 Men 400 Meter Dash Inv/Open

Region NCAA: # 47.26
Name Year School Finals H#

1 Witherspoon, Reggie BU 46.36# 2
2 Summers, Quentin BU 47.16# 1
3 Anderson, R.J. BU 47.34 1
4 Vadeboncouer, Nathan ILLINOIS 47.43 2
5 Smith, Carl SHU 48.23 1
6 Bowens, Quentin SHU 49.85 2
– Wariner, Jeremy ADIAS X44.12# 2
– Williamson, Darold NIKE X44.88# 2
– Ashley, Jamel REEBOK X45.51# 2
– Ayre, Sanjay PUMA X45.94# 2
– Wang, John CHINA X47.53 1
– Wang, Terry CHINA X47.60 1

Wariner opens with 44.12 in Waco
Sunday 23 April 2006
Waco, Texas, USA - Former (but not retired) Baylor University coach Clyde Hart got an early-season progress report from his small-but-elite stable of 400m runners at the otherwise low-key Michael Johnson Invitational meeting at the university’s track yesterday evening (22). Hart was encouraged by what he saw.

Olympic and World champion Jeremy Wariner, 22, running his individual 400m debut of the outdoor season, crushed a 400m field which included three other sub-45 runners, winning by 7 metres in 44.12. Yes, 44.12.

Jeremy Wariner
(Kirby Lee)

It was a performance so unexpectedly fast that it left his teammate and training partner Darrold Williamson’s sparkling 44.88, which in any other circumstances would itself be headline-grabbing, look ordinary. Another light-year behind the two ex-Baylor aces was Jamel Ashley (45.51), who ran second behind Williamson in last year’s NCAA 400, and Jamaican Sanjay Ayre, another Hart graduate pupil, fourth in 45.96.

Wariner and Williamson claimed No. 1 and No.3 spots on the current 400m year list. Said Hart after Wariner’s race, “I thought he might run in the 43s.” Meeting sponsor Johnson, agent for both Wariner and Williamson, watched from the infield and looked like the cat who swallowed the canary.

A few minutes earlier, Hart’s other IAAF World Ranked number one, Sanya Richards, 21, defeated a field of collegiate 400m runners with an almost-as-impressive solo run in 50.44. This performance, like Wariner her individual opener of the summer, put the World Championship silver medallist second on the year-list behind the 50.28 of Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu, set when winning the Commonwealth Games a month ago in Melbourne. Richards’ race was a definitive demonstration of the difference between 'professional" and ‘amateur.’

Sanya Richards (USA)
(Getty Images)

Europe will see a lot of both Wariner and Richards this summer, starting with the IAAF Golden League opener 2 June at the Bislett Games in Oslo. In this non-Olympic, non-World Championships year, both Richards and Wariner will concentrate on two things: (1) the Golden League, and (2) nailing some fast 200-meter times. Wariner, who has already run 20.57 and 20.37 (PB) this spring, will be looking for another 200 PB next weekend at the Drake Relays.

James Dunaway for the IAAF