Fast but windy sprinting - NCAA's, Day Two

Fast but windy sprinting - NCAA’s, Day Two

Friday 11 June 2004

Austin, Texas, USA - Fast-but-mostly windy sprinting and an exciting men’s Long Jump highlighted Day 2 of the NCAAs (10 June).

Heptathlon - defending champion beaten

After yesterday’s wet conditions, Jacquelyn Johnson of Arizona State finished the Heptathlon with 5807 points, 204 more than her previous best. She had personal bests in the 100-metres Hurdles, Javelin and 800. Defending champion Hyleas Fountain bothered by a sore right hamstring, was second with 5785.

Fast sprinting

Lauryn Williams, a University of Miami student from Rochester, Pennsylvania, showed an explosive start and impressive straight-ahead motion as she won her heat of the women’s 100 metres in 10.94 (+2.8), while in another heat Muna Lee produced a 11.01 (+3.5). Lee led the women’s 200 with a 22.40 (+3.0), with five other under 23 seconds.

The women’s hurdles qualifying produced even more speed-in-depth, with all nine finalists running 12.96 or faster. Most of them were windy, true, but not excessively so, and right now you could pick the winner out of a hat.

And perhaps the best performance of all was a collegiate record of 3:25.58 in Heat One of the women’s 4x400 by the host University of Texas – a time which was bettered last year only by the first four national teams in IAAF World Championships in Paris. The centrepiece was a 49.9 second leg by Sanya Richards, but of course in Saturday’s final she’ll be running the anchor leg.

The men’s sprinting was equally wind-aided and equally fast. Marc Burns (TRI) rode a 4.2 tailwind to a 9.99 victory in the fastest heat. Tyson Gay, the favourite coming in, won his heat with a 10.01 (+2.7). Gay came back to lead the 200 heats in a wind-legal 20.09 (+1.9), barely edging the runner-up in his heat, Brian Dzingai (ZIM), who ran 20.12…

The men’s 110 hurdles heats were also of high quality, led by Josh Walker’s 13.42 (+2.0),with the eight other finalists ranging from 13.47 to 13.55, and Baylor’s 3:01.87 was fastest in the men’s 4x400 trials, which required 3:04.65 or faster to advance to Saturday’s final.

Thrilling Long Jump

Most of the field events were preliminaries, too, but the men’s Long Jump final provided a thrilling seesaw contest between John Moffitt of Louisiana State and California Tony Allmond, competing for the University of South Carolina. Moffitt led most of the way, and reached 8.29 (+2.0) on his fifth jump. Then Allmond popped one 8.35, riding a 3.9 m/s tailwind. Nothing daunted, replied with the final jump of the competition and a breeze of his own, to break the sand at 8.40 (+2.6).

But today was mostly getting ready for the racing finals, which start tomorrow (11 June), and should be faster, and one hopes, a bit less windy.

Jim Dunaway for the IAAF