Sunday, 14 June 2009 Jonathan Borlee cruises 44.78 Belgian national record in Fayetteville - NCAA Championships Day 4
Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA – After three days of less-than-perfect weather at the NCAA championships, Saturday (13) turned up warm and sunny, and the athletes responded in kind.
Twenty-one year old Belgian Jonathan Borlee, who with his twin brother Kevin attends Florida State University, won a hot men’s 400m with a sizzling 44.78 national record, three metres ahead of Michael Bingham’s 45.09. Behind them came Calvin Smith, Jr., in 45.29, and Kevin Borlee in 45.43.
The women’s 400 was almost as hot, with a three-way homestretch battle being won with a last-minute surge Huh???:eek:by Joanna Atkins to win in 50.39. Behind her Jessica Beard edged indoor champion Francena McCorory, 50.56 to 50.58. All three were huge PBs.
Another “star is born” moment took place in the men’s 110m Hurdles, where long-striding Ronnie Ash, a sophomore at little-known Bethune Cookman University strode to a two-metre victory over favored Jason Richardson. The time was even more impressive - 13.27 - and even more, more impressively, it was run into a 2.0 headwind. WOW!!!
The women’s short hurdles ran to form with Tiffany Ofili winning her third straight NCAA title by a couple of metres in 12.96 (-0.7).
All four middle distance races were tactical affairs. German Fernandez won the men’s 1,500 by the simplest of tactics: leading all the way, and running just fast enough to stay in front, and the pullling away to win comfortably in 3:39.00.
Geena Gall won the women’s 800 in exactly the same way, but with a somewhat faster time, 2:00.80. The women’s 1500 was taken by Susan Kuijken (NED) in 4:13.05, and the men’s 800 was a thriller with Andrew Wheating winning with a last-step lean from Tevan Everett, 1:46.21 to 1:46.27.
The top field event performances of the day both came in the triple jumps. Kimberly Williams, winner of Friday’s women’s Long Jump, came back with a fine series that ended with a just-windy 14.38m (+2.1) and a wind-legal best of 13.88. Will Claye, the freshman phenom from Oklahoma won the men’s TJ with 17.24m (+2.5), and had a wind-o.k. jump of 17.19m to set an American junior record. Not far behind him was Jamaican Julian Reid, who recorded a wind-aided 17.10m (+2.5), and a wind-legal 16.98m.
Discus victories were won by D’Andra Carter (another Michael Carter daughter), with 55.62m and Martin Maric (CRO) whose final-round throw of 59.82m put him 2cm ahead of Shot Put winner Ryan Whiting.
Finally, Texas won the women’s 4x400m Relay in a quick 3:28.51, sparked by a 50.93 third leg by Alexandria Anderson, winner of Friday’s 100m and a close third in today’s 200 final.
Click here for results
James Dunaway for the IAAF