Baylor legend Michael Johnson’s 200 record falls at his own meet
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Baylor junior sprinter Trey Harts has known for about a year that he had a shot to break one of Michael Johnson’s Baylor records.
So why not do it at the Michael Johnson Classic?
And for that matter, why not beat former Bear and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner in the process?
Harts did all of that, clocking a new Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex record time of 20.29 seconds in the 200-meter dash Saturday evening. Harts’ time eclipsed Johnson’s record of 20.41, set in 1987,
Harts finished .27 of a second in front of Wariner in second place.
“Myself, Jeremy, Reggie (Witherspoon) — we were all saying that record’s not going to stay up through this meet,” Harts said. “Whoever won the race was going to get the record and I just happened to be that person this day.”
The Baylor men’s 4x400 relay team won its 39th straight race against collegians as Quentin Iglehart-Summers came from behind in the final 100 meters, and Baylor’s Erin Bedell set a stadium record of her own in the 1,500.
But Harts put his stamp on the day and Baylor track and field history.
“That’s pretty impressive,” Baylor coach Todd Harbour said. “Trey’s performance in the 200 definitely has to be the highlight in my mind.”
Harts ran time of 20.44 at Hart-Patterson during the 2008 season and said he knew at that time he wanted the stadium record for himself.
“I haven’t set too many records in my career,” Harts said. “To get some of those under my belt does mean a lot. It’s a little bit of a legacy and I want to leave something behind.”
Harts opened up about a five-meter lead on the star-studded field coming out of the turn. Then he just had to hold off an Olympic gold-medal winner on his heels.
Wariner looked ready to close the gap going into the straightaway, but he couldn’t catch the Baylor junior.
“I felt him there and I could hear him coming,” Harts said about Wariner. “I was thinking, ‘Don’t lock up, don’t tighten up because if you do the race is over.’ I was able to stay relaxed and composed.”
It was Harts’ first time to run against Wariner. The Baylor sprinter can now say he’s 1-0 against the former bear.
“Being able to beat him does mean a lot,” Harts said. “There will come a few races when he will beat me. Some days he’ll be the better man and some days I’ll be better.”
Baylor kept its winning streak alive against collegiate competition in the 4x400 relay by coming from behind to catch and pass Texas Tech on the final leg.
Track fans didn’t get exactly the showdown they might have been hoping for in the final race of the night. Baylor pulled LeJerald Betters out of the 4x400 due to a minor ankle injury.
That significantly decreased the Bears’ chance of beating a team of pros that included Olympians Witherspoon, Wariner, Wallace Spearmon and Darold Williamson.
The pros cruised to the open title, leaving Baylor and Texas Tech battling for the collegiate victory.
Texas Tech’s Lamont Adams and Baylor’s Iglehart-Summers took the final exchange from their teammates running shoulder-to-shoulder.
Adams opened up a lead of almost 10 meters going into the second turn of the bell lap.
But Iglehart-Summers shifted into top gear in the final 75 meters to pass Adams and capture Baylor’s 39th consecutive victory in a collegiate final with a time of 3:05.47, 1.16 seconds ahead of Texas Tech.
“He spotted him about six or seven (meters),” Harbour said about Iglehart-Summers. “That’s how he normally runs, so none of us get too nervous. He likes to bring it the last 150 and you know he’s always going to do it.”
Bedell, who has been focusing on the women’s 3,000 steeplechase this season, ran what she called a “fun” race by entering the 1,500.
She made it an especially enjoyable night by running a Hart-Patterson record time of 4:16.03. Oklahoma’s Kellie Cathey, who ran a 4:16.27 in 1982, held the stadium record for more than two decades
“That’s something that’s always special,” Bedell said. “Baylor has a strong tradition of distance and sprints and 400. So I think it’s a great honor and hopefully I can keep on breaking some of the records.
Baylor’s Tiffany Townsend swept the 100 (11.28) and 200 (23.03) and helped the Bears claim a gold medal in the 4x100 with a time of 44.08.