The next installment of my weekly look around the NCAA’s action. If it’s Texas Relays weekend, then it’s all about the sprints. Let’s get to it!
Athletes of the week: Marcus Rowland, Harry Adams, Micheal DeHaven and Keenan Brock, Auburn
On Saturday at the Texas Relays, the Auburn foursome ran won the 4×100 relay in a blazing time of 38.30 seconds. It’s the fourth-fastest time ever run by a college team. It would have won a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships. It’s the fastest time ever run in the month of March; the previous March best was held by a quartet of Michael Frater, Ainsley Waugh, Chris Williams and Asafa Powell.
Honorable mention: Jeff Demps, Florida
The senior sprinter, who has now given up football for good, won the 100 meters at the Texas Relays in a wind-aided time of 10.01. His margin of victory was an impressive 0.14 seconds, and winning that big rarely happens at the Texas Relays. Demps’ best-ever time is 9.96, also wind-aided (his wind-legal best is 10.01) and is beginning to look more like a sprinter than a running back.
Team Player: Aaron Ernest, LSU
At the Texas Relays, the freshman sprinter ran two rounds of the 100 (finishing second to Demps), two rounds of the 4×100, ran the 4×200, and led off the sprint medley. All in all, he ran six races in two days. Honorable mention goes to Texas A&M’s Oscar Ramirez, who ran on the winning 4×800 and distance medley relays and anchored the third-place sprint medley relay.
Team of the Week: Texas Longhorns
Texas didn’t do a whole lot on the track, but they did very well in the field events. They went 1-2 in the shot put, took third in the discus, and went 1-5-7 in the decathlon. The latter event was a bit of an eye-opener, as senior Isaac Murphy set a big PR and broke the 8000 point barrier. Other notable team efforts came from LSU, who showed great running-event depth, and Texas A&M, who won three relays plus a second and a third.
He’s back: Derek Drouin, Indiana
Drouin high-jumped 7′ 1/2″ for fifth place at the Texas Relays. A year ago, the three-time NCAA champion suffered a nasty ankle break in training, and this is only his second competition since then (and his first serious effort). Without him, the Indiana Hoosiers won the Big Ten indoor championships and finished sixth at the NCAA Championships. His return to action only makes them better.
Athlete of the Week: Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU
Duncan won four events at the Texas Relays, running on the winning 4×100, 4×200, and sprint medley relays, and winning the 100. The latter race by itself is enough to earn the Athlete of the Week honors, as she ran a wind-aided 10.94 and thrashed a quality field, the tenth-fastest time ever run by a collegian.
Honorable mention: Christina Manning, Ohio State
Noting that there were other meets this weekend besides the Texas Relays, Manning won the 100 meter hurdles at Arizona’s Jim Click Shootout in a time of 12.68. It’s a PR for Manning, the NCAA runner-up in this event in 2011, and makes her the sixth-fastest collegian of all time.
Team player: Duncan
In a rare occurrence, the athlete of the week is also the team player. Duncan ran six races in two days, winning all four of her finals. LSU broke a record by winning four relay events in Austin, and Duncan had a hand in three of them.
Team of the Week: LSU Tigers
The Texas Relays annually picks a Team of the Meet, and this year it was the LSU women. It was an easy choice, given the Tigers’ domination of the relay events.