Justin Aigbedion Aliu, Lagos
Relocating the NCAA Championships from often cold Oregon to always hot Texas had predictable results: college sprinters and hurdlers assaulted the record book and world lists Friday (7) night, led by Divine Oduduru and Grant Holloway.
Oduduru, has expressed his delight to win the 100m in 9.86 seconds at Austin, Texas, tying Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman for the 2019 world lead and coming within .04 of Coleman’s collegiate record. Oduduru also won the 200m in 19.73 to trail Michael Norman and Lyles this year, and also broke the championships record of 19.87. (Walter Dix got to keep his 19.69 collegiate record from 2007.)
For the first time in meet history, three men ran under 10.00 in the 100m. Cravon Gillespie was second in 9.93 and Japan’s Hakim Sani Brown, a student at the University of Florida, third in 9.97. There was a reprise of the top three in the 200m, with Gillespie at 19.93 and Sani Brown at 20.08.
Oduduru a 22-year-old Nigerian, said his coach told him “don’t be scared” and to do what he had done all season. Do that, the sprinter said, “and everything is going to be fine.”
He led Texas Tech to its first men’s team title. Texas Tech scored 60 points to 50 for runner-up Florida, led by Holloway. Houston was third with 40.
Grant Holloway edges Daniel Roberts 12.98 to 13.00 to take the NCAA title (Kirby Lee)Grant Holloway edges Daniel Roberts 12.98 to 13.00 to take the NCAA title (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
– Ran in the 4×100 relay for the first college team ever to break 38 seconds — 37.97, another world leader.
– Won the 110m hurdles in 12.98, breaking Renaldo Nehemiah’s 40-year-old collegiate record of 13.00. Holloway had to run that fast because fast-closing Daniel Roberts was second in 13.00, tying Nehemiah. Holloway tied for 18th on the all-time performers list, ninth among Americans. Together, Holloway and Roberts ran eight of the 10 fastest times in collegiate history this season.
– Ran a 43.75 anchor, fastest of the race, in the 4×400 relay. Four teams ran faster than Trinidad and Tobago’s previous world leader of 3:00.81, led by Texas A&M’s 2:59.05. Next were Florida, 2:59.60; Houston, 3:00.07; Iowa, 3:00.14.
Holloway became the second hurdler to win three times, padding his total to seven individual NCAA titles. (Jack Davis of Southern California won in 1951-52-53.)