19th-Ranked Track and Field Caps Weekend with 19 PRs
April 21, 2012
AUBURN – In its second and final home meet of the season, No. 19/19 Auburn track and field posted 19 new personal bests on Saturday to give it a total of 27 for the weekend as the 2012 War Eagle Invitational came to a close.
“I’m really excited about our performances today,” Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. “We were a little worried about the weather coming in, but we were very fortunate to get good conditions. I think top to bottom we had great performances against some great competition. We established some really strong national marks.”
Once again the star on Saturday for Auburn came from the talented men’s sprint group. This time it was sophomore Keenan Brock’s chance to turn some heads. The speedster from Birmingham set his 100 meter personal-best time twice on Saturday afternoon, first with a 10.18 in the prelims and then with a blistering 10.09 in the finals.
The 100 meter performance wasn’t the end for the former All-American, as Brock came back with a new PR in the 200 meters with his run of 20.47 seconds. His 100 meter mark of 10.09 seconds ranks second in the SEC and third in Division I, while his 200 meter effort is third in the SEC and eighth in Division I.
“Keenan Brock went 10.09 with legal wind in the 100 meters,” Spry said. “That is a phenomenal time. It is one of the top two or three times in the country. Then, he came back and backed it up in the 200 meters with 20.47. That is one of the top 200 meter times in the country. Marcus Roland also ran great today with 10.25 in the 100 and 20.79 in the 200. Every race he is getting better and gaining more confidence after the injury last year.”
Brock’s 100 meter time is the fifth-fastest in Auburn history, while his 200 meter mark is sixth-fastest.
Rowland topped his 100 meter mark from a week ago with his 10.25 showing as he placed fourth and was the second collegiate to cross the finish line behind only Brock. Running the 200 meters for the first time outdoors in 2012, Rowland placed second behind Brock in 20.79 seconds.
Sophomore high jumper DJ Smith had a strong day and established a new personal best with his clearance at 7-3.75 (2.23m). He finished second in the event to former Auburn Tiger and World Champion Donald Thomas, who cleared 7-5 (2.26m).
“DJ Smith had a great day,” Spry said. “I watched him high jump today and I think the jump he took was the fourth-best mark in the country now. He really had 7-6, and was actually over the bar and made a great attempt at it. I thought the bar was going to stay up, but at the very last second it came off. He’s very close to being number two in the nation.
“The exciting thing about him is that he’s had his ups and downs and has struggled a little bit. He stayed focused though and didn’t lose confidence. Coach Richardson did a great job of helping him stay focused. Now, we are starting to see the benefits of that confidence. I’m really excited now, because that’s a guy that can score national-level points.”
Smith’s mark ranks fourth nationally and puts him in second place in the SEC. His clearance moves him into a tie for second-place in Auburn history behind only Thomas’ 7-8 in 2007.
The Auburn women also had a strong day on their home track. The 4x100 meter relay team consisting of Kai Selvon, Nivea Smith, Ashley Cruder and CeCe Williams shaved four hundredths of a second off their season-high time and finished as the top collegiate team in 44.14 seconds.
The Tigers also got strong performances in the high jump from Maya Pressley and Monica Carney. Pressley finished second in the invitational event behind current world champion and United States record holder Chaunte Lowe. Pressley tied her season high with a clearance at six feet, but was bested by Lowe’s track record jump of 6-6.75.
Carney set a new PR with her mark of 5-10.75.
“The women’s 4x1 relay had a good day,” Spry said. “Kai Selvon and Nivea Smith were good. Maya Pressley was great in the high jump. Monica Carney was right there behind her too. We had a great day all the way around. I’m really excited because this week lets me know that things are right where they need to be. We have a lot of momentum off this weekend and if we can continue to stay healthy and do what we need to do, then we are in great shape to perform well at the championships competitions.”
Selvon also set a pair of PRs in the 100 meters, first in the prelims at 11.43 seconds, then in the finals at 11.42 seconds as she finished second behind former Tiger Sheniqua Ferguson (11.07 seconds).
Teammate Alycia Prior was third and she PRed at 11.67 seconds in the preliminary round. Ashley Cruder tied Prior in the early heats at 11.67, also a new personal-best time for the senior from Denver, Colorado.
Senior CeCe Williams recorded a new career-best mark in her final home meet with a third-place finish in the 400 meters in 53.08 seconds. That mark ranks seventh in SEC and 18th nationally. Fellow senior Smith recorded a mark of 23.32 seconds in the 200 meters. That time ranks fifth in the SEC.
Freshman Dannielle Davis set a new career-best time in the 100 meter hurdles (14.38 seconds). Additionally, V’alonee Robinson established a new PR in the 200m with her time of 23.93 seconds. She placed ninth.
Another freshman, Samantha Scarlett, PRed in the 100 meter hurdles with her time of 14.07 seconds. Teammate Mary Beth Strickland eclipsed her previous best time in the 800 meters with her finish in 2:16.87.
The Auburn men also had a large sum of new personal records set on Saturday. Jeremy Hardy set a new PR mark in the 200 meters at 21.26 seconds and he placed ninth. Jonathan Hardin established a new career-best time in the 800 meters (1:54.63).
Griffin Jaworski (5000 meters – 15:00.32), Clifford Lee (400m hurdles – 56.39), Jason Miller (5000 meters – 15:29.10) and Clay Porter (400 meters – 50.04) all set new PR marks. Marcus Popenfoose recorded a new career-best throw in the hammer with a toss of 173 feet.
Auburn is action next at the Penn Relays (April 26-28) and at the Coach O Invitational (April 28). For the latest on Auburn Track and Field, follow @AUTrack on Twitter.
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