FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former Arkansas sprinter Wallace Spearmon Jr. set a new world record in the 300-meter dash on Friday night during the Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Spearmon (31.88) shattered the nearly 27-year-old record held by Robson da Silva of Brazil by more than three-tenths of a second. Silva set the old mark of 32.19 on Feb. 24, 1989. Spearmon clocked unofficial times of 9.7 and 20.7 at the 100-meter and 200-meter splits.
For his efforts, Spearmon won a $25,000 bonus offered by Tyson Foods, Inc. to an athlete who captured a world record during this weekend’s event. Spearmon will try and pick up his second check of the weekend on Saturday as part of an all-star 4×400 relay team.
“My name is in the book,” Spearmon said. “Hopefully I can come back tomorrow and get my name in the book again.”
Spearmon outran a field that featured track heavyweights Kerron Clement and LaShawn Merritt. In fact, both Clement (31.932) and Merritt (31.938) also broke Silva’s former world record time. Former Razorback Omar Brown finished just off the former world-record pace in 33.20.
“I wanted to get out strong andeat upthe field,” Spearmon said. “I just wanted to see where I was in the backstretch and then come on. I didn’t feel strong in the backstretch. I’m hurting right now. I’m surprised I’m even standing up.”
Spearmon’s world record was the second set at the Randal Tyson Center. Ironically, Clement is the only other athlete that can make that claim after he posted a world-record clip of 44.57 in the 2005 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Spearmon is also the only former Razorback to currently hold a world record. Former Razorback great Mike Conley set a world record in the indoor triple jump (58-3 1/4) in 1987, but that mark has since been eclipsed. Conley was one of the 3,924 in attendance Friday night to see Spearmon stake his claim to track history.
It may not be long before Spearmon adds his name again to the record books. He will team with Darold Williamson, Jeremy Wariner and Clement in the 4×400 relay at 4:30 p.m. The current world record in that event is 3:27.66 set by the University of Texas in 2003.