Spearmon Records World-Leading 19.97 at Mt. SA
BY ANDRES FOCIL
WALNUT, Calif. – Sophomore Wallace Spearmon Jr. carried over his superb indoor season to the outdoor season at the Mt. SAC Relays when he sped to a world-leading 200-meter time of 19.97. His performance also broke the UA school record of 20.07, previously held by Tyson Gay, and easily surpassed the NCAA regional qualification of 21.19. The Fayetteville, Ark., native’s name also made it into the stadium and meet record books, as he bested the previous record of 20.02 by Jamaica’s Chris Williams.
“That was tough; it was not an easy thing to do,” Spearmon said. “After the first 100 I was just trying to make sure Leonard Scott didn’t get me, because I know he’s fast. It was a goal of mine to break 20 seconds this year, but I was just racing to win.”
Spearmon, the American indoor 200-meter record holder at 20.10, took the tape as he registered the blazing time with a 1.7 wind reading and beat a talented field that included former Tennessee standout Leonard Scott (20.48) and eight-time 110-meter hurdles world-champion Allen Johnson (20.89). Breaking 20 seconds is a feat not easily accomplished by collegians and Spearmon is now 10th on the all-time collegiate list. His previous best outdoor time was 20.25 from the United States OIympic Trials.
“Honestly, I was hoping he’d go under 20.20, because you can’t go out and get a personal-best every day, but I’m happy,” Arkansas sprints coach Lance Brauman said. “We haven’t backed off at all from the indoor season, so we’ve done a lot of work and we’re going to continue to improve. There are some things we can do better technically and we’ll start doing our speed work in a couple weeks.”
The invitational 400 meters were next and seniors Terry Gatson and Omar Brown lined up in hopes of quality times. Brown finished just ahead of Gatson in third place with a time of 46.00, in his first outdoor 400 as a Razorback. Gatson was fourth with 46.02 and both of their performances were regional qualifiers.
After running the 800 meters at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Friday, sophomore Brian Roe took to the track again in search of a regional qualifying time. He got what he wanted and turned in a time of 1:50.17 for seventh place.
Freshman Michael Grant doubled up in the university/open 100 and 200-meter dashes. In the 100 he posted a season-best 10.54 for third place and in the 200 he ran 21.30 for fourth in his heat.
The field athletes excelled too, as senior Jaanus Uudmae captured the triple jump title with a mark of 51-9.75. Uudmae was already qualified for the regional meet with his performance of 53-7.00 from the Texas Relays.
Junior All-American Eric Brown threw a season-best 237-11 on his first attempt in the javelin to finish in second place. Brown was already regionally qualified with a throw of 236-10 from the Texas Relays last weekend. American record-holder Breaux Greer took top honors with a tremendous world-leading toss of 287-7, just one inch off his own American record.
Senior Cory Oldham also registered a season-best in the high jump with a clearance of 6-9.75 and was just one inch shy of the regional cutoff.
When the top-ranked Razorbacks return from California they will host their only outdoor meet of the year. The John McDonnell Invitational is on April 23rd at John McDonnell Field.
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