RazorbacksSports

LaQuan Nairn leaps to Bahamian national long jump record

Shawn Price

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS MEN’S TRACK & FIELD

Online Version: https://bit.ly/2YVA9ycFAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –  Former Arkansas long jumper LaQuan Nairn of the Bahamas set a national record of 26 feet, 9.25 inches (8.16 meters) in the long jump with a runner-up performance in the American Track League 3 meet held Sunday in the Randal Tyson Track Center. 

Nairn bettered the Bahamas record of 26-7 (8.10) set by Leevan Sands in Lexington, Kentucky, while winning the SEC Indoor title in 2004. Heading into this meet, Nairn ranked second on the all-time Bahamas list with a 26-3.75 (8.02) from his silver medal performance in the SEC Indoor last season. 

“Not competing in almost a year is tough, but I’ve been putting in a lot of work,” noted Nairn, who currently ranks fourth on the 2021 world list. “I’m more disciplined and a better listener. I started to value my coaches and my trainers, and everybody at this University more and more each day.

“So, that played a huge part in me coming out and competing and performing the way I did.”

With a series that included three attempts over 26-4.5, Nairn displayed a very competitive form of fitness with his first competition since the 2020 SEC Indoor Championships last February. He led the field from the second round until the final stanza.

Marquis Dendy, who opened with a 25-10.75 (7.89) and then had four consecutive fouls, reached a world-leading distance of 26-11.25 (8.21) on his final jump to snare the win by two inches. Nairn followed with a 26-6.5 (8.09) on his final attempt and also produced a 26-4.5 (8.04) in the third round.

Finishing behind Nairn were Charles Brown (25-7.5 | 7.81) and Jamaican Damar Forbes (25-3.25 | 7.70).

“I fouled my first jump and my coach (Arkansas assistant coach Mario Sategna) just told me to go back half a foot,” said Nairn, who has outdoor eligibility with the Razorbacks. “I set it up the right way. My fourth jump was actually my furthest jump, but it was a foul. That will come with more practice and being able to listen to what my coach is telling me to do. Just being observant as a jumper.

“I’m excited to compete in the Razorback gear outdoor and I think it’s going to be good. We have a lot of great jumpers coming back and we still have a lot of good guys who have an indoor season. I’m just focused on getting better each day and staying focused on my goals that me and my coach have set for the season.”

Five sub-four-minute miles were generated on the Tyson Center track with Texas Tech’s Takieddine Hedeilli winning in 3:56.79 over a 3:56.82 by New Zealand’s Nick Willis.
Former  Razorbacks Olympic gold medalist Omar McLeod ran 7.53 to win the 60m hurdles over a 7.58 from Michael Dixon and a pair of 7.68s for Ruebin Walters and Trevor Bassitt. Ronnie Baker claimed the 60m in 6.53 over Trayvon Bromell (6.58) and Andrew Hudson (6.61). 

Running in separate heats, Michael Cherry (45.24) and Deon Lendore (46.08) produced the top pair of 400m times. Razorbacks in the event included Travean Caldwell, who produced a time of 46.77 to finish sixth while Hunter Woodhall ran 47.65, placing ninth. 

In another section of 400m, Nicholas Hilson ran 47.98 while the winner, Trevor Bassitt of Ashland, set a Division II indoor record with a 45.27 career best.

The American Track League 4, originally scheduled for Sunday, February 14, will now take place on Sunday, February 21.

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