UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS TRACK & FIELD
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American Track League 1
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A world record performance in the shot put on Sunday signaled the return of professional track and field on the University of Arkansas campus as Ryan Crouser’s first attempt inside the Randal Tyson Track Center measured 74 feet, 10.5 inches (22.82) to better a 32-year-old record.
“It’s been a goal, but it’s almost more like a stepping stone to the outdoor world record,” noted Crouser, who in his second year as a volunteer assistant with the Razorbacks. “I’m kind of always looking forward. I’m really happy to throw an indoor PR and be so close to my outdoor PR in the very first meet of this season.
“All along the indoor world record has felt like a stepping stone to the outdoor and that 23 meter mark. Obviously, I’m ecstatic to throw this today and really, really happy with where I’m at, but it still just feels like a building block to getting 23.12 (75-10.25) for the outdoor world record.”
The previous shot put world record of 74-4.25 (22.66) was set by Randy Barnes in Los Angeles and Crouser added over six inches to the long-standing record.
The series of marks that followed the world record heave by Crouser included a 69-0 (21.03) in round two and then he went over 74 feet and the previous world record distance again with a 74-5.75 (22.70) in the third stanza. After two fouls, Crouser finished the day with a 73-9 (22.48).
Runner-up to Crouser’s big day was Nigerian Chukwuebuka Enekwechi with a 67-9 (20.65) while Payton Otterdahl placed third at 67-7 (20.60).
“I’m just happy to get to compete again,” stated Crouer. “I’m just happy to see track making a comeback and setting a foundation that we can have track meets again. They can be fun, and they can be safe. That’s what I’m most excited about.”
In total there were seven world-leading marks established among 10 events contested in the first of four American Track League meets this indoor season, which are part of the 2021 World Athletics Silver Tour.
An American record was equaled in the 60m hurdles as Grant Holloway clocked 7.35 to match the record he set in 2019 in winning his third NCAA title with the Florida Gators. He separated from the field early and won by a comfortable margin with Michael Dickson (7.54) and Ruebin Walters (7.65) finishing second and third.
Trayvon Bromell announced his return to the sprint scene with a world-leading 6.48 victory in the 60m over Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru (6.65) and Jamaica’s Andre Ewers (6.67). Arkansas alum Omar McLeod placed sixth in 6.70.
A 45.03 for Fred Kerley set the world-leading time in the 400m as he bettered Christopher Taylor of Jamaica (45.73).
A pair of Razorbacks racing in the 400m included Travean Caldwell, who set a career best of 46.25 in winning the first section of the 400m and placed third overall. Caldwell improved his previous indoor best of 47.18. Nicholas Hilson finished second to Caldwell in the section with a 47.47, placing sixth overall.
A world-leading 51.76 secured the women’s 400m victory for Quanera Hayes over a talented field that included Shamier Little (52.63) and Wadaline Jonathas (53.10). Gabrielle Thomas raced to a world-leader of 35.92 at 300m over Jenna Prandini (36.68) and Shakima Wimbley (36.78).
The top three times on the 2021 world list were established in the women’s 60m hurdles as Tonea Marshall equaled her career best with a 7.86 to edge out Christina Clemons (7.88) and Tiffany Porter (7.89).
Arkansas alum Taliyah Brooks finished fifth in 8.07, which is equal third among Americans and equal seventh on the world list this indoor season.
Megan Clark, who trains at Arkansas, won a jump-off in the pole vault as she battled Katie Nageotte through nine bars. Both missed three attempts at 15-1 (4.50) after being clean with first-attempt makes through 14-9 (4.50).
Then the jump-off included five attempts at various heights until Clark sealed the victory with another 14-9 make.
Vashti Cunningham claimed the high jump with a 6-2.75 (1.90) clearance as Brooks tied for fourth place at 5-11.5 (1.82).