RazorbacksSports

Sandi Morris vaults to world lead, Ryan Crouser creates history with shot series

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS TRACK & FIELD

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sandi Morris opened her indoor campaign with a world-leading vault of 15 feet, 9.25 inches (4.81) during Sunday’ s second American Track League professional meet held at the University of Arkansas’  Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center.

Ryan Crouser delivered another victory in the shot put as his best mark among an impressive series equaled the previous world record of 74-4.25 (22.66) he broke last Sunday. Bryce Hoppel recorded the second fastest time ever by an American indoors in the 800m with a 1:44.37 win.

An additional highlight included a national record and world-leading 22.40 in the 200m for Shanae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas as she equaled the Tyson facility record set in 2008 by Bianca Knight during the NCAA Indoor Championships. Shamier Little, who trains in Arkansas, set a career best of 23.40 as runner-up.

A world-leading performance was also attained in the women’s mile as Heather MacLean won in 4:27.54 over Dani Jones (4:30.56).

Morris bettered the facility record of 15-5.75 (4.72) set by Jen Stuczynski in 2007. Last season on this weekend Morris cleared 15-5.5 (4.71) for a win in the Razorback Invitational.

“I’m really happy with today and I feel like I’ve finally got into a rhythm on a longer series of poles,” noted Morris, who produced her second-best indoor opener of her career. “So, now that will stop being part of the conversation, because they are starting to feel normal. 

“Today I was working on raising my grip a little bit, but we’ve also really been working on my takeoff in practice. Being able to put all those things together, and implement it, turned into some high bars today. I’m very happy with 4.81 as an opener. I can’t wait to do the next two meets here at home and maybe put up some bigger bars.”

Morris made first attempts at four heights – 14-11 (4.55), 15-3 (4.65), 15-5 (4.70) and 15-9.25. Then she had two jumps at 16-3.25 (4.96) and ran through her third attempt. The best indoor opener by Morris is a 16-0.75 (4.90) from the 2018 Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada.

Canada’s Anicka Newell placed second with a 14-11 clearance. Megan Clark, who won last week with a 14-9 in a jump off, finished third at 14-7.25 (4.45).  Razorback Lauren Martinez, who has outdoor eligibility remaining, placed fifth at 14-3.25 (4.35).

“Commentating last week definitely got me fired up,” stated Morris. “It’s really hard to sit on the sideline and watch everyone else compete. I was really amped for today, and really excited. I had a lot of confidence coming in. I train on this runway and it’s my home track.

“I wish the fans could have been in here with us today, but we’ve got some cutouts that did a great job of cheering for us.”

Crouser’s series added to his historical run of late with marks over 22 meters in the shot put. Today his marks included 70-2.5 (21.40), 74-4.5 (22.66), 72-9.75 (22.19), 73-0.5 (22.26), 74-3.75 (22.65) and 73-7.25 (22.43).

Crouser, a volunteer assistant with the Razorbacks, became the first athlete in history with a least five 22-meter marks in the same series indoors. Now his career total numbers 113, including 15 indoors, nine of which have been attained this indoor season.

Prior to today’s competition, Crouser was one of two athletes in history with three marks of at least 22 meters in the same indoor series, along with New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh.

Hoppel’s world-leading winning time of 1:44.37 challenged the American record of 1:44.22 set by Donavan Brazier in 2019.

Career bests were also turned in by those chasing Hoppel as the top three times in the world for 2021 were produced. Charlie Grice of Great Britain clocked 1:45.62 as runner-up with Erik Sowinski third in 1:45.69 and Craig Engels fourth at 1:46.10.

The Tyson facility record of 1:45.33 set in 2001 by Arizona’s Patrick Nduwimana during an NCAA Indoor was toppled in the process. In addition to producing the second-best performance on the American all-time list, Hoppel is the sixth best performer with the ninth best performance on the all-time world list.

A close finish in the men’s 600m was claimed by Razorback Nicholas Hilson in 1:19.14, not even a step ahead of James Gilreath (1:19.15) while Arkansas teammate Travean Caldwell finished third in 1:19.35.

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