Saturday, October 21

Track thrives with record times against pro athletes

Jonathan Simmons and Maxwell Dyce hand off in the 4x100-meter relay.

Jonathan Simmons and Maxwell Dyce hand off in the 4x100-meter relay. Emily Tice

This weekend, professionals took the field with collegiate athletes at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational.

The Bruins were able to hold their own against the visitors, winning four events. Redshirt junior Alex Crabill led the way, winning the mile with a lifetime-best 4:02.49.

Crabill took the lead at the half-mile mark and held it until the final backstretch, when Arizona’s Dylan Fitzpatrick passed him. Crabill then found an extra gear and out-sprinted the other racers towards the finish.

“I am glad (Fitzpatrick) passed me because it probably made me run faster. I wanted to run a sub-four-minute mile, so I went after that and won the race,” Crabill said.

The 4×100-meter relay kicked off the meet on Saturday with an electrifying display of speed, as the professionals from HSInternational won the race in 40.08.

The Bruins stayed close to the leaders and finished third with an impressive early-season time of 40.59.

Sophomore Jamal Alston ran the first leg and handed the baton off to senior Stan Griffin. Freshman Maxwell Dyce kept the Bruins in contention during the third leg and junior Quentin Powell then delivered a fast closing leg, only being outstretched at the finish line for second place by the Bobby Kersee Allstars.

Alston also competed in the 100 meters full of professional athletes, where he placed fourth in 10.56.

“I wanted to hit 10.6 or lower because I never have opened the season that fast. There are still minor technicalities to work on, so it was bittersweet to know I could still go faster, but overall it was a good day,” Alston said.

Sophomore Jonathan Simmons, redshirt junior Scott Crawford and redshirt freshman Steven Norton competed in the invite’s 800 meters, each with a strong performance.

Kerron Clement, the current Olympic and world champion in the 4×400-meter relay, led the first lap with a blistering pace that Simmons was not expecting. Clement dropped out of the race after 600 meters.

“Kerron was supposed to rabbit the race in 51-52 seconds for the first lap, but he took us out in 49 seconds,” Simmons said.

Simmons slipped right behind Clement during the first lap and pulled away on the second backstretch, but then several runners, including Crawford, passed him on the final turn. Crawford finished third in 1:50.30, while Simmons clocked in at 1:50.96 for fourth place. Norton finished fifth in 1:52.14.

Concluding the meet was the exciting 4×400-meter relay, where the Bruins contested for the win but barely fell short. Powell led the first leg and Dyce maintained the lead throughout the second leg. Simmons ran a spirited third leg where he fell behind the leader and then retook the lead on the home stretch.

Griffin ran a strong last leg, but unfortunately, he had to race Clement of the Bobby Kersee Allstars, who gracefully cruised down the home stretch to the victory. The Bruins clocked in at 3:15.43 for second place.

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