Not Quite Enough (Video Added)
At a meet in which the collective performances of the top women trumped the men, there was one clear-cut most outstanding performer.
Brianna Rollins of Clemson came to New York City on the heels of a new NCAA record in the 60-meter hurdles, 7.78 seconds on Jan. 11.
She more than lived up to the acclaim at the Armory Collegiate Invitational, setting two meet records on Friday night while winning her signature event. Then Saturday, she ran 23.22 to win the 200 meters to beat a loaded field that included Texas A&M's Ashton Purvis and Kansas' Paris Daniels.
"I feel so great," Rollins said Saturday. "I just thank God for blessing me with the talent. I'm so thankful."
Rollins made the NCAA field in the 200 two years ago as a freshman but had set the event aside since then because of injuries. Now, stronger than ever, she's back at it again.
"I trained so hard in the fall," she said. "I wanted it to be a big year for me."
Louisiana State prevented Clemson from repeating as the women's team champion as the purple-clad Tigers beat the orange-clad Tigers 73-69.
On the men's side, Texas A&M collected key team points late, getting 10 points from Casey Strong in the weight throw (he was second to open competitor Jacob Freeman) and 10 points in the final event on the track, the 4x400 relay. The Aggies scored 62 points and LSU was second with 53 1/2 and Clemson, which didn't enter a 4x400 relay, was third with 48.
Texas A&M also got a big win from Deon Lendore, who beat a fantastic field and ran 46.49. He beat George Mason's David Verburg (46.56) and Pitt's Brycen Spratling (47.05).
LSU's Charlene Lipsey showed off remarkable range over the course of two days, repeating as the champion in the 1,000 and breaking her own meet record, and then taking the 1,600-meter anchor leg on the DMR Friday night and second leg of the team's 4x400 relay Saturday.
Lipsey, who prepped at nearby Hempstead, N.Y., said last year's invitational was a springboard to her season. This time around she was on the cover of the meet program.
"Last year I had such a great year and it started with me doing such a great job in the thousand (at The Armory)," Lipsey said. "I felt like if I broke my record again it'd give me a head's up that this year is going to be even better."
The men's outstanding performer was up in the air until Stanford's Michael Atchoo pulled out the mile in 4:02.38. Friday night, Atchoo ran an inspired anchor leg and split 3:58 for 1,600 meters.
There were no meet records on the men's side; five of the women's records fell. Kansas' Alena Krechyk threw 71-4 3/4 to break the meet record by nearly two feet.
High school senior Kadecia Baird of NYC's Medgar Evers Prep also had a big night. She ran the second-fastest 300 in history, clocking 37.54. She also ran a sensational leg on Medgar Evers' winning 4x200 relay.
Another local prep, Garden City sophomore Emma Gallagher, won the girls 600 in 1:30.35, leaving her just outside the all-time top 10.
Richard Rose of Boys and Girls (Brooklyn, N.Y.) set a national sophomore class record in the boys 600, clocking 1:19.41 as he placed second to Canadian Mathieu Sturkenboom (1:19.05).
There were 12 high school and junior events held at the Collegiate Invitational and, remarkably, all 12 produced a U.S. No. 1 performance. Here's the list:
300m — 37.54, Kadecia Baird (Medgar Evers, Brooklyn, N.Y.)
600m — 1:30.35, Emma Gallagher (Garden City, N.Y.)
1000m — 2:47.44, Sabrina Southerland (Cardozo, Queens, N.Y.)
4 x 200m — 1:38.59, Medgar Evers (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
4 x 400m — 3:47.48, Columbia (Maplewood, N.Y.)
4 x 800m — 9:09.03, Lenape (Medford, N.J.)
600m — 1:19.41, Richard Rose (Boys & Girls, Brooklyn, N.Y.)
1000m — 2:25.82, Ben Malone (Pascack Valley, Hillsdale, N.J.)
4 x 200m — 1:28.25, Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.)
4 x 400m — 3:18.88, Union Catholic (Scotch Plains, N.J.)
4 x 800m — 7:48.36, La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.)
Weight throw — 79-6 3/4, Rudy Winkler (Averill Park, N.Y.)