This is Deji’s Doodles, by Deji Ogeyingbo, and this is week 5 of his 2023 Deji Doodles! Enjoy!
2023 Deji’s Doodles #5: Terrance Jones makes the 60m look like a cakewalk, Ackera Nugent defends her NCAA title, and Fred Kerley ends his Australian tour with a bang!
It was another weekend of mind-blowing athletics events around the globe, and as usual, records fell in most of these meets. From the NCAA indoor Division 1 championship final in New Mexico, which saw Three athletes – Julien Alfred, Kyle Garland, and Britton Wilson – not only broke collegiate records but shoot themselves to second on the world all-time lists in their respective events to the Sydney Track Classic where Jessica Hull and Zoe Hobbs both set Oceania records, we weren’t short of highlights this weekend.
Terrance Jones justifies his indoor season with a title to match
Another 6.46s indoors. Texas Tech’s Terrance Jones wrapped up his indoor season in style to claim the men’s NCAA 60m title in what was a keenly contested race. But was it ever in doubt? The youngster had proved over the course of the season that he was one to beat in the distance.
Maybe Auburn’s Favour Ashe would have had a thing or two to say in the final, but he didn’t show up after he had copped an injury in his prelims the previous day. It still wouldn’t matter as he was the only one in the field comfortably running inside 6.50s. His win was one-hundredth of a second off the collegiate record he tied last year.
It was never in doubt! @TexasTechTF Terrance Jones runs a joint season’s best of 6.46s to win the men’s 60m Indoor title. #NCAAIndoors pic.twitter.com/x1Q0sst6e6
— RunBlogRun (@RunBlogRun) March 12, 2023
Like usual, Jones got his 6-foot-4 frame rolling and pulled away over the second half of the race, winning by nine one-hundredths of a second in an event that, at the highest levels, is frequently decided by a narrower margin. That’s how easy he made it look.
Still, there wasn’t an optimal indicator in his indoor season to show us that he is going to dominate the outdoor season. After running 6.45s last year, Jones could only manage 10.09s over the 100m outdoors. If you are a glass-half-full kind of guy, it is worth noting that Jones’ technique in his drive phase has improved drastically, and a good transition into the outdoors should see him run a sub-10 sooner rather than later.
The NCAA continues to shape Ackera Nugent into the star that she is
When Jamaica’s Ackera ran a national record, world-leading and college-leading 7.72 seconds to win her preliminary round women’s 60m hurdles race at the NCAA Division one championship, there was a feeling she could tackle Susanna Kallur’s 15-year world record of 7.68s in the final. Put together another series of runs in the final, and we have our next big star.
After all, Julien Alfred had just come within whiskers of breaking the women’s 60m and 200m world records at the same venue. What other inspiration did she need again? Her 7.72s run had broken the NCAA Indoor meet record and the Jamaica national record. She ran 7.73s in the final to win her second indoor title. For an athlete that could only run 7.89s last winter, this greatly boosts her outdoor chances.
Ackera Nugent of @RazorbackTF sets a new NCAA Record in the prelims of the 60M Hurdles with a time of 7⃣.7⃣2⃣
ESPN+ #NCAATF x @LSUTrackField pic.twitter.com/rHv4Ris4GI
— NCAA Track & Field (@NCAATrackField) March 11, 2023
At 20, Nugent has the world at her feet. Humble and contrite, the Jamaican has been able to get back to her feet after suffering an ankle injury prior to the 2022 NCAA Division one outdoor championship. It meant she missed out on the 2022 world championships, too. Still, she has been able to pick up the pieces to run this world-leading time indoors.
This performance means the former U20 Champion will head into the outdoor season with renewed verve and vigor, hoping to run faster than the 12.45s she notched up before she copped her injury last summer.
Jaydon Hibbert makes the Triple Jump very exciting
Jamaica’s Jaydon Hibbert is a phenom, and we are glad we are witnessing his powers. For a while, it seemed the men’s Triple jump competition had stagnated with the waning powers of Christian Taylor and the stagnation of Pedro Pichardo; the jumps needed a breath of fresh air. And it gave us Hibbert.
After he popped into the limelight with his amazing jump and Gold medal at the world U20 championships in Cali, the 18-year-old Jaydon Hibbert, broke the World Under-20 record and the Jamaican junior and senior marks after he jumped a gigantic 17.54m to win the men’s triple jump on Saturday’s final day of the NCAA Division 1 indoor championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jaydon Hibbert (@RazorbackTF)
World U20 Record (by 34cm)
— Victor K Almeida (@AlmeidaVictorK) March 12, 2023
The University of Arkansas freshman rewrote several record books in the process, passing his previous best of 17.10 set earlier this year, the World Under-20 indoor mark of 17.20m held by France’s Malvin Raffin since March 2017, the Jamaican senior record of 17.19m held by Clive Pullin since February 2017; the collegiate record 17.50m set by Charlie Simpkins that lasted 37 years since 1986, and the meet record 17.37m set in 2015 by Marquis Dendy.
Hibbert is a breath of fresh air to the sport and already looks like a star in the making. Alongside the precocious Cubans, it is safe to say the men’s Triple Jump for the next couple of years is in safe hands.
Fred Kerley continues to make waves down under.
Very rarely will you find a world champion go over to Australia to kick-start his season. Well, not every champion is Fred Kerley. The USA men’s 100m champion continued his tour around the Australian continent as he stopped over in Sydney to run the 400m at the Sydney Track Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger event, last Saturday.
44.65 last night pic.twitter.com/6SYueUEpZo
— Fred Kerley (@fkerley99) March 11, 2023
And it was yet another routine win over the men’s 400m. 44.65s plus change to open his quarter-mile season. It’s not a time that will send shivers down the spine of his opponents, but at this point, Kerley doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. If at all, it’s his opponents that should do the chasing.
How much faster can he run after this; we would never know. One thing that’s for sure is that he knows how to come clutch when the going gets tough. Very little meaning is to be made out of this race, but if Kerley finally hits full throttle, we are pretty sure he’s going to be unstoppable. Let the summer begin.
NB: Hats off to Jasmine Moore of the University of Florida completed a horizontal jump (Triple and Long Jump) double with another stunning series, this time taking the triple jump with 15.12m. In so doing, the 21-year-old became the first woman in history to break seven meters in the long jump and 15 meters for the triple jump indoors.
And did you see 16-year-old Adaeja Hoodge of the British Virgin Island storming to a Personal Best, US High School Record, and World U20 indoor record of 22.33s to win the Girls’ 200m final at the New Balance meet? We’ve got a gem on our hands.