Harrison does it again
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
DES MOINES — Keni Harrison cruised to her fourth straight win in the 100-meter hurdles on Saturday at the Drake Relays, joining Lolo Jones as the only women in meet history to do so.
Harrison crossed in a wind-aided 12.65 seconds on a miserable day at Drake Stadium, where temperatures plunged into the high 30s with a steady rain and a wind chill that made it feel below freezing at times.
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Harrison’s training partner, was second at 12.85. Canadian Phylicia George was third at 12.96.
The weather wasn’t the only challenge faced, as a pair of false starts threatened to sap the hurdlers of their momentum. But it didn’t hamper Harrison, the world record-holder at 12.20.
“I just had to re-focus,” Harrison said of the restarts. “I didn’t feel my best, but sometimes you have to go out and just get the job done.”
The men’s 110 hurdles produced a mild upset, as Kentucky junior Daniel Roberts held off 2016 Olympic champion Omar McLeod by one one-hundredth of a second for the win in a wind-aided race.
Roberts won in 13.28 to become the first college athlete to win the event since it was added to Drake’s schedule in 2002.
“I knew he was going to be there. I know he’s very fast. So I had to just get out, focus on my lane,” said Roberts of McLeod. “I tell myself all the time that I’m the best hurdler in the world because that’s where I want to be one day.”
WOMEN’S 400 HURDLES
American Kori Carter, the 2017 world champion, won in her first appearance in the event in nearly two years. Carter finished at 56.07, the eighth-fastest time in the world so far this season. Ashley Spencer, who won bronze in the event at the 2016 Rio Games, was third at 57.02. “I’m a little rusty,” Carter said. “I did not know how much I missed this race…I felt like a little kid again.”
WOMEN’S HIGH JUMP
Thanks in part to the unfavorable conditions, the only athlete to clear 6 feet was winner Amina Smith. Smith, who entered the meet ranked fifth in the world, had the highest jump at 6-0 §. Kendell Williams, who won the long jump on Friday night, was ninth at 5-7 § — and fourth-ranked American Erica Bougard failed to clear the opening bar.
Ryan Crouser, the reigning Olympic champion, won with a put of 69 feet, 3 ™ inches. Though Crouser’s winner was over five feet shy of the personal best he posted last week, Crouser’s business-like showing was enough to take first. “Hats were blowing off of people’s heads, it was raining sideways,” Crouser said.
MEN’S POLE VAULT
The vault, which was moved indoors because of the weather, sprung another mild upset with defending NCAA champion Chris Nilsen besting reigning USTAF winner Sam Hendricks. Nilsen won in 19-2 ™, two inches ahead of Hendricks, who had won his two previous starts at Drake. It was Nilsen’s first win in five head-to-head tries against Hendricks.