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Track and field running for records

Submitted by Adrian Miller on April 26, 2017 – 4:58 pmNo Comment

By: Adrian Miller
On April 7-8, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (LR) hosted the Little Rock open at Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex. Senior sprinter Michael McGruder had a phenomenal racing day. McGruder’s time of 10.17 seconds in the 100-meter dash broke his previous Coleman Complex record of 10.46 seconds and placed him as the event’s third-fastest runner in the nation. Teammate Dez Mapps took 2nd in the event. The senior’s time of 10.36 is the fifth-fastest time in program history and ranks in the top 20 nationally.
McGruder continued his record breaking day with a victory in the 200. His time of 20.61 seconds broke the school record set by Chris Johnson in 2005 by a slim .01 seconds. Mapps was again close behind, taking 2nd with a time of 20.72 seconds. His time is the third-fastest in Trojans history and 0.31 seconds faster than his outdoors personal best. Dunn’s 5th place finish of 21.57 seconds’ ties for ninth best in school history and is also a personal best in that event.
In the 110-meter hurdles, Seniors Zodani Francois and Antonio Coleman took first and second respectively. Francois broke his own facility record with a time of 14.39 seconds while Coleman finished in 15.26. The Trojans also set a new Coleman Complex record and the third-fastest time in team history in the 4X100 relay. The team of Travion Clark, Mapps, Dunn and McGruder finished first with a time of 40.62 seconds. Senior Desmond Gulley won the long jump with a distance of 6.72 meters.
On the women’s side, senior sprinter Anika Charles broke the facility and school records in the 100 and 200-meter dash. Her first place time of 11.56 seconds in the 100 also places 41st in the nation. She broke her own record by 2-tenths of a second in the 200 finishing in 23.58 seconds. Sophomore teammate Christina Nickerson finished third in the event and posted the ninth fastest time in program history, finishing in 24.89 seconds. Senior hurdler Tyler Kelly broke the Coleman Complex record and posted the second-fastest time in program history in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:02.01, just .08 seconds off the school record.
The Trojans then competed in two different states for their next events. Some members of the team traveled to California, while others competed in Conway.
Kelly went on to break the record the following week, April 14-15, while competing in the Beach Invitational in Long Beach, CA. Her time of 1:01.85 was less than a tenth faster of the previous record, 1:01.93, set by Bree Walker in 2014. Kelly placed ninth among Division I runners in the event. Charles, also running in California, placed seventh among Division I runners in the 200 with a time of 23.97 seconds. Nickerson and Bless Dupeh finished 43rd and 45th in the event, with times of 25.01 and 25.04, respectively. McGruder had a tenth place finish overall in the 100, but finished third amongst Division I collegiate runners with a time of 10.55 seconds.
Back in Conway, freshman Nicole Edison posted the sixth-best long jump distance in program history. Her jump of 5.45 meters (17’ 10.75”) gave her sixth place and was a personal best. Eboni Smith ran second in the 400 with a time of 57.70 seconds. Teammate Jasmine Blunt took fourth in 58.61 seconds. Coleman won the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.68 seconds. Isaac Lalang and Emilio Medina took second and fourth place in the 1500 with times of 4:00.97 and 4:05.11, respectively. Senior Desmond Gulley took third in the long jump with a distance of 7.29 meters (23’ 11”).

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