Following last week’s searing start to the indoor season, this weekend’s performances didn’t disappoint. Altis athletes produced an indoor National Record, Personal Records, and multiple Season’s Bests – raising the bar in fine style.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Men’s 60m Hurdles
Aries Merritt won with a season’s best performance of 7.57s – a result which left him upbeat about progress: “This weekend felt better than last week. Things are slowly coming together, but I need better race focus to get things accomplished. I feel that with more races I will become sharper.”
Mikel Thomas took 2nd in the race behind Aries, setting a new PB of 7.72s in the process. A just reward, following what was only his second meet training at Altis: “With a better perspective going in, and more trust and understanding of the process and coaches, we were able to race well and walk away with a new PB. I felt like myself, with more great things to come.”
Anaso Jobodwana set a new PB of 6.62s to win his section of the 60m, finding a new level of aggression to propel him to the finish line first: “It felt like my races were better executed” the South African explained – “I was able to be patient and put together some of the things I learned this winter.”
Albert Huntley also set a new PB, in a time of 6.63s to finish 2nd behind training partner Anaso. “It was his most complete race of the year” said Coach Andreas Behm, “highlighted by a very patient acceleration to set it up.”
Ryan Milus finished third in his section in a time of 6.67s, leaving him hungry for more “Ryan is working through learning how to run the 60m in a manner to better his outdoor 100m” explained Coach Behm. “As a competitor he was clearly not fully satisfied with his time, but knows it is part of a bigger picture and that there would be some stumbles along the way.”
Steve Lewis won the Vault with a strong clearance at 5.71m. The Commonwealth Champion then raised the bar to 5.80m, coming close with a very convincing third attempt. The result confirmed his place at the top of the UK rankings for the 2015 indoor season so far.
Brad Walker jumped 5.61m for third place overall. “He was pleased with his progress and how things are coming together” said Coach Behm. “He knows that much higher clearances are just a matter of time.”
Tori Pena set a new Irish Indoor National Record with a clearance of 4.46m. “I am pleased with this weekend’s progress” the UCLA Graduate explained. “It is always fun to have a new National Record, but more importantly I am pleased with the technical changes I was able to make. I’m looking forward to improving on this mark in the remainder of the indoor season!”
At the Boston New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, Canadian Akeem Haynes placed second in his heat in a time of 6.60s, in what was his first major professional race – lining up against international stars such as Asafa Powell, Mike Rodgers, and Trell Kimmons.
Despite a small quad injury, he was able to come through in a solid 5th place with his 2nd fastest time ever – and fastest at sea-level. He looks forward to another strong field in New York next weekend.
Following his PR last week, Akeem was reflective on the experience: “Boston was a great opportunity to compete with some of the best in a high pressure competition. Sometimes you have to be thrown in the fire to see how you respond. There’s always things to work on, but I’m looking forward to what’s next.”
Muna Lee ran her 2nd fastest time of the season finishing 4th in 7.27s. “She reacted poorly, and her initial acceleration was not very aggressive” explained Performance Director, Stuart McMillan, “but the way she came through in the 2nd half of the race shows that she is ready to run very fast – we are excited about the remainder of the indoor season, and how this sets us up for the 100 and 200 outdoors.”
This coming weekend will see the action continue at the Millrose Games, including appearances from Muna Lee, Akeem Haynes, and Fabrice Lapierre. Haynes and Lee will then continue their indoor campaign in Europe, with races scheduled at the Birmingham Grand Prix & Malmo Games.