This weekend saw Altis athletes light up meets across both USA and Europe, as PR’s tumbled, and current form continued to shine through.
New York, USA
In one of the oldest, and most-respected, indoor track & field competitions in the world, Altis was represented in fine style at the 108th edition of the Millrose Games.
The men’s 60m saw Canadian Akeem Haynes (Canada) place 4th in 6.62s, closely followed by Altis team-mate Albert Huntley (USA) who finished 5th in 6.64s – marking a strong result in what was his first major competition.
In a loaded women’s 60m featuring two-time world indoor bronze medalist Tianna Bartoletta; double world silver medalist Murielle Ahoure; and Trinidad & Tobago’s national record-holder Michelle-Lee Ahye, three-time Olympic finalist Muna Lee did herself proud with a fine showing – finishing in 6th place with a time of 7.25s.
“We are really looking forward to watching Akeem and Muna in Europe” said Performance Director Stuart McMillan. “This is Akeem’s first time competing consistently against world class international competition, and he is handling the new pressures extremely well. Muna has re-established herself as a premier sprinter, and we look forward to seeing how she competes against a top field in Birmingham next week.”
New Mexico, USA
Anaso Jobodwana continued his run of form, once again lowering his PR. A week after dropping 5/100ths off his former PR, he took another 2/100ths from it, to finish a close 2nd to Canadian Justyn Warner with a time of 6.60s. This improvement in his acceleration bodes well for the 200m specialist from South Africa, as he looks to dip under 20 seconds this coming season.
“My racing so far has been good” said the 22 year old Olympian – “every run I’m putting a piece of a puzzle together, and figuring out what I need to get better.”
Showing strong current form, Heather Hamilton won the Husky Classic with an indoor PR of 4.37m.
Closer to home, the NAU Invitational saw PR’s tumble.
The women’s 60m dash brought victory and a lifetime best for Shavine Hodges, in a time of 7.32s.
In the German capital, Aries Merritt posted a time of 7.58s for third place at ISTAF Indoors in Berlin.
“It was a solid race off the plane” the 2012 Olympic Champion explained. “I bumped arms with Bascou over the first hurdle, which led to me galloping the first unit. Then I was able to regroup, find my rhythm and finish strong. I am satisfied with that race, knowing faster times lie ahead.”
Competing in her first British Championships since 2012, and in only her second competition since surgery last year – English Long Jumper Abigail Irozuru leapt her way to third on the UK indoor all-time list, with a PR of 6.73m. The gold medal winning performance also betters the qualifying standard for next month’s European Indoor Championships in Prague.
The 25-year-old, who boasts an outdoor best of 6.80m but has battled with injury over the past two years added: “It’s my second competition of the year after having surgery to the end of last year. It’s going well out at Altis in Arizona. I’m trying to be more mindful of my body and an awareness of how I am feeling.”
“It was not rocket science what we have done with Abi the last 4 months” explained Director of Education & Lead Jumps Coach – Dan Pfaff: “Our first stop was to review the surgery reports and injury records from the last 4 years. Acute and chronic injuries are complex puzzles that build on each other. Compensations create new injury patterns so we had to unwind the process on many levels. Once that happened we built out daily therapy/training plans that complemented each other … we have 3 great coaches on her project along with some peer advisors so she is surrounded by a loving, but firm team of support.”
Next week highlights are set to include Akeem Haynes and Muna Lee perform, as they head off to Europe to compete in the Birmingham Grand Prix. They will then continue onto Malmo – where they will be joined by Aries Merritt, Abigail Izoruzu and Christabel Nettey.