The 57th annual Mt SAC Relays in Walnut, California, this weekend witnessed a multitude of standout performances from Altis athletes.
Amongst multiple Personal Records and Season’s Bests, particular highlights came from Canadian Long Jumper – Christabel Nettey, who soared to 6.98m, and Muna Lee who ran an impressive double of 11.02s in the 100m, and 22.85m in the 200m.
Elsewhere on the globe, Anaso Jobodwana marked his dominance on the South African scene, winning the South African National Championships in Stellenbosch, also claiming a World Championship qualifying mark in the process.
Mt. SAC Relays
Recording a series of strong performances, Altis hurdlers didn’t disappoint:
Lindsay Lindley ran a new PR of 12.97s. “I wanted to move away from each hurdle, put my feet down and shuffle well” she explained. “I think I executed that today. I had good race focus, which I need to continue to keep for an even stronger finish.”
Mikel Thomas ran his second fastest 110m hurdles time ever in 13.32s: “This weekend was a great show of the work we have been putting in as a team and I’m happy that we came out and am progressing not just myself but as an unit” he reflected “I’m excited for greater things to come.”
Matthias Buehler and Ayako Kimura recorded their fastest times ever this early in the year (13.67s and 13.24s respectively) and N’aithan Scott recorded a lifetime-best under any conditions in a time of 13.80s.
Looking back on the group’s performances, Coach Behm was positive about progress: “I was very pleased with the hurdle races today. The focus and patterning displayed in warm-up carried over to the races. It is great to have the athlete’s talent shine through thanks to great execution, and be rewarded with some fast times.”
In the short sprints Muna Lee ran 11.02s in the 100m and 22.85s in the 200m. “Muna had a very good week of training, and we knew she would drop a nice time at Mt SAC” said Performance Director – Stuart McMillan. “There are still a bunch of technical things to iron out – but in the meantime, she is racing very well. This performance bodes very well for the remainder of the spring and summer.”
In challenging wind conditions, Canadian Amonn Nelson recorded a time of 53.9s in the 400m. “This was a nice opening 400 for Amonn … she’s never started a season faster, and we anticipate good things over the next 8-10 weeks” said Coach Laurier Primeau.
Jumps & Combined Events
Christabel Nettey won the Invitational Long Jump with a leap of 6.98m, verifying the fantastic form she showed indoors at her first outdoor competition of the year. Whilst unfortunately, the wind gauge malfunctioned and her jump was recorded as a NWI mark, Coach Dan Pfaff was satisfied with progress following a 2 month break in competition: “Christabel executed key areas of concentration and improved greatly on her effort at the same meet last year. She was unfortunate with the wind gauge malfunction on the longer mark, but her performance bodes well for her next meeting in Doha.”
Kaylon Eppinger won the Invitational Heptathlon with a score of 5860, marking a PR by 303 points. Her score included 4 event PRs, with an impressive HJ of 1.80m thrown in the mix.
“This was Kaylon’s first heptathlon in several years and she came through with numerous PR performances, including her overall score” said Coach Pfaff. “She managed events and the days well from a strategy/tactic point of view, and handled disappointments very well. She still has major gaps in mastery, but could produce a 6000 point effort before the year end.”
The very next day, Kaylon returned to set yet another PR in the open 100m Hurdles – recording a time of 13.28s. “Kaylon was definitely our MVP for the weekend” said Performance Director – Stuart McMillan “and is continuing to show fine form this season.”
Looking back on her weekend’s work, Kaylon was delighted: “I’m still in awe to have done as well as I did this weekend. Having not done a heptathlon in 2 years my goal was to qualify for USA’s I’m sure I did that. Then to come back and PR again, winning the open section of the hurdles – it felt amazing! It just shows that hard work really pays off when you transfer and execute key factors from practice to the meet – I’m so blessed and grateful.”
Showing great consistency with four jumps over 16m, Damon McLean won the open Triple Jump with 16.19m – a PR performance.
Jumping from a short approach, Josh Honeycutt still recorded 3 jumps over 16m and finished 4th with a new season’s best in the Invitational Triple Jump.
Making progress on a weekly basis, High Jumper Jeremy Eckert placed 2nd, with a clearance of 2.14m in the Men’s open competition.
South African Championships
Anaso Jobodwana won the South African Championships with a time of 20.35s in the 200m. “Anaso literally went straight from a cramp in his last competition at ASU last week to the airport, and flights to South Africa – which took him almost 2 days!” Explained Stuart McMillan: “He spent the remainder of the week just warming up lightly and ensuring he did no further damage to himself. Not exactly the best preparation for National Champs! That being said – Anaso is a great competitor, and came through to dominate his Champs and become the first Altis athlete to qualify for the Worlds in Beijing. It is now back to Phoenix, and preparations for upcoming competitions.”