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Three Seasons, One Meet

yellow jacket invitational w 400m hurdles

Three seasons of weather passed through George C. Griffin Track over the weekend during the 2014 Yellow Jacket Invitational on the campus of Georgia Tech.

An intense downpour seemingly synched with the Starter's pistol drenched the brand spanking new gold track surface during the running of the women's 4x100 relay. Despite the deluge, the quartets from Alabama and Auburn notched the seventh and ninth fastest times in the young Division 1 season (44.60 and 44.81 secs).

Georgia State's Niamh Kearney bested the trickling precipitation to take the top spot in the women's 1500m. Rachel Weber, Ohio State, and Morgan Jackson, Georgia Tech, followed Kearney in order.

In the men's race Georgia Tech's Shawn Roberts' 3:45.95 was good enough for the 9th best time in D1 and the top spot.

By the time the sprint races got underway, the rain had trickled off to little more than a drizzle. The performance by the track and on the track belied the passing weather pattern. A pair of Orangemen from Syracuse U, Freddie Crittenden and Donald Pollitt, turned in dueling 13.97s in the 110 m hurdles behind former 'Cuse star Jarret Eaton's 13.74. Crittenden and Pollitt's times rank #5 in D1.

Intermittent periods of warm sun graced the Midtown Atlanta campus for the middle part of the meet. The 400 meter dash and 800 meter run produced several late season times. Middle Tennessee State's Eliud Rutto posted the top time in D1 so far this season- 1:49.07. Rutto's pace helped Brandon Lasater, Georgia Tech, and Alex Amankwah, Alabama, post the 3rd and 4th best times.

Two Buckeyes claimed the top two spots and the 3rd and 4th fastest times in the women's 400m. Aaliyah Barnes and Sonikqua Walker cruised the oval in 53.34s and 53.40s. Georgia's Derrick White posted the 4th best time in D1 winning the men's race with a time of 47.13s.

Under the warming sun the performances in the sprints continued to stand out. Ohio State's Ashlee Abraham posted an 11.60s in the women's 100 meter dash. Her time was the 12th best in D1. Broderick Snoddy, Georgia Tech, posted the 5th fastest 100 meter dash with a time of 10.28s. Georgia's Johnathan Smith and Akeem Haynes were right on Snoddy's heels.

In the jumps, Georgia's Tatiana Gusin delivered the 12th best collegiate performance in D1 clearing 1.75m (5'-08.75").

As the day grew older, the weather grew colder. Just two races remained on the track as the temps dipped into the 40s. None of the participants in the men's steeplechase appeared affected by the cooling winds as Shadrack Matelong posted the 12th best time in the event. The mile relay on the other hand didn't exactly sparkle. Ohio State's quartet posted a 3:40.03 good enough for the 16th fastest but that time won't be qualifying material when May rolls around.

Other top performances

Event Name School time/distance National Rank
PV Nikita Kirillov  Georgia Tech 5.27m #7
W LJ Quanesha Burks Alabama 6.19m #10
M HJ Justin Fondren Alabama 2.16m  
W DT Rachel Dincoff Auburn 49.86m #11
M DT Hayden Reed Alabama 59.01m #7
W TJ Regine Hunter Syracuse 12.71m #7
M TJ Jonathan Gardner Georgia Tech 15.54m  
W 400MH Danielle Hill Auburn 58.91 #4
M 400MH Drew Branch Georgia 52.50 #13

Complete results can be viewed here

Yellow Jacket Invitational Photos

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