Razorbacks Communications Press Release
Written by Shawn Price
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In his first competition this season, Razorback alum Andrew Irwin cleared 18 feet, 8 ¼ inches (5.70m) to win the pole vault competition Sunday inside Randal Tyson Track Center during the fourth and final installment of the American Track League meets.
Expecting a competition with American record holder Sam Kendricks, who wasn’t able to make the event, Irwin bettered a field that included four other vaulters who all cleared 18 feet on the day.
“I was just happy to have a meet to be honest,” said Irwin. “It’s been over a year since I’ve had a real meet. With the snow we had this past week, I haven’t done a whole lot. It’s been hard to get out and get to places I need to be.
“I’m super excited to come in here and have a meet. I’m twice as stoked to take some good looks at 5.80 (19-0 ¼). Now I just need to go back home and get everything dialed back in and get ready to go.”
Scott Houston and Austin Miller finished second and third, respectively, with 18-4 ½ (5.60) clearances. Carson Waters and Hussein Al-Hizam both made 18-0 ½ (5.50) in fourth and fifth place.
Irwin attempted 19-0 ¼ (5.80) to wrap up the day. He opened at 18-0 ½ and made the bar on his second attempt, then cleared 18-4 ½ on his first try while Houston needed two attempts and Miller made it on his third effort.
Clearing 18-8 ¼ on his second attempt claimed the victory for Irwin as Houston and Miller missed three attempts at the height.
“I had to kind of pay attention to what I was doing,” noted Irwin. “I started off a little slow, and probably should have come in on a bigger pole on the first trip. I was pretty clean up until the end. So, I was happy to pull out that win.”
Despite feeling ill from food poisoning on Friday, Arkansas volunteer coach Ryan Crouser won the shot put with a toss of 71-11 ½ (21.93) to defeat Payton Otterdahl (70-2 ¼ | 21.40) and Josh Awotunde (69-9 ½ (21.27).
“I was feeling pretty bad, and had a pretty bad round of food poisoning,” explained Crouser. “I came out here and competed. I was happy with how far I ended up throwing considering how I felt. It was definitely not ideal.
“My preparation coming in had been really, really good up until this point. On Friday, I had one of my best practices of the year. So, I was really looking forward to this competition. I felt like I was in a good place to break my indoor world record. I’m down still 15 pounds in weight from Friday night to present.”
Crouser, who set a world record of 74-10 ½ (22.82) during the first American Track League meet this indoor season, again produced an impressive series with five marks landing over 71 feet. He opened with a 71-2 ¾ (21.71) and improved to 71-8 ¼ (21.85) after a foul in round two. A 71-5 ½ (21.78) in round four was followed by his best mark of 71-11 ½ and then finished with a 71-2 ¾ (21.71).
A featured athlete in the meet was Allyson Felix, who won the 200m in 22.59 after placing second in the 60m with a 7.28.
Racing in the 200m indoors for the first time since 2003, Felix crushed her previous indoor PR of 23.14. Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn finished second in 22.91, a career best for the hurdler.
Daryll Neita of Great Britain won the 60m in 7.24 while Razorback alum Kiara Parker finished fourth in the race with a 7.30.
In the women’s 400m a 50.57 victory by Shamier Little, who trains in Fayetteville, just missed the facility record of 50.54 set in 2010 by Hampton’s Francena McCorory. The stellar performance ranks Little as the No. 7 performer with the No. 8 performance on the all-time U.S. indoor list.
Finishing well back of Little were Jamaica’s Chrisann Gordon (52.06) and Mexico’s Paola Moran (52.78). Arkansas alum Sparkle McKnight placed fifth in 54.14.
Little, who set a career best of 51.33 on February 7 during the third American Track League meet, moved ahead of some noteworthy names among the top 10 on the all-time list: Lynna Irby (50.62), Diane Dixon (50.64), Sanya Richards-Ross (50.71), Jessica Beard (50.79), and Natasha Hastings (50.80).
A facility record that did fall came in the women’s 800m as Heather MacLean won in 2:00.53 to edge out Siofra Cleirigh Buttner, who broke the Irish national record with a 2:00.58. Britain’s Adelle Tracey finished third in 2:01.44.
The previous Tyson Center record of 2:00.75 was set in 2005 by Tennessee’s Nicole Cook. MacLean previously won the mile at the American Track League 3 and her time of 4:27.54 remains the world leader.
Olivia Gruver equaled her career best of 15-5 (4.70) to win the women’s pole vault over the 14-11 (4.55) season best by Megan Clark, a training partner of Sandi Morris in Fayetteville.
Another Razorback alum making a return visit to campus was Jarrion Lawson, who placed third in the 60-meter final with a 6.62 after winning his prelim race in 6.72. Zachary Jewell won the final in 6.58, just ahead of the 6.59 for Jackson Webb.
Razorback alum Taliyah Brooks finished fourth in the 60m hurdles with a career best time of 8.03 after setting a PR of 8.04 in the prelims.
Jamaica’s Danielle Williams claimed the hurdle final in 7.86, which equaled her career best and is equal to the third fastest time in the world for 2021, with Tonea Marshall runner-up in 7.89 and Great Britain’s Cindy Sember third in 8.01.
The women’s shot put produced the second, third and fourth best throws on the 2021 world list as indoor career best marks were established by Raven Saunders (64-2 ½ | 19.57), Maggie Ewen (64-1 ¼ | 19.54), and Jessica Ramsey (63-11 ¾ | 19.50) as less than three inches separated the trio.