Ameer Webb defends NCAA Indoor 200 title, sets world leading time
NCAA Indoor - Double Champions in 200 meters
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Texas A&M senior Ameer Webb defended his NCAA Indoor title in the 200 meters with a winning time of 20.42 seconds. In the prelims, held an hour earlier, Webb set the world-leading time for 2013 with a 20.37 clocking that broke the Aggie school record.
"It was a goal to defend my title," stated Webb. "I wasn't going to lay down and play dead. I had to defend my title and not let it go. Getting that record was a plus."
The A&M men and women each have 10 points after the first day of the NCAA Indoor Championships. Webb scored 10 points with his victory in the 200 while the Aggie women had three athletes score on day one to combine for 10 points.
In men's team scoring the host Razorbacks of Arkansas hold the lead after day one with 30 points. They are followed by Texas Tech (18), Wisconsin (15), Florida (14), Arizona State (13) and LSU (11). Texas A&M and Princeton are tied for seventh with 10 points each.
The Aggie women are in a six-way tie for fifth place with Dartmouth, Arizona, Indiana State, Clemson and LSU. Kansas leads the women's field with 20 points while Central Florida is second with 14. Arizona State and Michigan are tied for third with 13 points apiece.
"We had a decent day and I'm pleased with the qualifying for tomorrow," said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. "Webb set a school record in the qualifying round and then won the final to defend his title. That's a huge accomplishment and he looked good doing it tonight."
Webb led the qualifiers into the 200 final with his world-leading and school record time 20.37, breaking an Aggie record of 20.38 set by Curtis Mitchell in winning the 2010 NCAA Indoor title. Webb cruised to a world-leading time of 20.39 in the NCAA prelims a year ago in Boise, Idaho, and went on to claim the final in 20.57.
"The time I ran I ran in the prelims gave me the confidence I needed going into the final," noted Webb. "The first section of the final put up a tough time to beat. So I knew what I had to do. They didn't make it easy for me. I ran as hard as I could in the final to defend my title."
The first section of the 200 final produced solid times of 20.47 by Jackson State's Anaso Jobodwana and 20.48 from Louisiana Tech's Trey Hadnot.
The second section, with Webb stationed in lane 5, included three SEC sprinters in Akheem Gauntlett of Arkansas (20.67), Florida's Dedric Dukes (20.70) and Aaron Ernest of LSU (20.72). The trio finishing behind Webb in the section placed 4th-5th-6th overall.
"Running in lane six at the SEC meet and then again here in the prelims gave me all the practice I needed to handle that huge dip coming of the last curve," Webb said. "That helped me a tremendous amount.
"The school record is awesome, because I just missed it by 0.01 last year when I ran 20.39. Now I broke it by a 0.01 margin with a 20.37. It's a blessing to win a second national title, that's just a dream. I'm proud of what I accomplished."
In addition to taking down the A&M school record, Webb moved to No. 8 on the all-time collegiate list with his prelim time and No. 10 on the all-time U.S. list. He also dealt LSU's Ernest, the SEC champion, his first loss of the season. Ernest held the previous world-leading time of 20.53 that won the SEC final a couple of weeks ago. Ernest ran in the same heat as Webb, placing third in 20.84.
Kamaria Brown placed fourth in the women's 200 final while Ashton Purvis finished sixth to score eight points for the Aggies. They ran times of 22.90 and 23.11, respectively. LSU's Kimberlyn Duncan claimed her third consecutive indoor 200 title with a winning time of 22.58.
"I tried to do something different this year, since I didn't get to double at NCAA Indoor last year," noted Brown. "It didn't go as well as I hoped. I'm happy that I scored in the 200. It wasn't easy to run three races in one day, but I'm pleased with my outcome."
In the qualifying heats of the women's 200 Ashton Purvis and Kamaria Brown won consecutive heats. Their winning times of 23.07 and 23.10 placed fourth and fifth overall.
The first scoring opportunity for the Aggie women came in the long jump. LaQue Moen-Davis, who placed 13th at the SEC meet, finished seventh at the NCAA Indoor with a mark of 20-8 (6.30). Moen-Davis produced that mark in the sixth and final round to move from a non-scoring ninth to gaining two points in seventh place.
Moen-Davis was the top SEC finisher in the NCAA Indoor final as SEC champion Chanice Porter of Georgia finished ninth with a best of 20-6.25 (6.25) to miss scoring by one place. Half of the jumps by Moen-Davis exceeded 20 feet. Her 20-1.75 in the second round advanced her into the final three rounds. An improvement in round five to 20-2.25 kept her in ninth place before she moved to seventh with a final attempt that measured 20-8.
Deon Lendore recorded the third fastest time in the world this season in leading the men's 400 qualifying with a time of 45.36 seconds to win the opening heat. Only Lendore has produced faster times in 2013 with his world-leading 45.15 from the SEC prelims and the 45.23 that claimed the SEC final.
Lendore will be stationed in lane five for Saturday's final with Houston's Errol Nolan to his outside in lane six while a pair of Florida Gators will occupy lanes three and four with Hugh Graham, Jr. and Najee Glass.
Wayne Davis II motored to third place in his heat of the 60 hurdles with a time of 7.68, just off his career best of 7.65 from a SEC runner-up finish two weeks ago. Davis was the top time qualifier for the final as the top two finishers automatically advanced followed by the four fastest times between the two heats.
Davis, who turned in the fifth fastest performance in A&M history, finished third behind Spencer Adams of Clemson (7.62) and Ray Stewart of California (7.68). Davis missed second place by 0.005 of a second. Florida's Eddie Lovett, the SEC champion and collegiate leader, won the second heat in a career best of 7.53 and was followed by Keiron Stewart of Texas with a 7.63.
Donique' Flemings placed fifth in her heat of the 60 hurdles with a season best time of 8.15, just off her career best of 8.14. She advanced to the final as the last time qualifier among two others who clocked 8.15 in the race.
Clemson's Brianna Rollins, who set the 60 hurdles collegiate record of 7.78 earlier this season, led the qualifiers with a 7.82 that bettered the meet and facility record of 7.84 set by Virginia Powell of USC in 2006.
Saturday's finals will also include Henry Lelei in the men's 3,000 meters, Moen-Davis returning in the women's triple jump as well as the Aggies pair of 4 x 400 relays.
The Aggies also had some very close calls in a trio of other sprint races on the night with athletes finishing ninth in qualifying to just miss the eight person final.
Ashley Collier and Jennifer Madu each ran 7.33 as they placed third and fourth in the first heat of the women's 60. However, a pair of 7.31s posted in the second heat of the 60 became the last times to advance into the final as Collier and Madu were ninth and 10th overall. Collier also ran in the 200 prelims, and her time of 23.63 ranked 15th overall.
In the men's 400 Ricky Babineaux ran in the fourth of four heats, placing third with a 46.41. His time placed Babineaux ninth overall. The last time to get in was 46.35 by Notre Dame's Christopher Giesting, who was second in the same heat with Babineaux.
Michael Bryan had the ninth fastest qualifying time in the men's 200 as his 20.95 placed third in his heat and trailed a pair of 20.89s that were the last two times to make the final.
Prezel Hardy, Jr. ran 6.70 for sixth place in the first of two heats in the men's 60 and placed 12th overall. The last time to advance on time was 6.65 by SEC champion Markesh Woodson of Missouri. In the 200, Hardy ran 21.02 for third in his heat and 11th overall.
Kamaria Brown and Ibukun Mayungbe had a tough outcome in the prelims of the 400. Brown finished fourth in her heat with a 54.90. Mayungbe was bumped at the end of her first lap and finished in 58.75. The pair were 14th and 16th overall.
NCAA Indoor - FINALS
200 meters: 1. Ameer Webb, 20.42 (ran world-leading 20.37 in prelims to break A&M record)
200 meters: 4. Kamaria Brown, 22.90; 6. Ashton Purvis, 23.11.
Long Jump: 7. LaQue Moen-Davis, 20-8 (6.30)
QUALIFYING for Saturday FINALS
60 Hurdles: Wayne Davis II, 7.68.
400: Deon Lendore, 45.36
60 Hurdles: Donique' Flemings, 8.15.